Salt and Light

In the first Sunday of 2011, I joined Christ's Commission Fellowship in San Fernando City, La Union. It took a while before I found the exact location (I came in late :s) but the search was worth it. Now I can say that I have found my church in the province. It's just sad because I won't be back until around March for the vacation time.

Today, Pastor Alvin Ang tackled Matthew 5:13-16, a very familiar passage summarized by the words, "Salt and Light." It is rendered beautifully in the New International Version:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Jesus is talking to his disciples and he addressed them with such words. What does He mean by these? Jesus is using salt and light as illustration, using their qualities to drive His point.

Salt is commonly used as seasoning, but in this context, we must see it more as a preservative. Light is easy enough to understand. Its most outstanding characteristic is its shinning brilliance that pierces through the darkness and reveals that which is hidden.

When Jesus called His disciples the salt and the light of the world, He instructed them to be different from the world to be His testimony to humankind. "Preserve yourselves from the corruption of the nations around you!"  This is what Jesus meant when He said they are the salt of the earth. As for being the light, Jesus is saying, "Go out and shine ever brightly for God that people may know Him through your life!"

We can summarize both commands in this: "Go and live out your faith in Christ."

I want you to realize that this will not be possible without the working of the Spirit in us. For though we are commanded by Jesus, the ability to fulfill the command comes from the Giver of the command Himself. It is, thus, fitting to realize that Jesus is not calling us to be salt and light to add bragging rights to our faith. Instead, when He called us, He called us to humility, dependence and suffering. For to be Christ's testimony, we are called to live as Christ lived.

The Spirit will work mightily in hearts that are broken and humble. But for hearts of pride and self-righteousness, they are of little use to God.

This new year, we have the same old calling. But my prayer is for us to have renewed passion to persevere in Christ, living lives pleasing to His sight.

God bless you all!
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