Being Salt And Light (Red Letters Series #5)


Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

As God the Son sits on the mountain, His disciples sit at His feet. Jesus tells those who follow Him that they must be salt and light to this present world. As Jesus says this, He establishes Himself both as Lord and God over His people. Salt and light have one thing in common:

Salt and Light exist to be USED.
And as salt and light are use, they are sacrificed for others.

Salt Exists To Serve

The world exists to serve itself, and the lost person continually seeks his or her own blessing. American society is driven by a “me first” attitude. Sadly, many Churches have succumbed to this mentality. Billy Graham once wrote:

Many churches of all persuasions are hiring research agencies to poll neighborhoods, asking what kind of church they prefer. Then the local churches design themselves to fit the desires of the people. “

We as Christ’s Church are not to live to suit ourselves, but we are to live so as to honor and glorify the God Who saved us. There is nothing more useless than salt that cannot be used. One of the earliest uses of the word “salt” in the Scripture is found in the Book of Genesis. Abraham and his nephew Lot had so much blessing from God that their herdsmen began to fight among themselves (Genesis 13:7). So Abraham, that blessed believer in Christ (John 8:58), decided to be salt.

Abraham was the elder of the two.
He could have sent Lot away, and Lot would have had to go.

So Abraham told Lot:

Genesis 13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Lot looked at the land with his eyes, and saw the land toward Sodom and Gomorrah was the most beautiful (Genesis 13:10-11). Now please consider this: Lot was a saved individual. The Scripture names him as “righteous Lot” in the Book of 2 Peter:

2 Peter 2:4-9 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Lot is a “righteous” man according to the Scripture. Yet Lot is not living as salt should live. He chose the direction of Sodom to take his family, choosing based not on the glory of God but his own self interest. Lot sat in the gate of Sodom daily:

Genesis 19:1 … there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom…

Every great city in the ancient world was walled round about, and guarded by towers and watchmen. At night the gate(s) of the city would be closed, and none would be allowed to enter. They were the original “gated communities”! When the sun rose the gates of the city would be open, and merchants along with powerful people would go to the gates to do business. Every traveling salesman would stop at the gates of the city to deal with the “movers and shakers”. Lot was such a person. He sat in the gate. He was in a place to be influential, to be salt to his community.

Yet Lot failed at being salt.
He compromised with the decay.
He became a man pleaser, and ceased to please God.

God sent two angels to retrieve Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah before the cities were destroyed. Abraham loved the Lord, and God forewarned Abraham that Sodom would be destroyed. So Abraham prayed for Lot. He prayed until God promised to take Lot and his family out of Sodom. Though God would take Lot and his family out of Sodom, it would be harder to take SODOM OUT OF LOT AND HIS FAMILY. Our Lord warned us:

Luke 14:33-35 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Lot had spent very little time living his life so as to please his Savior. Lot sat in the gate daily, and could have made a difference. Yet he did not. He stayed silent, unsalty, and men cast it out! If you live your lives to please people and not to please God then the darkness grows. Sadly, if you fail to stand for Jesus, in time you will fall for the world.

God calls His people to be “living sacrifices”. We read:

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Lot was supposed to be a “living sacrifice”.
Abraham was a “living sacrifice”.
You are called to be a “living sacrifice”.
Are you?

When God established the sacrificial system for Israel the Lord told His people:

Leviticus 2:11-13 No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire. … 13 And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

The sacrifice was not to be burned with leaven (which is symbolic of sin). The sacrifice was also to be offered with salt. Why was that? Was it because God somehow ate the offering, and needed it salted like we need our food salted? No! It was to teach the children of Israel the message that Jesus is teaching the Church today.

If you belong to God, you are to be a Living Sacrifice.
You are to in a salt covenant with God.
You are God’s salt on this earth.
Wherever God places you or allows you to go, you are to stand for Him.

Lot did not do this. He compromised his faith. Though he was called “righteous Lot” he was not visibly representing the Lord Who saved him. As a result Sodom was going to be destroyed. When these angels went with Lot to his home the men of the city decided to try and sexually assault the angels (Genesis 19:4-5). In Genesis 19:5 the text literally states these Sodomites demanded of Lot, saying:

Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may “know” them.”

The word “know” is the Hebrew יָדַע yâdaʻ, (pronounced yaw-dah’). Here it is used liked it is used in:

Genesis 4:1 … Adam knew yâdaʻ, (pronounced yaw-dah’) Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

The Sodomites wanted to sexually “know” these angels. Rather than declare this to be sinful and inappropriate behavior Lot suggested an alternative:

Genesis 19:6-8 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

Notice Lot’s decline. He first of all addressed these men as “brethren”. He had so compromised his faith – his saltiness – that he had been accepting these poor lost souls as if they were righteous. The Bible says:

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Salt is a PRESERVATIVE. Society is PRESERVED when God’s people stand up and lovingly address evil. We must share our faith in Christ. We must stand against the tide of darkness and sin, presenting the Lord Jesus as:

John 14:6 … the way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father (nor can be a brother of ours) BUT BY JESUS!

How horrible the treason that compromises the faith. How horrible the father who will allow his daughters – the children of his wife – to be offered as molested things rather than stand with God against evil. Though Lot was “righteous” by faith in God, he had lost his saltiness.

And Lot paid the price.

The Bible tells us that as the angels took Lot and his family from Sodom prior to its destruction:

Genesis 19:26 {Lot’s wife} wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Lot lost his wife because he was not salt. He lost his daughters to sexual sin because he was not salt. Beloved, we must be salt. Jesus said:

Mark 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Believers in Christ maintain their saltiness by fellowship one with another. We exhort one another to be salt, and stand together against the unsaltiness of the world.

Hebrews 3:12-15 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Light Exists To Shine

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Jesus doesn’t say that we are to try to be the light of the world. Jesus says you ARE the light of the world. We are to be like Jesus. Jesus said:

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Jesus was the Light of the world. He did as the Father asked Him to do. He was forever doing “My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). He is light. If we follow Jesus, we are to be light. We are not to be like the world, nor like the self righteous Pharisee, but LIKE JESUS. The Scripture says:

Philippians 2:12-16 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.

We who are genuinely saved are NOT to be in the darkness of this world. We are to be Christ’s lights. We are to shine in the darkness. God gave us life and light so that we can share His Gospel and His love with a darkened world. We do not compromise with sin nor the darkness. The Scripture says:

1 John 1:4-9 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The Christian does not normalize sin, but confesses it to God. We place any and all sin in our lives under the Blood of Jesus Christ our Savior. We reject sin as darkness, incompatible to God’s nature. We cannot walk with God and walk with sin. We cannot live in Jesus and live for the devil, too.

Did you notice that – in the story of Abraham, Lot, and Sodom’s destruction that God never came to Lot to discuss the pending judgment. God came to Abraham, a man who was salt and light. Had Abraham not interceded for Lot I suspect Lot would have died with all of Sodom. What a tragedy it is that any Christian could die under the hand of God’s judgment. But Beloved – it can happen.

The wages of sin is death. Sin is defined by the Bible, not by humanity. Sin has no place in the believer’s life. We are to be distinctly Christian, so much so that the darkness can clearly see who we are.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Christian, Shine! Shine for Jesus!

May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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