Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Salt and Light 9/29/2013
Dear friend, God's Peace to you today!

I am on vacation today, there is a guest speaker preaching today, so I place this article which I wrote in the past here for your meditation in the Word. God bless your life in Him...


Ye are the salt of the earth and the light of the world

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is giving us a radical teaching, not something new, but that which has been lost due to wrong interpretation. The world was rightside up in the Garden of Eden, it got tipped upside down in our fall into sin, now Jesus begins to put it right side up. In the beginning of this Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks pronouncements of blessings, saying . It is not something we must do, but it is that which He has done. If we adjust the order of the verses, the sense of our "state of being" may be seen in a clear manner. Please consider the verses:

It is a state of being, not something to be worked toward or rewarded for.

Being poor in spirit we have the kingdom of heaven, therefore we are blessed
In mourning we are comforted, therefore we are blessed
In meekness we inherit the earth, therefore we are blessed
In our hungering and thirsting after righteousness we are filled, therefore we are blessed
Receiving mercy, we are merciful, therefore we are blessed
We see God, we are pure in heart, therefore we are blessed
Being a child of God, we are are peacemaker, therefore we are blessed.
Having the kingdom of heaven, we are persecuted for righteousness sake, therefore we are blessed
In being spoken against, in being persecuted, in being reviled against, we are blessed.
Knowing that prophets were persecuted before us, knowing of our reward in heaven, we rejoice and are exceedingly glad, therefore we are blessed.

This leads us into our text which is from the next four verses in the 5th chapter of Matthew, 13-16.

Matthew 5: 13 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.

Two metaphors are used by Jesus, who to this point has been silent concerning Himself in this chapter. He uses salt and light. In a very general sense, we know that salt in the old days was used to preserve and to season food, and most likely it is the seasoning that is being referred to.
Looking back into history, we consider as to how people understood signficance of salt and which quite possibly was in the minds of the hearers as Jesus began to speak concerning the reality that they were the salt of the earth. Consider these three references to salt in the Old Testament:

KJV Genesis 14:3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. (Dead Sea)

KJV Genesis 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

KJV Numbers 18:19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee
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 Dead Sea was referred to as the Salt Sea because of its high level of salt content, Lot's wife had turned back to look as they were leaving Sodom and she became a pillar of salt, and in all meat offerings, it was required that they be seasoned with salt.

For us in the New Testament era, there are a few references to salt and its metaphorical meanings.

KJV Mark 9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
KJV 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.

KJV Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, (preserve truth and give flavor to truth) that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

When Jesus spoke to His disciples He said: "Ye (plural) are the salt of the earth. He did not say that they each were the salt, but He said that collectively they are the salt of the earth. He did not say, they will be, or they could be, but He said that they are!!

5:14 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.

He says again collectively and in the present tense! Ye are the light of the world.

We know that in John's Gospel, (8:12) He says of Himself concerning light: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jerusalem was a city on a hill, those coming there to worship could see it from afar off. It is recorded that as the pilgrims journeyed to the place where God had ordained that they travel three times a year for the feasts that He had commanded them to observe, that when the glorious shining city of Jerusalem first came into view, they prostrated themselves on the ground in reverence and humility toward their God. With its golden columns and white walls, it was a magnificent sight to behold, for it was truly a city set on a hill that could not be hid. They understood the enormous meaning and significance of light; from the creation account in Genesis, from the light that preceeded those who journeyed through the wilderness, from the prophetical writings which pointed to the light which was coming in the future and from the light each day that dawned with the rising of the sun.

The indwelling Christ is as that city set on a hill. In those days candles were used to light the house, so they placed the candles high up in the house so that the light would shine everywhere. When I come to the church in the dark early on Friday mornings, I put the office light on so people can see the light and will know that the coffee is on. From many miles off in this area, one is able to see the the lights of Powder Ridge Ski hill. It is not possible to hide a light that is placed on a hill, for it will shine and illuminate the darkness around it to the degree of its height and its brightness.

KJV 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.

In conclusion, Jesus tells his disciples/us to let/allow our light to so shine before men, that they may see their/our good works, and glorify their/our Father which is in heaven. When we are a follower of Jesus Christ with His Spirit dwelling in us, He will shine forth through our attitudes, our motives, our words and our actions. But let us also remember, that He will often shine in a greater way by the withholding of our words and actions, for did not Jesus show His greatest power in the withholding of that which was due to us, instead giving us that we which do not deserve: Grace and forgiveness.. We may not see it in ourselves, ,but the illuminating power of the Light of Christ is shining outward. We know that because He says so. He reminds us today to allow His Light to shine. May we continue to walk in the light as he is in the light, for when we do that we have fellowship one with another and his blood cleanses us from all sin.

Thank ye for being the salt of the earth and the light of the world! Collectively we are difference makers!
May we not cover up that which He is in us.

In the Light of Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 29 Sep 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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