My husband and I were talking about this concept before heading to church, then this passage was a part of the main sermon text today.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” – 1 John 1:5-6
Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Demons recognize Who Jesus is; the Devil himself quoted Scripture to Jesus. Quoting Scripture, whether in or out of context, doesn’t make you a Christian.
Being saved by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and following Him with a sincere, albeit imperfect, heart makes you a Christian.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” – 1 John 1:7-9
Those of use who have listened to God’s Word and are obedient to its commands have open hearts to the Lord. Jesus said that it’s like a gardening example – we are like good soil that, when the seed of the Word of God is cast into it, produces a good crop, with good fruit.
We who have received and accepted the message of the Gospel must share it with others, that they might also have the opportunity to allow the Word of God to change their lives as well. Jesus gave us anther way to picture this – we are like lamps that radiate light into even the darkest corner. It reveals the truth about even the most hidden areas of life.
Lamps themselves cannot change another object into a lamp, but their light can reveal what is already there. Only the Light of the World and an open heart (aka “good soil”) can covert a dark object into a lamp. Only God can transform a person from being wicked to being righteous.
Matthew 5:10-16 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for God reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under peoples’ feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven.”
– As the “light of the world,” are you letting others see the truth found in Christ? Why be a light if you don’t shine it?
– As the “salt of the earth,” are you making people thirsty for God? Are you making people long for more of God?
“Salty believers” should:
Spread the excellencies of God, Who called us into the light – they don’t “keep their salt in the salt shaker.”
Shine light on the truth and keep their zest for God.
Stand out as different from the world in which they live – they are a public testimony through their faith and in their good works that glorify their Father in heaven.
Transform, change, and effect the world for Christ.
Aren’t always welcomed by the “religious” people in their church.
Are often not welcomed by governing/political figures.
Should seek to continue pleasing God, no matter the cost, without hiding their light.
– This post was inspired by a sermon, given by Pastor Joseph A. Franks IV in Simpsonville, SC on October 25, 2015.