Matthew 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.14"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15"Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
The Army says "Be al that you can be" joining the army will make it happen. Many others are talking about what you can be, if you follow their program. But are text doesnít talk about something that may be, rather it speaks of what is. When God by grace through faith, by means of water and the word, called us to faith he made us a new creation. Salvation is that new creation. Salvation is that though formerly orphans, we are now the children of God. Our text is not calling us to be all that we can be, rather it calls us to be all that God has already made us.
The reason that this is important, is when we do not live as a new creation, we are confessing that there is no salvation in Jesus Christ, and that the promise of God is not true. We make God out to be a liar, and Jesus Christ becomes one teacher among many, and no savior. So, in simple words, God is calling you to be what you are. To live by faith, confident that you are a new creation. To daily remember your baptism, drowning the old nature, and daily rising to our new life in Christ.
Jesus then tells 2 parables to explain what it is that the new creation has made us. Jesus says we are the Salt of the earth, and the Light of the World; not by ourselves, but by the grace of God.
We have trouble today understanding these things, because salt and light are different today, light comes by turning a switch, and salt is something that we use a little, but often we are told that it is bad. Lets go back to Jesus time and hear the word that still speaks to us.
In Jesus time, the chief purpose of salt was as a preservative. No freezers, no refrigerators, salt was the substance that preserved food. Dried in salt, meat and fish do not spoil, they are preserved. That is the chief purpose of salt. God wants us to work with him to preserve people. And as we remember that the primary message of Jesus, was to repent, what does this have to do with us? Perhaps it we look at sin as something that wounds us, and eventually kills us, what would salt do to wounded people? It would sting! If people felt the sting of sin, do you think that they would treat sin with indifference, or would they look for healing? And so it is that Christians living in the world bring both law [which stings] and gospel [which heals] as part of their witness. There is no such thing as salt which does not sting in the wound, if it was, how would it lead people to repent, and if they donít turn from their sin, how will they be saved. Have salt in yourselves. By your life bring life and healing to the world.
Jesus said that we are the light of the world. These days, when light comes by the flick of a switch, some say big deal; until there is a power failure, then we look for the light. Light, like salt, is a two sided thing. Light shines everywhere and makes all things known, it makes sin known. Jesus did not call us to be beams of light, that shine in only one direction, but lamps, whose light shines everywhere. Sin is something people prefer to do in secret, they donít want people to know. So sometimes people may be uncomfortable around what God has made us. We may hear, canít you shine that light somewhere else? But the light shines to call people to repentance [law], and once people turn from their sin, is shines to guide them to their savior [gospel].
Now we come to why it is that God has made us this way. It is simply, God has made us salt and light that we might call people to repentance and lead them to the savior. God has made us, so that we might be prepared and able to work with Him to advance the kingdom of God. And this living life of service is what true worship is, as our Old Testament lesson has illustrated. Living as the new creation is the most pleasing thing there is to GOD, unless perhaps it is a sinner who repents. Let us be salt and light, let us give God the worship and praise he deserves, not just with an hour on Sunday, but every day with all our lives, for Jesus sake. God would have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, and we are His messengers.