Salt and Light

I like eggs sprinkled with sodium chloride, do you? It sounds much more tasty to ask “Would you like salt on your eggs?” I’d say, “Yes, and some pepper too!”

David Johnson comments on the chemistry of salt:

Sodium is an extremely active element found naturally only in combined form; it always links itself to another element. Chlorine, on the other hand, is the poisonous gas that gives bleach its offensive odor. When sodium and chlorine are combined, the result is sodium chloride–common table salt–the substance we use to preserve meat and bring out its flavor. Love and truth can be like sodium and chlorine. Love without truth is flighty, sometimes blind, willing to combine with various doctrines. On the other hand, truth by itself can be offensive, sometimes even poisonous. Spoken without love, it can turn people away from the gospel. When truth and love are combined in an individual or a church, however, then we have what Jesus called “the salt of the earth,” and we’re able to preserve and bring out the beauty of our faith.[1]

So to be “salty,” both love and truth need to be balanced in us by the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Jesus said to His people: ” You are the salt of the earth; … You are the light of the world... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven ” (Matt. 5:13-16).

David Feddes comments on this high calling we have as disciples:

“By calling Christians the salt of the earth, Jesus implies that the world on its own is in decay … And by calling Christians the light of the world, Jesus implies that the world on its own is in darkness … When I understand what Jesus expects of me, it does not make me arrogant. It makes me humble. It lays on me a responsibility so great that I cannot bear it in my own power. What is there in me that can prevent the world’s decay? What can I do to enlighten the world? In and of myself, nothing!. . . It’s only as I trust Jesus, only as He flavors and enlightens me, that I can become salt and light.[2]

The more we grasp the dignity and responsibility we have as Christ’s people, the more we recognize our inadequacy. As Paul exclaimed, “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:15,16).

We can function as salt and light only by abiding in Christ. Christ is our Savior, Lord, High Priest, and so much more. He is to be our very Life. The Lord Jesus desires to encourage us with His sufficiency. Adah Richmond personalized this discovery:

“I AM.” Who art Thou, Lord?
I Am–all things to thee;
Sufficient to thine every need;
Thou art complete in Me.

I AM–thy Peace, thy Joy,
Thy Righteousness, thy might;
I Am–thy Victory o’er sin,
Thy Keeper day and night.

I Am- -thy Way, thy Life;
I Am–the Word of Truth;
Whate’er thy lack, I Am–to thee
El Shaddai, Enough.

I Am–thy Life within.
Thine Everlasting Bread;
Eat of my flesh, drink of my blood,
I Am–What dost thou need?[3]

Thank You, Father, for supplying us with the resources to live up to our high calling in Christ. We look to You to fill and empower us to be as salt and light in these last days. In Christ’s victorious name, amen.

[1] Quoted in

[2] “The Radio Pulpit” vol. 42, #1.

[3] Adah Richmond, “Christ, Who is our Life.”

Copyright 1998 by John B. Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint (with credit given) for non-commercial use.

Bible quotations are from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

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