Salt & Light

July 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

A couple of weeks ago, I preachsalted on Matthew 5: 13-16. In this passage, Jesus tells his followers that they are “the salt of the earth” and :”the light of the world”. He doesn’t say you need to learn to be saltier or brighter– he says “you are”.

I think this is a huge thing that Christians need to begin to understand more completely. We are salt and light– not because of what we do, but because of who we are. We are salt and light– not because of our actions, but because of our identity. We are salt and light because Jesus lives in us and he is now our life.

I would say that many Christians (and me for the first 14 years of my Christian walk) think that they need to gain knowledge to be salt and light in the world. So, they go to the church and study, and worship, and take classes, and join groups, and go to retreats… This is all good stuff– but there is a danger that we will live our Christian life separated from the earth and world (instead of being salt and light in the world).candle-flame-1-ajhd

To illustrate the point, I read a portion of an ancient document. It is called the Epistle to Diognetus and was written around 20-30 years after John the Apostle died (around 120AD). It answers a question that was raised during the time as to why Christianity was spreading so fast– why was Christianity impacting the Roman world so strongly.

Here is the explanation the author gives (and with it, a great illustration of what it means to be salt and light in the world):

Christians busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They live in their own native lands but they live as aliens for every foreign country is to them as their native lands and every native land is a s their foreign country.

 They marry and have children but they do not kill unwanted babies.

 They share their table with everyone, but they don’t share their bed with everyone.

 They love everyone but are persecuted by all. They are poor and make many rich; they are short of everything and yet have plenty of everything.

 They are treated outrageously but behave respectfully. They are mocked and blessed in return. When they do good, they are attacked. When they are attacked, they rejoice as if being given new life.


Do you think God still wants his people to be salt and light?

Do you think the world needs some salt (that which preserves and adds flavor) and light these days?

You probably answered “yes” to both of these questions. If so, then I’ll ask another…

Are you willing to leave the safety and comfort of the church to be salt and light to the world?

People are waiting for us. They need the Jesus we need and love.

About DougHaupt


One Response to “Salt & Light”
  1. Mark S says:

    I believe I am willing to leave the safety and comfort of a building to be a part of the church –

    the church has a great ability to be salt and light when the people begin to see that church is people and not a building – people that are released to love those around them just as you have been sharing with us from your heart. Thanks Doug – and Thanks Jesus !

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