Title: SALT AND LIGHT
Bible verses: Matthew 5:13-16
13“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 people’s feet.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In 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.
What we want for our people (Outcome): For our church to be equipped to go and do good works.
Our desire is that C3SYD is THAT CHURCH that brings the LIGHT of Jesus into the world that looks like action not just talk (1 Corinthians 4:20).
When the Church is moved to action and mobilized to make a difference, our light shines. When we GO out into the world and into our everyday lives and we DO GOOD DEEDS we are bringing the LIGHT of Jesus to LIGHT the world around us. The Church must never become so insular, so insider focused that we become a dim, irrelevant and forgotten part of the world.
The Matthew passage shows the two traits of what our Church aims to be: salt and light. Salt adds flavour. Light brings sight. We must never lose our saltiness that we become ineffective at adding tangible value to people’s everyday life.
We must never hide our light that we fade into the dim, dark shadows of society. Jesus said, GO INTO THE WORLD! We are not on the earth to escape the world, we are on the earth to bring the salt and light of the Kingdom of Jesus into every sphere, every system and every organization around us.
Verse 16 encourages us to be salt and light so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. A good example of this is the experience of Titus in Crete. Paul’s letter to Titus describes what a difficult city it was for a young church: full of liars and evil brutes (Titus 1:12). Check out the Bible Project summary and article below to give you more history on Crete.
“The people were such a lying, self-indulgent, sexually promiscuous bunch that Crete became proverbial for immorality in the ancient world. To be a “kretizo,” a Cretan, was to be a liar. (So the next time someone’s lying to you, just tell them to stop “cretanizing”” The Bible Project
And in this city of liars and evil, Paul tells them to be counter-cultural to “do good.” It sounds almost too light, a statement without power. But Paul knows that the result of the people of God being “salt” and “light” in their community. The people will see their good deeds and glorify God in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Check out the chapters in Titus: Appointing elders who love what is good, rebuking those who fail to do good, doing good for the sake of the gospel, saved in order to do good. We can never underestimate the power of doing good, being different in a society where everyone is “doing what they want, feel or desire.”
Good works should be visible and “so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:5). It’s crazy to think that our actions impact God, but as his ambassadors, and representatives on the earth, our actions can cause someone to speak critically of God (definition of malign) or to turn to God (Titus 2:8-10).
What are good works?
Good works are all about others (Titus 3:14). We are not saved by good works but we do good works out of a grateful heart for all that Christ has done (Titus 3:5). Good works meet the needs of others, to serve God and people. Paul outlines in Titus that because we are justified by His grace, we are motivated to help others and meet people’s needs. We don’t do it to earn favour from God or people but for them to glorify God.
Titus says we are to:
2:3 teach what is good
2:7 set an example by doing what is good
2:14 be eager to do what is good
3:1 be ready to do whatever is good
3:8 and 3:14 devote yourself to doing what is good
We are called to be Christ’s ambassadors in the community, doing good in our homes, families, and businesses and we all have a role to play, it is for everyone: Titus 2 lists older men, older women, young men, slaves. Vision Builders is all about the good works that God has called us to do.
And how do we do it: by the grace that Jesus gave us:
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Connect Group Resources:
Connect Group Discussion Questions:
GATHER: (ensure that these questions centre around community)
- What are some of the ways you have seen good deeds change people’s opinion of God?
- Salt is a flavour enhancer. How is being in the church enhancing “your flavour”?
GROW: (ensure that these questions prompt discussion on personal growth and maturity)
- Why is it important to do good out of the grace Jesus has given us and not in our own strength (for example, compassion fatigue and wrong motives)?
- Do you struggle with being seen as a Christian? Jesus tells us not to hide but to shine before others. What steps can you take to shine and be seen?
GO: (ensure that these questions prompt discussion on going and spreading the good news)
- Start to consider how you can join in with Vision Builders in the next year.
How can you as a connect group help to meet people’s needs in our community? Is there someone you could help?