IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: THE SALT, THE LIGHT AND A CITY SET ON A HILL
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” Matthew 5:14
Summary: True Christians cannot remain secret for long.
The very existence of a Believer operates upon unbelievers. He is like a handful of salt cast upon flesh—he has a savor in himself and this penetrate those who are in contact with him. The unobserved, almost unconscious influence, of a holy life is most effectual to serving society and the prevention of moral putrefaction.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is on a hill cannot be hid.” In any case the genuine Christian will manifest the silent and unseen salting influence upon those who come into immediate contact with him, but let him also labor to possesses the second, or illuminating influence, which covers a far larger area and deals more with real life—for salt is for dead flesh and light for living men. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”
Saltiness and light are the power of a Christian!
We are not of this world, but we have a role to play until such time as the Lord sees fit to take us out of here (John 17:15-16). We are to shun evil, but we were never meant to be so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly use, as the saying goes.
Pure salt is not necessarily capable of decay, but it loses its savour when mixed with that which is not salt. Other white powders exist on the coasts of the Dead Sea, which may be mistaken for salt.
Salt has a lot of biblical significance. If you eat salt with someone it means that you are bound together in loyalty. When the bishop arrives at the door of the church, he is met by a child carrying a tray with bread and salt. Bread is the bread of life and the salt binds the bishop to the community and the community to the bishop.
Jesus used the image of salt, one that his hearers would have been familiar with, to illustrate the role of not only the Apostles but the Church and how that role would influence society. Because of the preservation power of salt, it is necessary for life.
The Apostles, and now us, have the responsibility to preserve the life of the Church, as handed down to us from the Apostles, so that it will be available to future generations. We are not to keep it for ourselves alone, but for all generations. We take the choice cuts, and preserve it in our hearts and minds, and pass it along. We are the salt that preserves the church and her teaching.
Light is also an essential commodity. If you have ever been travelling through the countryside to a town or city, and seen the distant lights of your destination seeming to draw ever closer, then that is the picture which we have here. If the city is built on a hill, then you will not miss it, though you might quite fail to find a small village nestling in a hidden valley.
Now let’s see what this influence is. We found that the
influence of a child of God is first of all, that of SALT,
in resisting the spread of corruption. We found it to be
LIGHT. That is a positive element, illuminating, making
known, the way to God and the will of God, and the walk
CITY ON A HILL
Characteristics of a City on a Hill
Highly visible – we should not expect to blend in with the world (Romans 12:1-2); we are following a higher standard (Matthew 5:3-12, 20);
followers of Christ will be different and this difference will be noticed (John 15:18-19; 1 Peter 4:3-4)
Target of attacks – due to higher visibility and a different standard, we will be targeted (John 15:20); we are to expect a degree of persecution (1 Peter 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:12)
Position of strength – the higher position provides a natural defense; God is on our side (Romans 8:31); we have a solid foundation (Matthew 7:24-27) and the promise that the Lord will not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6)
And now we come to the influence of a Christian from the
viewpoint of a CITY SET UPON A HILL.
This is not an easy take.The city on the hill is also the city that is attacked the most. It is easily defended, if the wall, the wall of Scripture and truth is built around it, and the guardians of the city are watchful.
“Ye are the light of the world . . .
Ye are a city, set on a hill, that cannot be hid.” And He
says, “Neither do men light a lamp and put it under a
bushel but on a stand, and it shineth unto all that are in
the house. Even so, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE MEN, that
they may see your good works and glorify your Father which
is in heaven.”
A Christian life, in its influence, is to be as a CITY ON A
We not only preserve the faith with the salt of our lives but we radiate that faith like the rays of the Sun, we then become the city on the hill the shining example for all the world to see, the city that cannot be hidden and so our works and seen by all but most especially our Father who is in Heaven.
Beloved, if God has given light to us, He has put within us a principle that shall go forth conquering and to conquer! Let the darkness be as dense as that which plagued the Egyptians, yet must it yield to light.
A conflict is to be expected, but a conquest is guaranteed. We must not dream that the darkness will put forth its black arms to embrace our light, nor may we imagine that it will come cowering at the foot of our candlestick and ask to make a league with us. Light cannot dwell side by side with the darkness, making a covenant, for it is written, “God divided the light from the darkness, and God called the light day, and the darkness He called night”—thus giving to each its own distinguishing name—that none might confuse them. No man shall ever be able to mingle the two—they are and must be forever distinct. To the end of time there shall be two seeds—the heirs of light and the children of darkness— and these two cannot be one.
The light shall war with the darkness till the eternal light has fully risen and reached its zenith—and then the earth shall be filled with the light of the Glory of God! Till then, you children of light, see to it that you have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.
We are that city on the hill, we are the new Israel and the new Jerusalem, we are the preserves of the faith and must preserve it with all the vigor that we can muster, if we lose our saltiness then we are not able to flavor the world that so desperately needs us.
Remember the Kingdom of God is not an earthly kingdom it abides within each one of us, we are in essence representatives of the Kingdom of God and the light needs to shine from each of us.
So, Lord, whatever it takes, make me a doer of your word so that my life shines like a city set on a hill and gives you glory, in Jesus’s name, Amen.
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