Why do Christians feel we can get away with things? Is it because we’re “covered by Grace?” And I don’t mean in the sense of we can rob banks or cheat on our spouses, but in little ways, we cut corners. Many, many years ago, for example, I was substitute teaching, and a “good kid” who went to church was arguing with me and throwing an attitude. She said “you’re just being salty” as I sent her out of the class , as it was rude, as well as disrespectfully undermining the authority within the class structure (yes, even to a substitute), and the school administration did nothing because she was a “good kid who went to church.” I’ve seen it over and again in my near 20 years serving in churches. We let things go, or we let things slide, and we call it Grace.
The thing is, that’s not Grace at all, it’s enabling. This morning, in our family Bible Study, my family and I discussed what being Salt and Light means. Jesus said of His followers “You are the Salt of the Earth…. You are the Light of the World” (I suppose I should have said “That means I’m doing what Jesus said” to the girl who called me Salty). Salt implies that we are preservers, we bring flavor, we bring healing, because that’s what salt does (and more). We are also to stand in contrast with this world, which, the boys pointed out, is in darkness. That means we don’t cut corners, or declare Grace on our sins. We, instead, seek to live in such a way that we give God glory, even when no one else is watching! We stand out as LIGHT in the Darkness! We show that Jesus, by His death, burial and resurrection, gives us Life, and life to the full, even when we’re persecuted, looked down upon, or even going about our daily lives, driving, cooking, cleaning, shopping, interacting with others, and, yes, even at the line at the DMV/revenue office.
Loved ones, we’re people who claimed to be reconciled to almighty God. So let us be Salt and Light. Let us stand firm against darkness, solidly upon Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, and through the Scriptures. Let us be bold for Jesus, preserving what is good, bringing flavor, and being a city on a hill that draws people out of darkness into His marvelous light. Jesus didn’t die to keep us quiet. He died and rose again to glorify God, to reconcile us to God, and conform us to the Image of God. Let’s go be salty light up the world!
“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.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In 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.
1 Peter 2
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.