The following sermons exposited by Dr. Caldwell will help us with what it means that believers are salt and light and how remaining focused on Christ and being obedient to Him is how we will remain influential as salt and light in this world:
Listen to the Audio Podcast
Being Salt and Light in the World: A Christian's Role Beyond Evangelism
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Josh Philpot asks Dr. Richard Caldwell to explain what it means for believers to be salt and light in this world. Most people who read and hear this statement of Jesus in Matthew 5 think immediately of evangelism. But does this saying pertain to evangelism only, or are there broader applications of being salt and light in the world?
Dr. Caldwell believes that being salt and light in this world applies to the whole of life, everything about the Christian’s life. He explains that salt and light are being used for comparison; this represents analogy. Salt is a preservative and a flavor enhancer. Light is being contrasted with darkness. Dr. Caldwell reads Matthew 5:13-16 that we might hear the rest of Jesus' words on the matter, which will help us to better understand the analogy. In doing this, Dr. Caldwell says it’s not just about our message it’s about our manner of life, our way of living. Even as Jesus speaks of others seeing our good works, he speaks of them about our lives. Others see our lives being lived out according to the Scriptures. So that in every realm and walk of life, we go about loving the Lord, submitting to and obeying the Scriptures in such a way that we are a preservative in the culture. We live our lives in such a way that we are shining the light of God in a dark place.
But is there a broader application of this? Can it apply to things like Christians being influential in the workplace and sectors of society, as in government and politics? Dr. Caldwell says it can apply to these areas, but he is trying to emphasize what Jesus says. Jesus says, you are the salt of the earth, and you are the light of the world. We don’t need to strategize how to be salt and light. Jesus says we ARE these as believers. He believes the point Jesus makes here is that we are to live like who we are. We are to live like Christians in every realm of life, whatever roles we have been placed in and entrusted with. Believers are meant to live for the glory of God and for the good of others, with the gospel in hand, yes, but with the truth of God in hand, living it out in every realm and in every decision we make. That is what it means to be salt and light.
So if we can keep in mind that we already are salt and light, we won’t go around trying to figure out how to be them. We just need to live for Christ wherever we are planted and seek to be obedient in whatever opportunities He provides. This will include conversations with others as we seek to influence people's thinking about cultural issues from a Christian worldview, how we understand political issues biblically and how we vote, how we conduct ourselves in the public arena, and more. The only thing we can do to get in the way of being this kind of influence is to not live like we are meant to. By not living as we should, we hide the light; and lose our savor. We become worthless with respect to what we are really meant to do and be in the world.
Dr. Philpot says some might think and say this is a kind of passivity approach to being salt and light in the world. He asks if there is any sort of exhortation that Dr. Caldwell would give to say this is who we are, therefore, go into the world in all these areas to be influential and effective?
Dr. Caldwell says, of course, most definitely the Lord Jesus gives the command to go into all the world with the gospel, and that’s the major influence we have if we believe that the only way for people to be transformed is through salvation. The most powerful influence we have in the world is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Beyond that, however, he says there is nothing passive about saying walk in the truth obeying the Word of God. The Christian life is not a life of passivity. It is a diligent, active, intentional kind of life, where in every realm and for every decision, we must ask, what does the Word of God require of me here? Living our lives actively directed and ordered by the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit is truly transformative. We see this in what was said about the Apostles as they preached the gospel and lived it out everywhere they went – 'these men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.' There were powerful things taking place, but none of it through some human strategy session. They were simply doing what and being who God had called them to be and do.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.
If you like our podcast we invite you to help us by spreading the word. Make sure you share this podcast with your friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, or other social media avenues. Don’t forget to subscribe to our feed through your favorite podcast player, and subscribe to our YouTube and Vimeo channel.