In Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Douthwaite made an important grammatical point. You know in Matthew 5 where Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth” and “you are the light of the world”? The verb is an indicative:
It’s not an imperative, a command. Jesus is not saying you have to, must be, or should be this – it is what you ARE.
It is what your Saviour has worked in you and made you by His grace.The challenge is to BE who you ARE. To live as a spiritual being and not just an animal who lives and eats and procreates. To live in the image of God and not try to be the image of others in the world – sports stars or celebrities or others we think successful. To live as one redeemed by Christ the crucified. That is a challenge because satan is constantly tempting you to BE something else, something less than you are, and making that less look like more.
But do not be fooled. You are more than all that. You are a child of God who has been illuminated in Holy Baptism. You are a child of God who has been salted by the Holy Spirit. That is who you ARE.And so you are that which salts the earth.You are that which gives light to the world.That is your identity – and, your calling. It is part and parcel of your life in Christ. No one else has this calling. Only children of God in Christ Jesus.
And so enlightened by Him, Jesus says, BE who you ARE. Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
These words of Jesus today reveal that God has vested you with an incredible honor and purpose in life. That your life is not pointless or useless. That to be a child of God is not like standing on the corner waiting for the bus to heaven, but to be living, breathing Gospel.
How do we salt the earth? How are we already serving and having an influence by “being” rather than “doing”? Similarly, Christians often talk about winning the world for Christ and that sort of thing. But if He is Lord, isn’t He already reigning over the world?