Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.Matthew 5:13-16
One of the most striking things I see in this passage is that Jesus is not telling God’s people to go get salty or become a shining light. Jesus does not tell us to climb up on a hill so everyone can see us. He says they already are salt and light. The city is set on a hill already.
The elect are given these new characteristics in the new birth so that they can now fulfill the purpose of their existence which is to glorify God!
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:8-10
We are not born again because we have done good works. We are born again so that we can do good works. Our new creation in Christ gives us the inward motivation to outwardly glorify God. And we should be doing it.
This is the same admonition that Jesus is giving. Jesus says that if we are not glorifying God with our lives, it is not God’s fault. It is not because we don’t have the desire or ability. It is because we chose to become unsavory salt, to hide our light, or come down off the hill.
We should not quench the spirit. We should let our light shine!
When a dog goes to the door and wants to go outside, we have the choice to either let him go out or keep him inside. And so it is with our duty to glorify God. We have the choice to let the light shine that God gave us or to unthankfully hide the gift of God in unrighteousness.
It is a choice, but it is one with huge consequences. It will not determine our eternal destiny, that is grounded in the grace of God. But it will determine whether God receives the glory He justly deserves here in this created world.
Fellow child of the King, if we do not give God the glory, who will?