- Salt – speaks of the preserving influence of a righteous life. Up until the 20th century and before the invention of refrigeration, salt was used as a preservative. It was useful in preserving the quality of stored food. In a similar way, the life and testimony (Col. 4:6) of believers in this world, ordering their lives consistent with God’s nature, is a moral preserver in the world (2 Thess. 2:7).
- Light – speaks of the incessant outflow of grace. While salt has its effect by staying true to what is inward, light has its effect by shining outward to provide illumination. The character of God revealed in Christ is to be reflected to the world around. This is done primarily through good works.
Light is shown in scripture to acts in two ways. Negatively, the light exposes man’s true condition (John 1:9; 3:20-21). This is what is meant in John 1:9, that He (the Son), "coming into the world, lightens" or illuminates "every man". His life of perfect righteousness and grace here is this world exposed the evil hearts of men. This is pictured in John 8, where Jesus declared "I am the light of the world", after He exposed the true moral state of the Jewish leaders who brought to Him the woman taken in adultery. But the light acts in another way too. Positively, the light gives us the knowledge of God’s character revealed in the Person of the Son (John 1:5; 2 Cor. 4:6). This is pictured in John 9, where Jesus again declared "I am the light of the world", and proceeded to open a man's physical and spiritual eyesight. It is a type of spiritual illumination through new birth. Unless a man is born again (John 3:5), he cannot see the kingdom of God. In that sense, the Divine life in Christ was "the light of men" (John 1:5).Our light will have this same dual effect on this world. Read more…