Summary: In conjunction with being the Light of the World - (1) There is a Call to be Answered. (2) There is a Testimony to be Shared (3) Three is a Choice to Be Made and (4) There is a Purpose To be Considered.
“Called To Be the Light of the World”
This morning we started our two-part series on believer’s being the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World. This morning we dealt with believers being “Called To Be the Salt of the Earth” and now this evening we want to turn our attention to believers being “Called to be The Light of the World.”
Turn your attention back if you will to Matthew 5:14 where we read, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Remember literally Jesus has told his disciples “You and you alone are the light of the world.” But as we noted earlier the truth is that the influence of the church is not being felt in our society the way that it should be. It has been reported that as high as 25% of the population claims to be born again, yet based on the impact we are having this can not be true.
Perhaps part of the problem is that we have been lead to believe that our religious faith is a purely personal thing; that is that we should keep it to ourselves. While I agree that our faith is personal in that it requires a personal decision on our part, as to whether or not we are going to believe in Jesus, Jesus taught that we are not to keep it to ourselves. The words “let your light so shine” (v.16) are the translation of a single Greek verb (lampsato) which is an imperative, meaning that it is a command. I want to note four things about being “Called to be the Light of the World.”
First, There Is A Call To Answer
As we consider “the light” we need to note that we have a four-fold call or responsibility to the light. First, there is the call to come to the light. Jesus was and is the source of light. John 3:19-20 says, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (21) But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Secondly, we are called to receive the light. It is not enough to merely be exposed to the light, we have a choice to respond to the light. We can either come to the light or reject the light. In John 1:12 we read “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
Third, once we have received the light then we are called to walk in the light. Paul reminds believers in Ephesians 5:8, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” We were once darkness, but now we are light in the world. How are we to live then? We are to live as children of the light. John speaks to the same problem when he says in 1 John 1:5-7, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (7) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Fourth, we are called to reflect the light. That of course is the central message of Matthew 14-16.
In John 9:5 Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” But when Jesus returned to Heaven he left Christians with the responsibility to be the light. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 2: 14-16, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, (15) that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (16) holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (NKJV)