The “Sermon on the Mount” found in the Gospel According to MATTHEW is our LORD’S teaching His own disciples how God wants them to live their lives in this world.
He said: “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 5:14-16)
Light is needed where there is darkness. Christians “… shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; …” (Philippians 2:15b-16a) Christians are those who are to “… walk as children of light:” (Ephesians 5:8b) Christians are to “… have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
What does light do? Light illuminates. Light shows up things the way they are. When you turn on the lights in the house, you can see things just the way they are. Even so, a life that has been made right by the gospel of CHRIST is an illuminator to those of the world “… that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, …” (Luke 1:79b)
When our LORD ascended to the throne as the reigning LORD, He gave His people the responsibility of being lights in the world. Our world cannot behold the LORD JESUS CHRIST, but it can behold His people.
The LORD is the light of the Christian’s life; every one who follows the LORD JESUS, is walking “… in the light as he is in the light, …” and is having fellowship with the Father of lights and with the Son of God. (from 1 John 1:7)
We are the reflectors of His light. God hath shined into our hearts, giving us “… the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6b)
The nature and property of light is to illuminate. Our LORD in His instruction is saying to be what you are. Do not, by wrong living, apathetic behavior, or selfish, reclusive conduct, hide your light under a carnal obstruction.
“Let your light so shine …”. God has freely bestowed His grace in your life, He has justified you by His grace, the Holy Spirit lives within you, you have open communication with the throne of Grace; and the commandment of your LORD is to let your light so shine that men may see your good works, the works which God has called you into His service to be doing; therefore you are to let your light so shine that men and women, seeing your good works, are influenced thereby to glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The Christian’s light is to so promote the gospel, which is “… the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth …” (Romans 1:16), that those who are sitting in darkness may see the LIGHT and themselves become believers in JESUS CHRIST the LORD.
There are many barriers that are obstructions to the light of the gospel of CHRIST. False humility is one, indolence is another. The fear of man and worldliness are dark covers which must be torn down by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit of God.
Charity, holy diligence, godly courage, and willing obedience to the will of God are the things that make good light holders.
We Christians are citizens of the kingdom of heaven, and we are to live and serve and love as those who have been “… delivered … from the power of darkness, “ and have been “… translated … into the kingdom of [God’s] dear Son:” (from Colossians 1:13) For this is your life!
by Dr. R. B. Keyes
Adapted from the transcripts written and read by Dr. R. B. Keyes on a radio program called “Morning Chapel” (http://morningchapel.org/)