Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 5:16

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives lights to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Who is this command to?

Spoken in the Sermon on the Mount to a vast multitude, but it seems that the context of the verses shows that Jesus command here is directed specifically to those who believe in Him.

What does this command require?

This command requires that we allow our good works to be seen so that the Father may be glorified.

What truths do we learn through this command?

We learn that each believer is light to the world. Each believer shines light to their neighbors through doing good works for God. In essence, the world sees God through us. This truth is foundational to Christianity. Think about what would happen if believers merely congregated in church buildings once a week for worship and forsook showing their lives in the secular world (sounds a lot like Christianity today, eh?). The church would become a monastery and each believer would become nothing more than a monk, separated from the world. Christianity would be contained within the walls of the church, unable to spread in the world as Christ intended. Jesus commands here that we are to be out there in the world, shining the light of heaven in this dark and barren world.

Your testimony in the world is of great value to God. It is a key tool in the hands of God to reach the lost. People can see God through your life. This is a great motivator to do good works, not for self-benefit, but for God. Your good works are important. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that your were created for good works. So don't hide in a corner alone or huddle with a group of believers inside a building. Get out there and shine your light so that men may see your good works and glorify God the Father in heaven.

What are the consequences for disobeying this command?

Separatist religion; no witness to the world; others cannot glorify the Father; disobedience to what you were created for (Ephesians 2:10);

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