This is an easy-to-understand Bible study in the "What is a Christian?" series.

3 pages.

Bible Study 8: To be a Christian is to be a Light

8.1 Key themes🔗

  • The world is full of moral and spiritual darkness.
  • Christians are called to be different from the world.
  • Together, Christians are the light of the world.
  • Christians should glorify God through good works.

8.2 Matthew 5:1-16🔗

5:1 When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. After he sat down his disciples came to him.

5:2 Then he began to teach them by saying:

5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.

5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me.

5:12 Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.

5:13 You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.

5:14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden.

5:15 People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.

© NET Bible

8.3 The world is a dark place🔗

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the light of the world.” These words show us that the world is a dark place. In Lesson 7 we said that the darkness of this world is an enemy that we must fight against. But what do we mean, when we speak of “the darkness of this world”?

Firstly, there is moral darkness in this world. Instead of doing God’s will, people do evil. We see moral darkness everywhere around us: corruption, murder, abuse, love of money, sexual sins, and the list goes on. These things anger God. They also destroy the lives of people.

But there is also spiritual darkness in this world. Satan has blinded people for the truth of God. Instead of believing God’s Word, millions of people follow false gods and false religions. Like people walking in the dark, these people cannot see where they are going.

Sadly, many people in Christian churches are also in darkness. They think they are Christians, but they are not. They may try to live good lives, but they do not trust in Jesus Christ. These people are still in darkness.

Christians are people who were saved by God from darkness. In Titus 3:3-6 we read:

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures... But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

As a Christian, you are called to be different from this world. You should always remember this. If you become like this world again, your light will be hidden (verses 14-15). But if you live through the Holy Spirit, your light will shine before everyone.

8.4 Light together🔗

When Jesus said “You are the light of the world”, he was not speaking to one person only. He was speaking to all of his disciples who came to listen to him (verse 1). As a Christian, you are not a light of the world on your own. You are a light together with other Christians.

A Christian is part of God’s church. It is God’s church which is “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”.  As a Christian, you are not standing on your own. You belong to the family of God.

The disciples of Jesus were very different from each other. For example, there were James and John, the brothers who used to be fishermen. There was Matthew, who used to be a rich thief. There was Peter, who was often afraid (even though he loved Jesus).

The church is full of different kinds of people. That is how God wants it to be. He has a place for every type of person! He wants to use everyone together, to be a light for the world.

8.5 How to be light🔗

Jesus said to his disciples: “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Christians should live in such a way that other people will come to God! Their lives should be beautiful.

How can we as Christians live in this way? In verses 3 to 12, Jesus tells us how:

  • Be humble (verse 3).
  • Be sad about your sin and about the darkness in this world (verse 4).
  • Be patient and willing to learn (this is what the word “meek” means in verse 5).
  • Be hungry for God’s will to be done (verse 6).
  • Give help to people who need help (that is what “merciful” means in verse 7).
  • Honour God in everything you do (that is what “pure in heart” means in verse 8).
  • Try to make peace where there is conflict (verse 9).
  • Be ready to suffer for Jesus Christ (verses 10 – 12).

When Christians live like this, their lives will be truly beautiful. Then their light will shine in this world, and many more people will be saved from darkness.

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