|"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men." Matthew 5:13 (Amp)|
|"Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned (as it were) with salt." Colossians 4:2-6 (Amp)|
A Peanut's cartoon showed Peppermint Patty talking to
Charlie Brown. She said, "Guess what Chuck? The first day of school and
I got sent to the principal's office. It's your fault, Chuck."
"My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?"
She says, "You're my friend aren't you, Chuck? You should have had better influence."
Even though Peppermint Patty was making excuses and passing the buck, she did have a point. We should have good influence wherever we are. We have influence in one way or another whether the influence be positive or negative. Each day we live we are being influenced by our environment and we are always being an influence for good or for bad.
Christ is teaching His disciples the principles that His Kingdom Citizens must have in order to be an influence that helps to change their surroundings and circumstances of the society in which they live. Salt, in the ancient world of Jesus, was a highly valuable substance. In fact, the Romans would use salt for wages. To the Hebrew, salt was far more indispensable. It was used for an antidote to the effects of the heat of the climate on animal food. Salt symbolized hospitality, durability and purity. To eat the salt of the king was to owe him the utmost fidelity. If salt and bread were eaten together it was an unbreakable league of friendship. So when Jesus explains to these uneducated, insignificant men that they were the salt of the earth, don't you know their ears perked up? Whoa! what a fantastic value!
In our present world salt is still highly valuable. Common salt is as essential to life as much as air and water. Plants could not survive without the soaking up of the salt from the soil. All animals, including man, would die of dehydration without ingesting small amounts of salt.
We are told that salt is used in some 14,000 industrial processes and is essential to the manufacture of nearly every chemical product on the market. Salt is second only to diamond as the hardest mineral known on this planet.
Is it any wonder that Christ made a comparison of our influence in society as salt? What a value! When Christ teaches, "ye are the salt of the earth" He is placing on each Kingdom Children a value extraordinaire!.
Salt as a Preservative
Salt is potent. Jesus was not discouraged because the disciples were at this time few in number. He knew that a very small quantity of salt is powerful. Like so, a few genuine Christians are always powerful out of proportion to their number. By close contact with a decaying world a small amount of genuine Christians exhibiting potent salt in their Christian life can influence men and women for positive effectiveness.
Christians are the preserving influence that retards moral and spiritual spoilage in the world. When Christians are taken out of this world all hell breaks loose. Potent Christianity, like potent salt, cause changes in a society. Salt is rubbed into dead meat to preserve the meat. A Christian's life is a rubbing influence on a dead decaying world to induce positive changes which will in the end have bring life. An effective Christian influence will bring positive changes to any environment.
(1) Crime- With strong Christian family
values crime is retarded.
(2) Civil Punishment -Because of belief in the Mosaic laws, Christians have salted society's views concerning punishment for crimes.
(3) Care of the sick and cure for disease. Where Christianity flourishes there is less sickness and disease because most hospitals and care institutions were started by compassionate Christians.
(4) Education - Most Universities and schools were birthed from the heart of Christians.
The list goes on. Today, secular society wants to destroy the foundations that began these preservatives that have influenced our world. Whenever the Christian Church has occupied itself in the world through missionary efforts, that society has been changed with preservative measures.
Salt enhances taste
Another common function of salt is an enhancement to the taste of foods. Eye appeal and nutritious values are not enough to make food appealing. Without flavor a person could very well gag on the first bite. Jesus meant for Christians not only to preserve the decaying world, but also to flavor and enliven their environment so as to cause a desire to "taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalms 34:8-10 states "O taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him! O fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."
We as Christians develop a taste for the Lord and His Word. In being the "salt of the earth" we bring others to the Lord and cause their desires to change from ungodly untasteful ways to ways that please the Lord. Hebrews 6:4-5 depicts emphasis on the word taste.
"For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have TASTED the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have TASTED the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the age to come."
In taste, salt does its work by being consumed or blended into the food If salt remained on top of the meat or food and did not blend, then it would exert no influence to that particular food. To have an effect on the flavor, the salt must be mixed or blended. The salt must expend itself. For effectiveness the salt must most of the time be rubbed in. Thus, Christians must be willing to give out and expend themselves beyond the walls of the church if they are to flavor the world. In other words, come out of the salt shaker, expend some energy for Christ and refuse to be passive. Pour and rub the salt into this decadent society.
|"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations..." Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)|
|"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." Mark 10:16 (KJV)|
Salt creates a thirst
Kingdom citizens that are living the Kingdom life style will cause people to want to drink the Living Waters of Christ.
A preacher once said, "You can lead a
horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
A Farmer replied, " But---you can put salt in his mouth and make him thirsty."
A sincere genuine Christian will cause a thirst to develop in non-Christians. The non-Christian will observe the joy in the midst of tribulation -- a peace in the midst of calamities - a presence that emanates tranquility. Their conversation will be "always with grace and seasoned with salt...." Our Christian testimony will be backed up by our conversation wherever we are, at home, at work or at play.
When asked what attracted her to Jesus Christ, an affluent young woman replied, "When I observed how my Christian friend had such a peace when her father was suddenly taken from her. I knew that I wanted what she possessed." She became thirsty for the Living Waters and she began to drink.
|"I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts." Revelation 21: 6 (KJV)|
|"If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." John 7:37 (KJV)|
There can be many analogies contributed to "ye
are the salt of the earth." I have named just a few common ones. We are
a preservative to a decaying world and our testimony should be enticing others
to taste and to drink of Jesus Christ. Each one of us has an important
significance wherever we are. Let us be "worth our salt."
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