-THE SALT OF THE EARTH-
Mark 9:50 "Salt is good, but if it
loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves,
and be at peace with each other."
Matthew 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Salt typifies that which preserves, purifies and seasons. In Eastern lands, salt represents a pledge of loyalty, friendship and faithfulness to a promise. To 'eat salt with a person '(a meal) is to share hospitality.
Salt has many uses, a distinct flavour, a cleansing irritant, a preservative. Without salt human life cannot be sustained. Salt is a necessary part of the daily diet.
Salt is good for nothing once it has lost its flavour. Pure salt maintains its flavour, but when salt is contaminated and mixed with other ingredients, it becomes useless. Adulterated salt was used only for coating pavements as gravel is today.
Salt is an emblem of the covenant between God and His people. It was intended to remind the people that the covenant was a solemn treaty to be kept unbroken. Pure salt was always used in sacrifices to God, Leviticus 2:13, and people began to see the connection between salt and covenant making.
Salt is good. Allegiance to Jesus and The Truth is typified by salt. Christians are the salt of the earth. God expects believers to exert a healthy, purifying influence, fulfilling their discipleship by being a blessing to others. As preservatives in a decaying order and as seasoners in a tasteless society, believers are to maintain their usefulness through life.
Salt is the distinctive mark of committed discipleship. Jesus disciples are to be to the world what salt is in everyday life, salt seasons food, it hinders the spread of corruption, it creates thirst, it brings out the flavour. Christ's followers are to add to human society, serve as a preservative and hopefully others will long the righteousness of God because of them.
Only disciples of Christ are The Salt of the earth. Disciples, as the Salt of the earth, are not part of sinful humanity that is corrupt, but have the power that breaks corruption in their lives. Believers promote a thirst for salvation and live the redeemed life, a costly sacrifice and service, sharing Jesus with the World.
Members belonging to The Kingdom are witnesses to the Truth of Christ through personal example and manifest a salted life because of His testimony and actions.
The results of a Christian's potential is in their difference from that of the world, just as salt is different from that into which it is placed. Salt also acts to preserve, and the Kingdom Citizen must be and act to preserve the world from corruption and to help it from condemnation.
An everlasting covenant is a Covenant of Salt (Numbers 18:19). Believers, in presenting their bodies as a living sacrifice to God should season the sacrifice with Salt by making it an irrevocable commitment. "And every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt". Leviticus 2:13, Numbers 18:19, 2 Chronicles 13:5. Offerings to the Lord are to be an everlasting Covenant of Salt before God.
The believer's life is as a sacrifice to God, flavoured and preserved with salt, offered with a pledge of unalterable devotedness. Every sacrifice was salted with salt because it was for God's table.
Salt spreads and flavours a great amount, it is penetrating, so are believers to savour the knowledge of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14).
The task is to evangelise, making others disciples and becoming Salt in the earth. A believer's life is intended to be a living testimony, a representation against sin and corruption, to avoid anger and hatred, have right relationships with God and others, to live out commitments.
Have salt in yourselves. The aim, however is not the disciple's own virtue but to direct attention to God who has 'salted' them.
The stress of having salt in ones life is on character rather than works, on being than doing, for salt functions in virtue of what it is, not what is does.
A disciple with salt is not in a state of spiritual decay or moral dishonesty, but expresses obedience towards God.
A Christian with salt is to be a power for God in the world, and representation of Jesus, and have beneficial influence for His glory.
The great function of a disciple is to be the salt of the earth by living out the terms of discipleship. If the believer fails to exhibit the fruits of The Holy Spirit and the characteristics listed by Christ in the Beatitudes, humankind will tread their personal testimony under their feet, having contempt for the undedicated believer.
Believers should not tolerate anything in their believers lives that might lesson their effectiveness, including their conversation which is to be seasoned with salt, a Christian's speech is to be wholesome. Colossians 4:6.
The characteristics of the Beatitudes being moral and ethical, including a challenge to obedience and integrity.
Disciples of Christ are not disobedient, nor deny His Truth, do not mock justice nor take bribes, do not seek bad company or talk carelessly, but they depend upon God, repent, are humble and hunger after righteousness, are merciful, have right attitudes and motives, are peacemakers by reconciling others to God and each other. They will not suffer the horrors of eternal hell.
Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, readiness to forgive, righteousness, hopeful, wisdom is produced by The Holy Spirit living in Believers. Christlike qualities are contrasted with those that are of unethical, foolish, unintelligible, selfish and sinful.
Salt effects its environment by being distinctive. The disciple who is different from the corruption of the world, will have an effect on those who are in it.
But if the salt looses its flavour, how will you season it? Salt without saltiness is valueless. A Christian who does not carry out the duties of a true disciple of Christ, is barren and ineffective. Unless there is a constant self- judgement, children of God fail to achieve the purpose for which God mercifully saved them.
Christians are to be the moral maintainers of the world, this they cannot do if they have lost their distinctiveness and have the corroding properties of salt.
If the believer goes back on their commitment or fails to deal with worldly desires then their lives will be savourless, worthless, pointless and would not be able to maintain peaceful and loving relationships with other deeply committed disciples.
Jesus cautioned disciples against loosing that which they had received from Him. Believers are to have salt in themselves, to love their neighbours and to serve them.
A Christian without Christ is savourless salt. A person without The Grace of God is flavourless.
Many believers become salt without savour and loose their influence in the world. Christians are not to compromise by blending in with the world. As seasoning brings out the best in food, so should Christians be able to effect the world.
Salted Christians are to live the Truth of Christ as well as proclaiming it so that others will come to know Him. If Christians loose the desire to help salt the earth with God's message they become useless. Life-giving salt of sanctified service for the world in Christ's Name can be lost by pride and hypocrisy.
Salt only in name is useless, and if the very thing designed to bring flavour to others substances is itself flavourless, how can its flavour be restored? How can God be honoured?
Salt is an image of wisdom, therefore as savourless, disciples have become foolish and do not influence those trapped or caught up in the worldly system nor be a preservative of morality amongst others.
Thrown out is the judgement on savourless salt. Trodden under foot can be seen as part of this judgement.
Disciples who have impure salt are void of true spiritual life. What they say and do offend God and wound the consciences of other believers.
Everyone is impure. The nature of man, being corrupt, must be salted to be presented as living sacrifices to God. Being sanctified by The Holy Spirit makes a believer acceptable, pure, as being salted before God.
Be at peace with each other. Peace is recognised in one another by common commitment to the Truth of Christ. A Christian is a maker and maintainer of peace. Salt that is kept pure in Christians stops the spread of evil.
Salt serves mainly to give flavour. Disciples if true to their calling, do make the earth a more desirable place, but they can only be and do this as long as they keep their distinctive character.
Believers should be prepared for total
commitment to be of use and service
for The Knowledge of Christ to permeate throughout the world.
|SCRIPTURES Matthew 5:13, Mark 9:50.
QUESTIONS 1] Why are disciples likened to salt? 2] What does salt typify? 3] What does pure salt prevent? 4] Of what value is savourless salt?
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