Christians are commanded to be “salt” – but what does that really mean?

Matthew 5:13


You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

We are to have influence in the wold around us – when people look at us, and at what we do, we are to be obviously different – not necessarily fanatical, (though some may consider us so – I have NO shame whatsoever in being called a “fanatic” for Jesus) or “in your face” about what we consider “improper”. But, in our own lives and actions – in what we stand up to, stand up for, and endorse – what we DO – we are to be obvious, holy and sincere examples of the principles taught by Jesus, His disciples, and every word contained in the Bible. We can’t pick and choose which ones we consider right, or wrong – we can only consider contexts and underlying meaning, concerning some parts in the Old and New Testament – and then, the underlying principles still must be followed, even if we’re no longer required to follow the “letter” of the law – we still must follow the “meaning” of the law. Always.

Salt is many things, but let’s look at a few things that salt has always been, historically, and in the Bible.

In the Bible:

1. A symbol of a binding covenant (Lev. 2:13)

2. A healing and cleansing aid (2 Ki. 2:20-21)

3. A stimulant to the appetite (Job 6:6)

4. A preventive of decay (Luke 14:34-35)

5. A promoter of peace (Mark 9:50)

6. A stimulant to our testimony (Mt. 5:13)

7. An evidence of grace (Col. 4:6)

In a Christian:

————————————————————- ——————————————–
Our Preserving Ability

Salt wards off rot and decay! It is rubbed into meat in an effort to preserve it.

Sodom and Gomorrah – Gen. 18:16-33. They could have been saved by the preserving influence of just 10 righteous men. So it is in America today. I am convinced that the presence and the prayers of “salty” Christians has done more to preserve this nation than anything else we could name. It is the righteousness of God’s children that made America great and it is what keeps this country from being judged today, Pro. 14:34.

————————————————————– ————
Our Penetrating Ability

Salt will penetrate and infiltrate whatever it touches. It is an aggressive substance. It dissolves easily in liquid, permeates solids.

Look at the early church! Acts 8:1 – They so upset the world, then, that the “establishment” was after their lives – that’s not “living quietly”, to me.

Acts 8:4 – After being scattered to the four winds – they still went about the very thing that caused them to be persecuted. What does that tell you, Christian reader? Hrmm?

Acts 17:6 – We’re meant to be ACTIVE. “These men who have upset the world”, it says – do you “upset the world” by attempting to be mild, non-controversial, and try your hardest to “keep from offending” people? I don’t think so. If I’m “upsetting the world”, I’m on the right track, ladies and gents.

The church should be a militant army charging the very gates of Hell. No, not militant, as in army, as in camo-wearing gun-toting militia – but we should be activists – not for some PAC – but FOR our GOD and what HE calls right, and AGAINST what He calls wrong! That’s our JOB, people.

Matt. 16:18. – Even if you reject the “militant” image – you can’t deny that we are commanded, by the previous verse, to DEFEND your Lord, when He, or His principles are attacked. There IS no option.

————————————————————- —————————————
Our Purifying Ability

Salt has remarkable cleansing ability.

2 Kings 2:19-22 – Elisha cleansed the waters at Jericho with salt.

In ancient times, newborn babies were washed in salt to cleanse their bodies and to give firmness to their skin, Eze. 16:4.

Salt in a wound can cleanse the area. Often, Christians have a purifying effect on the world around them. They ought to behave differently when the child of God walks up. Don’t be offended if they stop talking when you come around. Just thank God that you are acting as a purifying force in the world around you.

Every meat offering was to be made with salt – Lev. 2:13. So it is with our lives.

We are to offer our lives as an offering to the Lord, Rom. 12:1-2.

In that passage, we are told to be non-conformists. Did you catch that? We’re SUPPOSED to be different. SUPPOSED to be set apart (which is what the world “holy” means….), SUPPOSED to be clearly demarcated from the world around us.

When we are, it proves that we are worth our salt…

—————————————————— ————————————————————-
Our Pleasing Ability

Bringing out the best.

Salt blends and adds flavor to food. In fact, there are some foods that are better off not eaten, if there is no salt.

So too, the Christian should flavor the world around him. As salt, we are to so live our lives that we bring out the best in those around us. That is what Jesus did time and again, and that what you and I are supposed to be doing for His glory! Phil. 1:27

————————————————————- ——————————————————-
Our Poisoning Ability

Salt kills some things! Ever poured salt on a slug? Slugs and salt do not mix! Salt poured on a lawn will kill the grass. Too much salt is not good for your blood pressure.

Abimelech, in Judges 9:45, took a city and the sowed the city with salt to prevent the ground from being used to grow crops. He killed the fields with salt.

By the same token, when true Christianity is sowed into the lives, homes and communities of the world, some things will be put to death. We can make an impact on our world by the very fact that Christianity is pure poison to sin. When Jesus comes into a life, drinking, cussing, fighting, hating, killing, drugging, loose living, etcetera, are all put to death in the name of Jesus – 2 Cor. 5:17.

See, people SHOULD call us killjoys – if the “joy” in question is something God specifically calls SIN. Sure, Christians sin, too – if any Christian says he or she is perfect – they need a reality check. But, we are called – to call a spade a spade. we are called to recognize sin, and call it what it is. We are not to be deceived by “alternate” lifestyles, or “white” lies, or recognize “relative” morality – there is only ONE truth, there is only ONE way, and there is only ONE life – and all of those come directly from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

—————————————————— ——————————————————
Our Promoting Ability

Salt creates a thirst for water in those who are exposed to it…

As salt, the Christian has the wonderful opportunity to promote a thirst for Jesus in the world. Remember what the Lord told us? He said that out of our innermost being would flow rivers of living water – John 7:37-38.

When we live as Christians should live. When we take the call of Jesus seriously and live right, look right, act right, talk right, worship right, dress right, etc. Then we have the ability to create a thirst for Jesus in the hearts of those around us. When that happens, we can point men to Jesus and share with them the water of life. Sadly, most Christians do not promote thirst, but ridicule instead. Too often, we live substandard immoral lives and the world sees it and says, “Why should I receive Jesus? I live just as good as that crowd down at the church!” Fact is, they are often right! Let’s so live that we ever prove them wrong. Our lives must be above reproach if we are to create a thirst for God in the world around us!

We must never give anyone cause to say, “If that is a Christian, then I never want to be one.” Instead, our lives ought to motivate people to say, “That is what I want my life to be.”

Brendan Manning has this to say:
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world finds simply unbelievable

Is that you? Is that me? If so, we need to turn things around, and do it quickly.

—————————————————– ————————————————————–
Our Proven Ability

Salt changes nearly everything it touches – food, water, etc. We are called to be thermostats and not thermometers in the world around us. We are to be the instruments that God can use to implement change in a wicked world. When genuine, New Testament Christianity touches this sinful, wicked world, there will be change of some variety. We just need to be sure that we are changing the world and not the other way around!

The modern mentality, “We have to be like the world to win the world.” We’ll win more if we are like Jesus!


—————————————————– ————————————————————–

In Practice

————————————————————- ——————————————————–
Dangers to Avoid

Salt was a very valuable in the ancient world. So valuable, in fact, that the Roman Legions were often paid their wages in salt. This payment was called the “salarium.”

This where the expression, “Not worth his salt.” comes from.

It was possible for salt in that day to lose its flavor. The salt used then was far different from that which we see today. Our salt is a chemical compound called chloride of sodium or sodium chloride. The salt used in the ancient world was either mined from the salt cliffs along the Dead Sea, which were 7 miles long and several hundred feet high, or it was evaporated from the waters of the Dead Sea. Either way, it was always mixed with mineral or vegetable matter. When this substance was exposed to the elements or when it touched the earth, the salt lost its salty taste. Even the surface salt that was dug from the cliffs was discarded because exposure to he light rendered it tasteless. This tasteless salt also lost all the qualities that made it so valuable and sought after to begin with.

It is possible for Christians to loose their saltiness as well. This happens to us when we, just like salt in ancient times, come into too close contact with the world. When get to be more like the world than we are like the Lord, then we have lost that thing that sets us apart and makes us valuable to the Lord’s Kingdom work.

————————————————————- —————————————————
A Destiny to Abhor

In ancient times, when salt lost its savor, it was then taken out and cast into the footpaths. It was used much as gravel is in our day. Its only purpose then was to kill out the weeds that might grow in the road, and for me to walk on to keep their sandals out of the mud. Literally, it was to be trodden under the foot of men.

Every Christian reading this needs to understand that when we lose our saltiness and when we cease to function as salt in the world, then we too have become good for nothing, and while we cannot lose our salvation, we can most certainly lose our usefulness to the Lord and to His work. When this happens, we have become something to be trodden upon and treated with contempt! When we are living for the Lord, men may not like us, but there is often a certain respect for the stand we take and for the testimony that we possess. When we allow our testimony to become tainted by sin and the world, then men will walk upon our testimony and we become absolutely useless to the Lord as a vessel of witness.

I do not know about you, but I do not want to wind up being cast out as a vessel by the Lord. I would like for my life to be useful to Him. I would like for Him to be able to use my life to bring others to Himself. I really would like to be a blessing and a light for the Lord. I believe that every child of God reading this wants to be a salty Christian for the glory of God.

Paul knew that the potential always existed for him to be a castaway – 1 Cor. 9:27.

I see that potential in my life as well, and I do not want that. How about you?

———————————————————– ———————————————————-

In Conclusion

Chistians are NOT called to be “quiet” – when SIN is the issue. Christians are NOT called to be so unnoticed that noone around them could EVER tell they were Christians. If everyone you come in contact with DOESNT know what you believe – you’re doing something wrong, folks. It should be obvious – it shouldn’t be something ANYONE has to guess at – it should be as plain as the nose on your face.

I was almost inconsolable, recently, when I realized the amount of damage I was doing to any attempt on my own part to advance the cause of the gospel – when I was in sin myself, and not renouncing it. My “mission” recently, so to speak, has been to make absolutely no bones, whatsoever, as to what I believe. Especially on the internet. I spend the bulk of my free time on the ‘net, and it’s simply ludicrous for me NOT to be an “ambassador” for Him – while I do “my thing” online. Oh, it takes a LOT more time – but I’ve been amazingly changed by the experience. Not only do I feel exonentially more fulfillment, in everything I do – as long as i do it for the glory of God, I don’t feel “guilty” about the time i spend on the net, anymore – because I have no compunctions about dropping whatever i’m doing and defending my faith – not aymore.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel – for it is the power of God, to salvation, for anyone who believes”

Don’t be ashamed, and PRAY that noone has to guess who you are. If it’s not obvious – are you “in the world”, or “in Christ”?

Quite possibly one of the most important questions you’ll ever ask yourself.