MATTHEW 5:13 – 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 trampled under people’s feet.
In the process of spiritual growth, it is vital we understand the order. Yes, there is an order. And the order must be followed in the churches we attend, the preaching we hear, the teaching we receive, the books we read, and the Christians we associate with for fellowship and study. Be careful to avoid being influenced by any of those means of spiritual growth if they have these three characteristics. First, the focus is on ourselves. We don’t find the scripture drawing attention to ourselves except when it comes to examining ourselves and denying ourselves. Christianity is never about us but about Christ– exclusively. A second thing to avoid is anything claiming to be Christian where the Bible is not central and does not occupy the majority of the time when we are gathered together for worship and ministry. The preaching of the Bible is not another element in a worship service or “add on” in any Christian practice. It is the main thing to be kept as the main thing. A third thing to avoid if we want to be Biblical Christians is don’t be in a place where the chief emphasis is first on do, do, do the Christian life before understanding the be, be, be of the Christian life. Identity always comes before activity and get identity right, activity naturally flows. And that leads to what we see in today’s scripture.
As we read the Sermon on the Mount, the greatest sermon ever preached by the greatest Preacher ever to preach, the Lord Jesus, look at the emphasis our Lord places upon “being” first, then “doing.” The opening of Matthew 5 is the “BE-attitudes. ”Then, we go straight from them to the scripture of today – “You are the salt of the earth.” Again, a “being statement” of fact and identity that leads to proper Christian living; Christian living as salt.
What kind of salt are we? We are familiar with what literal salt will do. It preserves. It irritates (get salt in a cut).It also flavors. One short comment about the irritation of salt in a spiritual and cultural context. Our walks with Christ should “irritate” the world of unbelievers around us, but that doesn’t mean we are irritants by our prideful arrogance. No, it is Christ in us and flowing from us, not our self-righteousness that easily masquerades as “righteous salt of indignation” against sins of the culture and people. However, there is another quality of salt, spiritually speaking, we need to think on in our own lives. It is defined well in the following short story which is a good ending to the nugget of the day.
At a meeting some young people were discussing the text, “You are the salt of the earth.” One suggestion after another was made as to the meaning of “salt” in this verse. “Salt imparts a desirable flavor,” said one. “Salt preserves from decay,” another suggested. Then a Chinese Christian girl spoke out of an experience none of the others had. “Salt creates thirst,” she said, and there was a sudden hush in the room. Everyone was thinking: Have I ever made anyone thirsty for the Lord Jesus Christ?
PRAYER: “Father, help me be salt in the world; a preservative of righteousness, an irritant to sin, and attractor to Jesus.”
QUOTE: “Make sure as salt representatives of Jesus, we live lives so much like Him it creates a thirst in others for Him.”
Because of Him,