Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. ~ Matthew 5:13
We are reading from our LORD’S Manifesto of the Kingdom of Heaven, in which He is teaching His disciples, -those who, by faith, were committed to Him, -those who believed on His name.
This Manifesto, this Sermon on the Mount, is the LORD’S message to all who, by faith, claim a relationship of grace to the LORD and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST. “Ye,” the LORD said, “are the salt of the earth.”
Among all of the gifts the LORD has given to His own is the new relationship in this present life. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Because all born-again ones belong altogether to the LORD, they have a significant place to fill in this world.
Salt is a commonplace necessity in all our lives. What would we do without salt? Here the LORD JESUS makes salt a symbol of God’s children in this present life. What salt is to natural things, so is the Christian to spiritual things.
Were it not for God-fearing men and women in any state, in any country, in any town, in any home, it would morally rot because of sin!
Salt is the strong, pungent antagonist of all manner of material corruption, and the LORD is saying to His own, to those who truly believe on His name, “You are the custodians of moral health, the enemies of moral disease.” Wherever anything in the life of this earth tends to become rancid, there is the real need of the LORD’S salt.
What sort of rottenness threatens this earth’s life? Need anyone ask? Human society without the influence of CHRIST’S presence and the change He makes, is a smelly, dead thing. For when the decadent influences of the natural man touch any of the vital, lovely things of this earth, rottenness sets in.
The question is, how is the evil influence to be met and resisted? The sons and daughters of the kingdom of heaven are to be healthy enough, and pungent enough to encounter the evil and to stay it in the same way salt stays rottenness.
The evil in politics is to be confronted; the evil in the world of merchandise is to be met with truth. Christian salt is to be the positive influence of the community and of the national and the international scene; everywhere Christian salt is to provide the sweetening and healing and cleansing influence without which the very essence of decency would be swept away.
There is another quality to salt that is also representative of the Christian. Salt is a wonderful additive for bringing out flavor in food. Many things would be insipid were in not for salt. The Bible asks, “Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?” (Job 6:6)
In many foods a pinch of salt brings about a transformation. Well, that is one of the qualities of a Christian life. Think of the dullness that overloads the daily routine. Think of the tastelessness of a selfish life! “For all is changed when JESUS comes to stay.” [ “Then Jesus Came”, Oswald Jeffrey Smith ]
Our LORD added a final word on this subject: “But if salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?” Another scripture makes the application: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Colossians 4:6) Salt and grace! What a union! And, how meaningful this union is! You child of God, in your home in your neighborhood, in your city, in your state, are the salt of the earth. Our LORD saith to His own, “… Have salt in yourselves, …” (from Mark 9:50)
by Dr. R. B. Keyes
Adapted from the transcripts written and read by Dr. R. B. Keyes on a radio program called “Morning Chapel” (http://morningchapel.org/)