“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." (Matthew 5:13, ESV)
Salt – what a powerful substance! This simple substance has the power to season - bringing flavor to food, to preserve – preventing decay, and to disinfect or purify… Salt will completely permeate and transform the substance into which it is introduced. You know that adding a little dash can change the taste of an entire dish!
Today’s memory verse is part of a larger passage known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” As Jesus is teaching his disciples, He has just told them to rejoice and be glad when they are reviled and persecuted, and now he tells them they are the salt of the earth. This command to them, is that they be people who even in the face of opposition, are sent out to have a purifying effect on the society around them. John Stott writes, “The world is like rotting meat, but you are to be the world’s salt. Like salt in putrefying meat, Christians are to hinder social decay.” We, as followers of Christ, have a responsibility and an opportunity to go into the world and live differently (John 17:14, 16), to stand for what is just, honorable, and lovely; to speak the Truth in love (Col. 4:6), and to push back against the sin around us, as we faithfully live out and share the Gospel… And to expect that some won’t like us because of it.
In the ancient world, salt was often gathered from a marsh and contained many impurities. As the actual salt was leached out, what was left behind was very diluted, “losing its saltiness” – it was then scattered on the roadways and on the flat rooftop patios to help harden the surface. We don’t want to lose our saltiness, by allowing the impurities of worldliness to influence our lives. Each of us must remain faithful in the study of God’s Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with fellow Christ-followers. Yielding to the Holy Spirit’s leading, learning the Word and growing in Christlikeness purifies our lives – removing the impurities of sin. As we go into the world, to whom we have been sent (John 17:18), everyone around us should be able to know we have experienced the salt that preserves…Christ should be the flavor of our actions, attitudes, and conversations. R.C. Sproul writes, “The church must have a preserving effect on society and by its influence prevent the world from rushing headlong toward ungodliness.”
Just as salt must be applied and rubbed into meat in order to preserve it, we must go to the lost world with the Gospel – As our PRBC mission statement reminds us: purify the church, and penetrate the culture! To whom is Christ leading you to ‘rub shoulders’ and apply some soul preserving salt this week?