Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Stay Salty

Tuesday, July 6, 201

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  Matthew 5:13

Stay Salty
In our contemporary society, we may miss the real value of salt. Many ancient societies understood the value of salt far better than we. The Romans believed, for instance, that there was nothing as valuable as salt, except for the sun. Many Roman soldiers received their pay in salt. Some have said that it was from this practice that the phrase "not worth his salt" originated. 

Those listening to Jesus as He preached would have understood salt of the earth to be a valuable commodity indeed. They may not have understood the fullness of what He meant, but they would have understood clearly that to be the salt of the earth was to be something very special and valuable. 
There have been many theories offered as to the exact meaning Jesus intended to associate with this symbol. Some have said since salt is white it represents purity. And Christians certainly ought to be pure. Others have said that since salt adds flavor, Christians should add flavor to the world. Certainly Christians should not be boring, as so many of them are. Oliver Wendal Holmes is reported to have said that he might have entered into the ministry if certain ministers he knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers. Still others have said that since salt stings in a wound, Christians should prick the conscience of the world and be an irritant to ungodly behavior. Again, some have said that since salt creates thirst, Christians should create a thirst for God in those who do not know Him.

While all these ideas have merit, I believe that the primary idea Jesus intended to communicate was that Christians, like salt, are to be a preserving influence on society. You see, the issue was the saltiness of salt. When salt losses its saltiness, or its potency, it is good for nothing anymore.

Christians are to be a preserving influence to retard moral and spiritual spoilage in the world. In the book of Revelation, we see that when the Christians are taken out of the world, all Hell literally breaks loose. The presence of Christians serves to retard and restrain evil. Like salt had a preserving effect on meat, so Christians have a preserving effect in this world.

When Christians get right with God and begin to express their Christianity through their lifestyle, the society cannot help but be changed. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes, "Most competent historians are agreed in saying that what undoubtedly saved [England] from a revolution such as that experienced in France at the end of the eighteenth century was nothing but the Evangelical Revival. This was not because anything was done directly, but because masses of individuals had become Christians and were living this better life and had this higher outlook. The whole political situation was affected, and the great Acts of Parliament which were passed in the last century were mostly due to the fact that there were such large numbers of Christians found in the land."

Contrary to popular opinion, the world is not evolving into a higher moral level. While we have certainly made many technological advances to make the routine of life more interesting and less burdensome, we are still beset by the same moral decay that has characterized humanity since the Fall of Adam and Eve. The genocide and mass killings in Africa and the Middle East show we are still faced with the same evil in men.  It has always been this way.

Yet God has brought revival and renewal to humankind in order to preserve this world until He comes. He will continue to do so until the Day of Christ. He desires to bring it to you so that you can be the salt of the earth. What difference do you make? Have you lost your saltiness?

Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.  Mark 9:50

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