Salt is a mineral that can be used in multiple ways. For example, most who desire added flavor to their food will usually add salt within or on the content of what they are consuming. Salt in its most basic purpose can be used to add to something which acts as an enhancement. Whether it be to add salt to french fries, soup, or any sort of fish or poultry, salt is designed to incorporate an added touch to what would otherwise be bland in taste. As it regards food, salt can also be used as a preservative which slows the process of spoiling. However, salt does not just exist for the purpose of added flavor or preservation – it can also be used for medicinal purposes.
For centuries, salt has been used to cleanse or purify any wounds sustained by an injury. When salt comes into contact with an open wound, it acts as a sanitizing agent which will eventually bring healing to the wound. Though the initial contact will produce pain, the reward will be that of a wound that will not only heal but infection becomes less likely to occur. Even before the modern age of technology in conjunction with medicine, salt was and continues to be a simple form of medication. Just as salt is meant to add flavor in addition to being a healing agent, the Bible makes it clear that every Christian is, “The salt of the Earth.” What does this phrase mean?
The first part of Matthew 5:13 says, “You are the salt of the Earth.” In that scripture, Jesus was speaking to those who are Christ followers or those who have chosen to align themselves with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus says that all Christians are the salt of the Earth. Metaphorically speaking, Jesus was saying that we who are truly called and are followers of Christ are the additives or the changing agents in this broken and sin filled world. All Christians are meant to make a visible and lasting difference in the world we live in.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 says, “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” This means, that we who are Christians are to be different from the world. The whole point of being a Christian or a Christ follower is to be separated from the world because we are called out of darkness. To be the salt of the earth, it means that the life of every Christian is to affect and infect the world with the light and love of Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul said in the scripture above, we who are Christians are children of the light and children of the day. There should be a delineation between those in Christ, and those in the world. If there isn’t a visible difference between the two sides, then here is what will happen:
The rest of Matthew 5:13 says, “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Jesus is saying (metaphorically) that if the salt loses its saltiness, then it is rendered ineffective. This can be applied to the life of every believer. If Christians are no longer living as “the salt of the Earth” but rather aligning with the ways of this world, then we as a body of believers are no longer effective.
How many times have you witnessed or heard of corruption within church structures? Pastors that have swindled the money that is freely given by their congregation. Or church members that have shown grace and mercy on Sunday morning, but the rest of the week they live as if their confession is the complete opposite. In so many words, what many in the world have seen is hypocrisy. This is not to say that there is a perfect church, or that you or I do not make mistakes. However, Jesus gives us clear meaning to the “salt of the Earth” statement.
He says that we are the salt of the Earth, which means once we have accepted Christ and received the Holy Spirit, we are then endowed with the ability to bring healing and change to the world, through the power of God. The sad thing about many churches today is that religion and even carnality has become incorporated into what was and is supposed to be a sanctified body of believers. Many have made a mockery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, believing that it is permissible to live in sin, and yet name the name of Jesus Christ. That is not what God has called Christians to do.
Matthew 5:14-16 continues with, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Every Christian who is truly blood washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, and who has made a commitment to follow Christ, is the light of the world. We carry the light of Christ with us if we are truly connected to God through Jesus. Much of the world scoffs at Christianity in part, because there are many examples of hypocrisy and sinfulness within many churches worldwide. How powerful would it be if the body of Christ understood the magnitude of our individual and corporate witness to a dark and dying world? The message to the believer is, that you are the salt of the Earth.
Our lives are meant to be a testament of the love of God for a broken world. The only way that this love can be shown is to follow God in obedience and to be separated from the things of this world. Salt as a mineral is effective in its nature because it is uniquely different from other minerals and spices. We as Christians should be different from the world. Otherwise, if sin within our lives is acceptable, then what does the crucifixion of Christ mean?
Jesus died and rose again for every sinner. All can be saved by accepting His sacrifice and confessing the sin that has been committed. This is the gift of salvation for you and I. It is available to all, but we who are already in Christ must give others a reason to see the glory of God in how we live and what we profess.