Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.
This week we are starting a new series titled Listening To Heaven’s Infallible Teacher.
The messages for the next couple of weeks will be coming from the Sermon on the Mount..
Today we are talking about The Salt of the Earth.
Matthew 5:13 AMP
Disciples and the World
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has [b]lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery].
Matthew 5-7 (AMP)
In Jesus name we pray.
Without question the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew 5-7 has been more widely discussed than any other writing of equal length.
Many Bible scholars believe that the best know fact about Jesus is that He gave the Sermon on the Mount.
Following the Beatitudes, Jesus offers a series of teachings that, if incorporated in our lives, would revolutionise our very existence.
In Matthew 5:13 jess makes the pointed statement, You are the salt of the earth”.
In this statement Jesus has given to us an expression that has become one of the finest compliments that can be paid to any individual.
When we wish to underscore the worth of someone, we might say, “He is the salt of the earth!”
This shows the influence that Christians are to have on society.
- The source of influence.
“You are the salt of the earth.”
Christ seems to be stating quite clearly that the source of our influence is found in the persons we are!
He said, “You are the salt,” not “You have the salt” or “You dispense the salt.”
Only as Christians are salt in their lives character can they exercise the influence of salt in their society.
None of us exert influence on other people by our words if what we say is not backed up by who we are.
It is the influence of our personality that will produce changes in others.
The purity of our private lives has everything to do with the purity of our public influence.
Centuries ago the Romans contended that salt was the purest of all things because it came from the purest of all elements, the sun and the sea.
Thus, if Christians are to be the salt of the earth, they must be an example of purity.
Christians who want to be spiritually influential must hold high standards of purity in speech, conduct, thought, and action.
The presence of salt cannot be ignored.
It is a positive influence.
If it is present, we cannot fail to recognise its presence.
If it is absent, we miss it.
Where the salt of the earth is in the form of Christian influence, people will be aware of it.
It will not always be welcome, but it will be recognised.
But unless Christians are pure, they cannot exercise the power of Christian influence.
2. The sphere of influence.
Christ said, “You are the salt of the earth.”
Since we are the salt of the earth, where are we to unloose our preserving and purifying powers?
The answer is found in the word “earth.”
That is, we are to exercise our influence in the here and now, in the community in which we live, in the face of needs that confront us.
It is our business to serve as the salt of the earth in the city in which we live.
It is our business to see that our community is clean, that it is a wholesome environment in which young people will have the best possible chance to grow and develop.
Salt does its most effective work by being brought in direct contact with the substance on which it is to work.
And so we are not to withdraw ourselves from the world, but as the apostle James said in James 1:27, we are to stay “unspotted from the world”
Salt has been a preservative throughout the ages.
In ancient times salt was used whenever something was to be preserved.
Without the presence of those reflecting the character of Jesus Christ, civilisation will self destruct.
Humankind does not become increasingly pure but tends to become increasingly impure.
The presence of Christians in society is an absolute necessity if that society is to be saved from disintegration.
As Christians we are called on to be the preservation in our society.
We must be those who by our presence defeat corruption and make it easier for others to do good.
Salt has a flavouring influence.
Without salt, food has little if any flavour.
So Christ is saying that the Christian is to life what salt is to food.
We are to lend flavour to life.
The tragedy is that so many people have assumed that to be Christian is to have no flavour in life.
They have wrongly concluded that Christianity removes flavour from life.
After Constantine had embraced Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire, there came to the throne another emperor, Julian.
He wished to go back to the old gods.
His reason was that Christians were tired and pale individuals who had no ambition or joy.
Julian saw Christians as void of any colour or flavour.
Christians should not act like undertakers.
People need to discover the joy and radiance of the Christian faith.
In a world that is so depressed and seems to have lost the luster of life, we as Christians are charged with the joyous responsibility of being the salt of the earth, adding flavour to life.
3. The sacrifice of influence.
“But when salt loses its saltiness……”
When Jesus referred to His disciples as salt, they were without question highly complimented.
They had not realise prior to this how important they were.
But Christ did not call them salt in order to send them on ego trip.
He desired to impress them with a solemn warning, they could lose their saltiness.
That is, they could sacrifice their influence.
Salt, pure sodium chloride as we know it, does not lose its saltiness.
But the Palestinians got their salt from the Dead Sea, and the salt was not pure.
It was mixed with other minerals that often affected its favour.
In time it could become tasteless.
When this happened, it was good for nothing but “to be thrown out and trampled.”
So the disciples were given a solemn warning.
They were to preserve their society or be pulverised by it.
None of us are immune to losing our own flavour.
If Christians are not fulfilling their purpose as the salt of the earth, they are on their way to disaster.
The final word of caution that Jesus sounded concerning the end of salt that had lost its saltiness, that it would be thrown out and trampled, indicates neither God nor people have any use for it.
We may ask, “Where are the churches of Asia Minor, of Antioch, of Constantinople, and of Alexandria?
They are trodden underfoot!
Over the entrance of a Damascan mosque you can read the half obliterated inscription, “Thy Kingdom, O Christ, Is an Everlasting Kingdom.”
But above this faded inscription are these words in bold letters, “there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.”
The salt has lost its saltiness.
Is it possible to restore lost flavour, to regain sacrificed influence?
Yes, it is!
Christians who have lost their saltiness can win it back by going again to the source from which they received it.
God placed no obstacles of a Christian returning to the fountain of all power and purity.
When the influence has been sacrificed, there is only one thing to do.
We must repent and return to our first love.
When this is done, we will once more be “the salt of the earth.”
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
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