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Text Illustrations
Salt of the Earth

Matthew 5:13 says to Christians, "You are the salt of the earth. But if 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 by men."

Our Lord is telling His disciples that true Christian character is like salt. Salt is totally different from the food or object on which it is placed. Believers are to be like salt, different from the world. The power of their lives and their testimony lies in their being different and distinctive. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)

Salt preserves. It keeps things from going bad and decaying. It cleanses and disinfects. The Christian life being truly lived out before the eyes of people in the world will cause them to make a decision about the Christian faith. God has sent His Holy Spirit to call people unto Christ, who have been exposed to Christians who handle trials and deal with temptation under the direction of God's Word, the Bible. All who accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord will be preserved eternally.

Salt penetrates, spreads all about and flavors. It inserts a new quality, substance and life. It can take bland, tasteless food and makes it enjoyable. A sprinkle of salt has a widespread effect. It changes that which it is put upon. Obedient Christians likewise penetrate and so flavor the world for Christ. True Christians salt those in the world with God's Word, thus intriguing them to "Taste and see that the Lord is good..." (Psalm 34: 8)

Too many Christians overlook their purpose in God's ministry to people in the world. Thus they pay little attention to what is happening to people around them, their needs, their turning from bad to worse, their decay and corruption. Those controlled by the world, the flesh and the Devil are corrupting and foul, decaying and rotting. They are bland and tasteless to the Lord God. "[His] eyes are too pure to look on evil; [He] cannot tolerate wrong." (Habakkuk 1:13)

Too much salt is being stored up in the church building and not gotten out those in the world. Way too much money is spent on programs, buildings and Christian entertainment. This makes for fat lazy Christians feeding only themselves, bland and tasteless, unable to have an effect on those out in the world who are overcome by sin and its deceitfulness.

Therefore, our Lord reminds Christians to not lose that characteristic in them that brings life to the world and prevents its decay. Jesus gives a solemn warning. If Christians lose their penetrating and preserving effectiveness, they will become worthless. Jesus also said, "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with each other." (Mark 9:50)

Salt penetrates and burns out corruption and stays the spread of impurities. If the church has salt -- the cleansing work of the Word of God in her -- she sanctifies, finds God's peace and empowerment for the Lord's service. God's people of any age and under any condition are to be salt in the earth. Whether in blessings, trials or temptations, they must live in a manner worthy of the Lord. (Colossians 1:10) How effective is your salt?

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