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Summary: Has some characteristics of salt, mentions the fact that salt is an antibacterial and is meant for cleansing.

A GRAIN OF SALT

A STUDY OVER THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT: PART VI

INTRO: The phrase “taken with a grain of salt” is an old time expression meaning that one is skeptical of something else. For example, if the detective was gathering details about a crime scene, and a suspicious person told an odd story, the story would be taken “with a grain of salt” (it would be good to have an actual crime story here in which the guilty party told a crazy story).

TRANSITION: We live in a skeptical world. People seem to trust in themselves but have a real problem putting faith in anything else, especially God. So in order to have them believe that the story of Jesus and the Bible is much more than something to be taken “with a grain of salt,” we must become like salt.

BIBLE VERSE: Matthew 5:13

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.

1. PRESERVES.

Bible Verse: Luke 17:33

Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life, will preserve it.

The Picture: Picture us as a giant slab of meat (not a great visual I know). But imagine the day we accepted Christ we were like a giant piece of meat. Left alone, the meat goes bad, but what keeps it for a long long time? Preservatives. Salt.

Antibacterial: Salt is specifically called an antibacterial because when placed on a food item, it prevents the increase of bacteria. Because there are no more bacterial, the food is not going to spoil by stopping mould from growing on the item (we can see now why people in history were very superstitious with salt, they did not know why, but they knew there was a healing/preserving effect with salt).

How do we preserve? By being HOLY.

Society Example: Over the last 50 years, our society has allowed USA to become full of bacteria & mould.

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand: use to be music of rebellion (now what is on MTV).

Gone with the Wind was often band cause of 1 cuss word (now cuss words are all over TV and in all forms)

Parents use to be shown in separate bedrooms (now people hardly dating are shown doing anything)

A Sinning Church: Rainbow Covenant Christian Ministries (right here in St. Louis). They claim to be a “real ministry serving a real Jesus, reaching real people, keeping it real.” And they fanatically proclaim that homosexuality is normal and should be encouraged. And there are 5000 or so of these “churches/ministries” around the world now. It is unbelievable.

It’s NOT holy. Are we? Think through our lives for a second, when it comes to Christ, in our attempts to be “real” have we become “unholy?”

2. PURIFIES.

Bible Verse: Numbers 19:20a

But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person must be cut off from the community, because he has polluted the sanctuary of the Lord…

Explanation on Purifying:

“Israel had an elaborate purification and cleansing system in the Old Testament. Under the Mosaic Law the holiness of Israel was from the first recognized as moral separation from sin, but it was expressed outwardly by separation from objects designated unclean. Uncleanness contracted through contact with such objects required cleansing. Unclean utensils and clothing were washed in running water; but if a porous earthen vessel became unclean, it had to be destroyed. Metal was sometimes cleansed by passing it through the fire.

People who had become unclean had to separate themselves from the congregation, the length of time depending on the nature of the uncleanness. They were to wash themselves in water, and the more serious forms of uncleanness they were required to offer sacrifice. For persons unclean through leprosy or through touching a corpse, more elaborate cleansing by sprinkling with water mingled with blood or ashes was required.

The unclean Israelite who would not purify himself was cut off from the assembly, because he had defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. (Numbers 19:19-20) In extreme cases you could be executed, if you did not purify yourself.”

-Pastor Richard Laue

The Good News: By dying on the cross, Christ died for us, so we can appear before the Lord with no blemish.

The Tough News: God asks us to purify our lives, and that is not always easy to do.

How Does Salt Purify? Salt purifies by dropping in just small doses into water. For example, to purify a spa system, drop in enough salt to make it about as salty as half a human teardrop. The pump then shoots it through a filtration system so that the salt is pumped to all parts (can draw a picture of a small pool, a standing filter system, and tubes connecting them). Notice how when salt is dropped in, purity is only a matter of time.

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