Summary: How was salt used in the Bible? How does salt lose its taste? How is light a parallel for salt?
“Agents of Change”
Toward the end of 2013, we began a series of messages on the Sermon on the Mount.
Our goal is to take this great message of Christ, verse by verse, and seek to understand the profound truths within.
Before Christmas, we stopped having completed the portion normally referred to as the “Beatitudes”.
Beatitude means “Supreme Blessedness”
Jesus pronounces upon a certain group a supreme blessing.
He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who extend mercy, those who seek to make peace, and those who are persecuted.
Throughout the weeks of study, I made the point that this was not various groups of people, but rather it is a picture of what a saved life looks like.
A saved person is The Supremely Blessed person which Christ is describing.
His life has been changed by the Gospel, and the fruit of that change is found within the beatitudes.
Now, the last beatitude describes how the world will often respond to believers.
Hatred is the natural response of people who have no affection for Christ when they are confronted by His truth.
And since believers are called to be ambassadors for Christ, we are often the objects of this hatred.
This is seen often in the media.
Christians speak out on the truths of the word, and they are immediately vilified by those who have no affection for God or His Word.
It seems those who speak against God can say anything they desire without little consequence; however, those who speak for God and His Word are called bigoted, narrow minded, hateful and ignorant.
This is the world we are living in; a world greatly opposed to our God.
So, what are we to do?
Do we retreat to the monasteries or the wooded communes to avoid this world?
Sometimes that may seem to be a nice thought... to totally divorce ourselves from this world.
To leave the world and simply live as believers with other believers.
But is this the call that believers have from Christ? To run from the world?
NO, IT IS NOT!!!
In fact, the very next words of Christ are a call to be influential in this world.
We are not to hide; in fact, quite the opposite.
We are supposed to influence this world!
We are going to see today that Christ moves from His beatitudes to a very specific message of urgency for His apostles (and by extension all of His followers).
That we are to be Agents of Change in this world.
READ: Matthew 5:13-16
Most people are very familiar with the phrase “the salt of the earth”.
It has become a common colloquialism which we use to describe someone who is humble and unpretentious.
Someone will say, “You should meet Joe. He is a great guy, nice as they come, salt of the earth!”
And it would probably not surprise people to find out that this phrase comes from the Bible.
What might be surprising, though, is that this phrase is much more than just a term of endearment or praise.
This phrase, which was uttered by Christ in His Sermon on the Mount, has a powerful inherent meaning.
Its more than just humility or lack of pretentiousness... in fact, it is MUCH MORE!
What we are going to see as we study today is that the term “Salt of the Earth” and its parallel “Light of the World” are very specific characteristics which belong solely to those who diligently follow the teachings of Christ.
How was salt used in the Bible?
How does salt lose its taste?
How is light a parallel for salt?
I. HOW WAS SALT USED IN THE BIBLE?
1) SALT WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF COVENANT MAKING
Leviticus 2:13 “You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.”
Exodus 30:34-35 “The Lord said to Moses, “Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall there be an equal part), 35 and make an incense blended as by the perfumer,seasoned with salt, pure and holy.”
Numbers 18:19 “All the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the Lord I give to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. It is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord for you and for your offspring with you.”
2 Chronicles 13:5 “Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?”
What is the significance?