Summary: 3 ways that a Christian can lose their saltiness (Outline and material adapted from Yves I-Bing Cheng at: http://www.meetingwithchrist.com/E023%20You%20are%20the%20salt%20of%20the%20earth%20(2)%20-%20Mt%205(13).htm)
Have the children come up front and do Children’s Minute (http://www.sermons4kids.com/pass-the-salt.html)
Need a shaker of salt, a brightly colored shirt, a leather belt, and a plastic toy
What is this? (Show shaker of salt) Salt makes food more savory, makes it taste better, not so bland. What else can we do with salt? Here are just a few of the many uses for salt:
Salt is used in fixing dye in clothing like this shirt. Without salt, the bright colors would quickly wash out of the fabrics.
Salt is used in making leather. Salt makes leather useable like in this belt.
Salt is used in the chemical industry to make plastics. Without salt, we might not have many toys like this one.
Man has known about the usefulness of salt for many years. At one time, salt was so important that people were paid with salt instead of money. Listen to these words of Jesus: ““You are the salt of the earth. 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 by men.” Matthew 5:13, NIV.
Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth. We are important and we need to act like Jesus and have Jesus in our hearts so that we can be who Jesus wants us to be.
Are we allowing Jesus to use us to be the salt of the earth?
Many uses for salt. The most obvious use for salt in the NT is preserving meat and other foods. No refrigerators or freezers so had to use salt to preserve the meat to eat in the future.
As Christians we are to preserve this world. The world cannot stop itself from turning rotten. God wants Christians to be the salt that will hinder the process of the decay of society.
Now God uses other things besides Christians to preserve society and bring about order. However, God wants His own people, Christians, to be the most powerful restraining influence in our sinful society. The Christians are called to become like a moral disinfectant in a world where moral standards are low. It is in this sense that we are to be the salt of the earth, an influence for good in our corrupt world.
I want to emphasize this morning not the first sentence of this verse but the next two sentences. Look at how we can lose our saltiness. Some complain that salt cannot lose its saltiness unless a laboratory passes a strong electrical current through salt and divides up its properties. Hard to do in NT world. However, probably talking about Dead Sea salt that contains many impurities. This salt often mixes with dirt, rain and sun, diluting the salt and making it tasteless. It still looks like salt, but it has lost its saltiness. The residue remains but no longer salt.
What Jesus is saying here is that Christians can lose our saltiness, can lose our distinctive character, described here as diluted, worthless salt. What we have here is clearly a warning.