Summary: God calls us to be salt and light, but what does that mean? Learn how Christians like salt are to silently be preserving, seasoning and cleansing in our walks with Christ.
The Power of the Parables
Part 3- How Do You Taste?
Pastor Ryan Akers
(A very small portion of the historical research was taken from Jose Marin’s sermon, Salt and Light Witnessing.)
Matthew 5:13-16 13"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14You are the light of the world--like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. 15Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. 16In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
How do you taste? Don’t worry I’m not going to ask you to lick your arm or anything.
Although I can imagine we would be get the community buzzin with talk if we started to say instead shake the hand of the person next to you, we said make sure your nice and lick the hand of the person next to you.
Continuing this series on the parables today.
This is not so much a story as an illustration but it is still considered a parable by most scholars.
Jesus talks about us being the salt and light right after his sermon on the mount. If you remember the Sermon on the Mount was preached so all who heard could know what is expected of a believer. It was given by God to bring believers into obedience to God, not by our power. To follow these by our selves on our human strength will only cause us to fail. These are only attainable with the help of the Holy Spirit. Christ lists the qualities of a believer. Look at Matthew 5:3-12.
We are not going to read it but look at the qualities Jesus requires out of us as his followers.
*Blessed- this word means more than happy. “Happiness is an outward emotion, dependant on outward circumstances. Blessed here refers to a spiritual joy that is shared with those who share in the salvation of Jesus Christ.”
*poor in spirit- in contrast to the spiritually proud and self-sufficient.
*hungry that thirst for righteousness
*pure in heart- center of our being, mind, will, and emotions
*peacemakers- those that promote peace amongst themselves and try to bring peace between others
*persecuted- read vs. 11
From this section of scripture Christ says that we as God’s children are to be the salt of the earth. We are to be a light for the world. We are to bring sustaining flavor and guiding light to a dark and barren land. The Sermon on the Mount dealt with how we with the power of the Holy Spirit should live and this next section shows how with those qualities we can bring hope to the hopeless. That is why we are here. It all fits under our mission as a local and global community of believers no matter what your doctrinal beliefs our mission never changes. Love God, love people, and follow Jesus.
Why does Christ use salt?
In Christ day Salt was necessary for survival. It was a cherished commodity. It was a highly prized material. Sometimes it was even used as money. The English word salary is derived from the Latin word Salarium which refers to the payments made to a Roman soldier with salt.
Salt basically had three main purposes which Christ used as the perfect illustration to show how the Christian life should be the same.
1. Salt preserves
Salt was a preservative. The men and women of Christ day couldn’t throw their leftovers or their freshly cut meat from the deli into the freezer. They needed a way to preserve their food for a short time.
Salt would temporarily hold back or pause rotting of the meat.
Dr. G Campbell Morgan says about the value of salt, “It is not antiseptic, but aseptic. Antiseptic is something which is against poison and which tends to its cure. Aseptic is something which is devoid of poison itself. Salt never cures corruption. It prevents the spread of corruption. If meat is tainted and corrupt, salt will not make it untainted and pure. But salt in its neighborhood will prevent the spread of corruption to that which otherwise would become tainted.”
Maybe you can see where I’m going. Christ says to us, “You are the salt of the earth.” The earth as we know it is corrupt. It is evil. It is filled with sin. Corrupt leaders, misguided thinking, and selfish ambition. Christ says you are the salt. You as the church are what I have chosen to sprinkle on this world to hold back the evil until I come again. We cannot cure the evil of this world. Only Christ can do that. We, as believers are to simply do the work of God. The work he calls each of us to do in order to hold back the evil until that chosen Day of Judgment.