Summary: God wants to flavor us with His goodness so we can let others taste and see that He is good. Salty Christians are authentic, maintain their flavor, and aren’t afraid of change.
Out of the Salt Shaker
Matthew 5:13 “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.”
Intro: Did you know that salt is a miracle? It’s composed of 2 poisons: chlorine and sodium. If you ingest either by itself, you can die. But put them together and you have common, ordinary salt, and that which formerly brought death somehow comes together to bring life, and that’s a miracle! God is into miracles. [Jerry Shirley, SC]
-Those in ancient societies understood the value of salt far better than we do. The Romans believed, for instance, that there was nothing as valuable as salt, except for the sun. Many Roman soldiers received their pay in salt. Some have said that it was from this practice that the phrase "not worth his salt" originated.
-Those listening to Jesus may not have understood all of what He was saying, but they knew that to be called "the salt of the earth" was to be something very special and valuable.
-Jesus has chosen us, as believers, to do His work here on earth. We are of great value to Him. But not only are we of value to the Lord, but we are also of great value to the world we live in, whether others realize it or acknowledge it. [Bill Prater, SC]
-Some have noted several of the unique functions of salt. Salt irritates (in a wound). Salt seasons or flavors food. Salt creates thirst. Salt cleanses and heals. Salt preserves. [Jerry Shirley, SC]
-According to Jesus salt is who we are, not what we act like or try to appear like. You are the salt of the earth. While this is certainly a metaphor, it is also a state of being verb, describing who you are, and what you are like – salty. Notice that salt does not have a particular action attached to it. It is implied that we are to simply be who we are- salt. If we are not salty, then that must change on the inside through repentance and allowing God to change our character. If the preceding beatitudes are true of our lives, then our saltiness will be evident to those around us.
-One early Jewish Rabbi was asked how tasteless salt could become salty again. His reply was that you salt it with the afterbirth of a mule. Well, as you know, mules are sterile and do not give birth [Keener, BBCNT]. You may not be able to make unsalty salt salty again, but by God’s grace, we can change an unsalty heart and lifestyle and become the flavorful people God has called us to be. And that is the main thought I’d like to convey in this message:
Prop: God wants to flavor us with His goodness so we can let others taste and see that He is good.
Interrogative: How does that flavor find expression in our lives?
TS: Let’s look at 3 main thoughts that relate to the value and flavor of salt.
I. Salty Christians Are Authentic (Be Who You Are- the real thing)
-Salt- Pure sodium chloride does not lose it saltiness. There’s no such thing as "unsalty salt." But in Jesus day they got their salt from the Dead Sea which was not pure. It was mixed with other minerals that affected the flavor. In time it could become tasteless. When this happened it was a good for nothing but to be thrown out and walked on.
-What Jesus says in these verses is that if His followers are going to change their world, they have to be the real thing. Our lives can’t be a mixture of all kinds of impurities. We have to be uncompromised, pure, and authentic. "You are the salt of the earth." Jesus is saying "Be authentic. Be genuine. Be the real deal!"
-Joe Aldrich wrote, "Christians are to be good news before they share the good news."
One of the biggest roadblocks to reaching our world is that many who claim to follow Christ are not authentic. Many people come to church on Sunday, but they live with no flavor the rest of the week. Any influence they have fails to draw people to Christ. If anything, an inconsistent lifestyle repels people from the church. Have you ever talked to someone who says they know someone who says they are a Christian, but their life does not line up with their words? This literally destroys the witness of Christ when believers don’t live out their faith. The world is looking for something authentic. People want the real thing, and if Christianity is just a show then they can get make-believe any night of the week on TV. Jesus calls us to live out pure, uncompromised, authentic faith. If we do that, the world will be changed by it.