Summary: Message urging people to be "salty" as seen in the Sermon on the Mount.

Pass the Salt, Please!

Matthew 5:13

November 3, 2002


Did any of you get the chance to shine the light into people’s lives this last week? I hope so.

Last week we talked about being the light of the world. Today we are going to look at being the salt of the earth. Our Scripture passage is in the same area as last weeks, so it will be easy to find.

But before we get there, I want to ask you a question. Have you ever heard someone described as “salt of the earth?” “That guy’s just the ‘salt of the earth.’”

Heard that?

The basic gist of that phrase is that the person was respected as someone people liked and could count on.

So let me ask you another question: can someone describe you that way? Can they call you “the salt of the earth?”

I hope that someday I might be described that way by people. Whether they like me or not, I hope that people will consider me someone worthy of respect and someone who could be counted on, especially when it would not benefit me.

How about you? Would you like that for your life? Would you like others to have that kind of respect for you?

Our Scripture passage discusses our need to be “salty” to the world around us, and I hope that by the end of our time together you will be motivated to become a salty person.

I have printed our passage in your bulletin. So follow along as I read Matthew 5:13.

MT 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.

And just to give us a little context, let me read the next three verses:

14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

This is near the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. He had just finished giving the Beatitudes, then He launches into the salt and light thing here.

I think Jesus used these analogies together for a reason. Jesus was the Master of using word pictures to communicate truth. Everyone listening understood what Jesus was trying to communicate. They all knew about salt and light, so Jesus’ use of these common elements of life only served to help them understand what Jesus wanted here.

I hope that you will leave here today understanding as well, and more than that, I hope that you will leave here determined to be a person who is “salty” to the world around us.

Let’s move right into the outline, okay? First, I want to look at …

I. Three Functions of Salt:

I visited the website for The Salt Institute, and they say that there are over 14,000 known uses for salt. And we are going to look at every single one of them.

I figure that we should be done with this series by about April 2015.

Actually, we are going to look at just three uses, so you can quit panicking.

But before we get into the basics of the message, let me share with you some of the uses I found at the website.

Listen to this:

Removing pinfeathers from chickens; removing perspiration and blood stains; treating mosquito and chigger bites; invigorating goldfish; deodorizing shoes; making mini-volcanoes; and removing tattoos. Important safety tip: do not try this at home!

Some of you may have thought of other uses, like melting slugs or something.

Well, let’s get to the functions we are looking at today. The first is that salt…

A. Enhances Taste.

I’m willing to guess that most of us here today put salt on our food at one time or another.

I’m not a huge salt guy. I like it on French Fries, but not much else. By that I mean that I don’t add salt much.

But I’ve seen people who add salt like they think it’s one of the four basic food groups, right behind pizza and chocolate.

But why do we add salt? Is it out of religious conviction? I’m not aware of anything in the Bible or even the Wesleyan Discipline.

No – it’s because it helps the food taste better, right?

Well, in terms of the Christian life, one of our functions is to enhance the taste of Christ and His church in our society.

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