Summary: Jesus' says "Ye are the salt of the earth." This sermon looks at 3 characteristics of salt to show how Christians should influence the world around them.
July 8, 2012
A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available by mailing a request to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIDEO CLIP: Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Christian: Salt of the Earth (51 sec.)
TEXT: Matthew 5:13 – “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
There are many references to salt in the scriptures. In studying for this message, I found 43 references to salt in my concordance.
• We know that Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.
• David won two battles over the Edomites, as did Amaziah a little later, in the Valley of Salt, thought to have been a large area of salt marshes in a desert valley in Israel
• The Bible also refers to the Salt Sea several times, known today as the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea has the highest concentration of salt of any body of water in the world. In fact, the concentration of salt in the Dead Sea is ten times greater than any sea or lake on earth. Every liter of its water contains an average of 30 grams of salts and other minerals. This concentration is so great that no animal or plant can exist there. It’s impossible for a human being to sink in such salty water. Did you know that nobody has ever committed suicide there by drowning?
Illus. – It was said that Vespucian, commander of the Roman legion that later destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, heard of this claim and tested it by ordering slaves to be thrown into the Dead Sea bound hands and feet. – All the slaves floated, and once able to right themselves, they all survived.
There are many other references to salt in the Bible.
Salt is a remarkable substance: It’s one of the necessary substances to sustain life. No form of animal life can exist without it. Salt is indeed a very important compound—one that you probably have taken for granted.
In our text, Jesus says, “Ye [speaking of believers] are the salt of the earth…” Now, in order to understand what Jesus is teaching, I think it would do us well to look at what salt is good for and how it is used. Once we see how salt is used, we can better understand what Jesus is trying to teach us. So let’s study salt today and draw some spiritual applications for our lives.
I. FIRST, SALT MAKES FOOD MORE PLEASURABLE
Illus. – A few years back I tried to get completely off of salt after reading articles that forcasted my imminent demise if I didn’t get off salt forthwith. Well, it was a MISERABLE EXISTENCE to say the least but I stuck with it!
After a month on no extra salt, I was okay with most foods without adding salt. Then one Saturday morning, I woke up and Susan had fixed me a good old-fashioned Southern breakfast—eggs, bacon, biscuits and grits! Oh—MERCY ME!
The bacon was great…because it’s loaded with salt anyway. The eggs were gross without salt, but I made a valiant effort to get it down. No problem with the biscuits because I don’t put salt on biscuits anyway.
But the GRITS!!!…I’d just as soon eat cardboard as eat grits without salt. That’s probably why all you Yankees out there don’t like grits. You’re Mama gave you some plain old grits with nothing on it. She was deliberately trying to turn you against the South!
Anyway, plain grits are terrible, intolerable, unbearable! But son, you put a load of butter in it till it melts and put plenty of salt and pepper in it, and mmm-mmm—you’ve gotten a taste of HEAVEN!
But without salt, SAND probably tastes better than grits! Why?—Because some things are just no good at all without salt. Just enough salt makes all kinds of food JUST RIGHT.
Now, in my church in Wiesbaden we had a nutritionist and I told that illustration and after church she came up and gave me a lecture on the dangers of salt, so let me give hasten to say that though some salt is necessary for life, too much salt is actually harmful. But in moderation and when used properly, salt is a wonderful seasoning that makes food more tasteful and more pleasurable. And that’s just the way we as Christians ought to be—we ought to be a blessing to others. We ought to season their lives.
Illus. – The saltiest Christian I ever knew was Bob Cook whom I had the honor of being his assistant pastor when I was still wet behind the ears in the ministry. Everything that came out of his mouth was encouraging, uplifting, inspiring. He made you feel like you were the most important person he knew. And he never complained or was critical of others.