Summary: The qualities of Salt

I. Introduction

A. A tough old cowboy once counseled his grandson that if he wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a little gunpowder on his oatmeal every morning. The grandson did this religiously and he lived to the age of 93. When he died, he left 14 children, 28 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and a fifteen foot hole in the wall of the crematorium.

B. There is so much in this little parable, but the main thrust is distinctiveness.

1. Salt is distinctively different from the thing upon which it is put

a. By nature and by purpose it is different

(1) Lets turn to 1 Peter 1:23

b. So are believers, us

c. We are distinctively different by nature and by purpose

d. By nature we are a new creation, born of God

1 Peter 1:23 (NKJV)

having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

e. By purpose wes are to penetrate and change the very taste of the earth

(1) We are like salt

(2) We shall examine these points all from this one verse, Matthew 5:13

(a) The disciples' character: salt

(b) The disciples' place to salt: the earth

(c) The disciples' mission: to salt the earth

(d) Their danger: becoming useless and destructive

Matthew 5:13 (NKJV)

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

II. Body

A. The disciples' character is like salt

1. We are called and designed (made) to be the salt of the earth

2. Several things can be said about salt that point out just what Jesus means

a. Salt is distinctive

(1) It is totally different from the food or object upon which it is put

(a) Turn to James 1:27

(2) The power of salt lies in this difference

(3) We believers, just as salt, are to be different from the world

(4) The power of our lives and our testimony lies in our being different and distinctive

(5) We have seen James 1:27 before

James 1:27 (NKJV)

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

(6) We are to be "unspotted from the world"

3. What is it about salt that makes it such a valuable commodity

a. Salt preserves

(1) It keeps things from going bad and decaying

(2) It cleanses and disinfects

(3) My mother once told me about salt in healing

(a) She had gone to the doctor because of a sore throat and the doctor told her to gargle with warm salt water. Mom asked him what good that would do. So the doctor took a swab of her throat and put it on a microscope slide. After adjusting the microscope he invited my mom to look into the microscope. She saw the creatures and them the doctor put a little salt water on the slide and, mom said the creatures exploded.

(4) We believers, just as salt, are to cleanse and preserve the world

(a) By our testimony we are to cause the infectious influences to exploded, so to speak

i) Lets turn to Romans 12:2

(b) We are to disinfect the world and keep the germs of the world from causing things to go bad

(c) We are, by our testimony, to save the world from corruption.

Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

4. Salt enhances the flavor of our food

a. This is from a question a woman asked online.

(1) I made a big ol' crockpot of split pea soup today. I put in some onion, carrots, potatoes, and 1/2# of ham. Except for the ham, I added no salt. I reached my lifetime RDA of salt around age 25, so I figured this was a good place to cut some. b-l-a-n-d. A dash of salt and WOW! Peas, carrots, and potatoes are not the most exciting flavors in the world, but add some of that crystalline white stuff and it sets my taste buds dancin'. How does that work? Salt is a flavor, and yet it also brings out flavors. Or does it? What's goin' on here?

(2) There were many attempts to answer the question.

(a) The one that did ring true mentioned the fact that our tongue has taste buds that react to different things and one set of taste buds react to salt

(b) Other answers were not too sure why

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