Summary: Being "salty."
What it means to be the ¡§Salt of the Earth.¡¨
August 8, 2004
Last week we finished our look at the Beatitudes as we continue to work our way through the Gospel according to Matthew.
We spent the last five weeks looking at what Jesus had to say about being blessed by God.
Today we move on to the next section of the Sermon on the Mount, which begins in Matthew chapter five.
Our focus for the message today is just one verse, but I think you will see that it has huge implications for our relationship with Christ and how it impacts our society around us.
I want to warn you up front that some of today¡¦s message is a review of a message I gave about 2 years ago on this passage, so if you recognize something familiar, you¡¦ll know why.
But let¡¦s begin our time together by reading aloud Matthew 5:13, which is printed for you in the note-taking guide:
"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.¡¨
These words of Jesus are words that we need to take to heart, just like all the other words of Jesus. This isn¡¦t just a transitional statement, it¡¦s a direct teaching about living for Christ.
My intention today is to help us become people who would be called by Jesus and others, ¡§the salt of the earth.¡¨
In doing that I want to point out three actions we need to take in order to make this teaching of Jesus a real part of our everyday living.
Let¡¦s get started, shall we? The first action we need to take in becoming the salt of the earth is to¡K
1. Recognize the functions of salt.
What do you mean, PB? Well, if you don¡¦t know what salt is good for, then how can you strive to become like it? I want to point out just three of the thousands of functions of salt that are available.
The first use of salt is that it¡K
„h Enhances taste.
Other than those of you who may be on a salt-free diet, most of us use salt occasionally to help the taste of their food.
How many of you are the type that if it doesn¡¦t have salt it isn¡¦t really food? My wife¡¦s kinda like that. Salt on everything, almost. But hey, that¡¦s her. She¡¦s good about not putting it in everything while she¡¦s cooking, so I can add my own if I want.
I personally like salt on my French fries and popcorn. I don¡¦t eat them together, of course. That is, French fries and popcorn. I think you know what I¡¦m trying to say¡K
The point is that we don¡¦t add salt because it makes the food look good. It doesn¡¦t make the food smell good, at least that¡¦s not the main function of it. And we don¡¦t add salt so the food feels good.
We add it to make the food taste better.
When we apply this to how we should live for Jesus, the idea is that when people get a taste of who we are, and our love for Jesus, it should leave a good taste in their mouth.
Too often people who claim to be Christians leave a bad taste in people¡¦s mouth and it hurts the credibility of the person and the good news of Jesus.
The second function of salt is that it¡K
„h Aids in preservation.
This isn¡¦t news for most people, but salt has long been used to keep meats from spoiling, particularly before the advent of modern refrigeration.
Christians who are more than just Christians in name only, those for whom following Jesus is the real deal and not just a hobby on Sundays, those who actually believe what Jesus said and make it part of their lives are the keys to keeping the gospel alive through all these centuries as a vital force for everyday living.
Salt aids in preservation of food, and salty Christians aid in the preservation of the life-changing news of Christ.
The third function of salt is that it¡K
„h Creates thirst.
You¡¦ve heard the saying that you can lead horse to water, but you can¡¦t make him drink. Well, you can if you put salt in his oats.
Ever eaten a bag of chips or popcorn and then realized you¡¦d forgotten something to drink?
Some of you are getting thirsty just at the thought of eating salty chips. (drink a glass of water) But you¡¦ll just have to wait until after the message. I¡¦ve only got about an hour left!
Here¡¦s the application: when people interact with you, do they gain a thirst for the things of God?