Sermon on the Mount: The Salt of the Earth

Jesus gives us the Beatitudes, or the “attitudes” we should “be”, or inner qualities we should possess as true Christ followers, so now what? Now it’s time to take those qualities, apply them to our lives, and go into the world and share the Gospel with others.

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.”

Jesus tells us in this verse to be the “salt of the earth” but what does he mean by this? Barclay explains 3 significant reasons why salt was highly valued in the ancient world and how they apply to us as Christians:   To be a “salty” Christian, we must lead a pure life, be a preservative in a corrupted world, and give flavor to life.

1.  “Salt was connected to purity. The Romans said that salt was the purest of all things, because it came from the purest of all things, the sun and the sea. So then, if the Christian is to be the salt of the earth he must be an example of purity.” When we ask Christ to be the Lord of our lives, he washes our sins from us and makes us pure. Isaiah 1:18 says, ” “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Jesus’ sacrifice purified our sins. After we have accepted his free gift of salvation we should lead our lives with purity, just as salt is pure. We are no longer of the world and our lives should reflect that.

2. “In the ancient world salt was the commonest of all preservatives. It was used to keep things from going bad, and to hold putrefaction at bay. So then salt preserves from corruption. If the Christian is to be the salt of the earth, he must have a certain antiseptic influence on life.” We must also be an “antiseptic” to corruption. As salt preserves things from rotting and decaying, so we should be the “salt” that preserves the world from decaying. James 1:15 tells us, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”  If we are not preserved from the sin in the world, we will never experience the life that God intended for us. We must show preservation in our lives so that others will see and want to be preserved from their decaying, sinful lives.

3. “But the greatest and the most obvious quality of salt is that salt lends flavour to things. Christianity is to life what salt is to food. Christianity lends flavour to life.” Have you ever heard someone say “I want what she has” or “She is always happy, even through tough times” or “He is always smiling”? That’s what Jesus does to our lives. Just as salt gives flavor to food, Jesus gives our lives flavor. Colossians 4:5-6 says, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” And as Christians, this is how we should respond to the world. We may not have the best of things, situations, or even a lot of money because we are looking toward something greater; to be with our Lord in Heaven. If we are Christians, we should be positively flavoring everything around us.

I challenge you this week to take a look at your life and see how you are affecting the people around you. Salt effects things in so many good ways. Are you leading a pure life? Are you preserving your life from corruption? Is your life lending flavor to the world around you? My prayer for you is that you will wholeheartedly become the “salty” Christian that God has intended you to be.