Matthew 5:13 ESV
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
What is the purpose of salt? It is a preservative for food, but it also adds flavor (seasoning), or it brings out the flavor of the food that we eat. It is also used metaphorically to signify purification. And, it is sometimes used as a healing agent, along with warm water, such as for a sore throat.
In a figurative sense, it can be translated to mean wisdom or prudence (forethought, carefulness, discretion, and good sense). If we preserve something, we maintain, uphold, keep (obey), continue in, protect (safeguard) and defend it. In scripture, the Word of God is often symbolized by food or most specifically bread.
Along that line of thinking, we are taught in scripture to preserve, maintain, uphold, continue in, sustain, and to safeguard our walks with the Lord, our testimonies for him, and his word, as well as we are to keep (obey) and defend the Word of Truth. In this way, we are being the salt of the earth in attitude, thought, word and deed.
So, if we are the salt, what does that mean? Well, it doesn’t mean that we are to add anything to God’s word or that we are to add spice to it, either. We are to do nothing to distort, to add to, or to take away from the Scriptures. We can learn from the word and share what we learn with others, but we don’t do anything to improve upon God’s Word.
But we are to preserve the purity of God’s word, and we are to uphold the truths of Scripture, especially the gospel message. Also, as children of God and as followers of Jesus, we are the purified (righteous, holy), by God’s grace, through God-given faith, and we are to remain pure in our walks of faith with the Lord Jesus, as testimonies of God’s saving grace in our lives.
So, if we lose our saltiness, what does that mean? Well, first I believe it means that we are no longer walking in purity of devotion to Jesus Christ, but that our lives have been corrupted by the world and by sin. We have not remained in the Word of God, doing what it says, and thus we have also lost godly wisdom, discretion, and good sense. So, we are of no use to anyone.
If this is where we are, this also means that we are not preserving the purity of God’s word, but we have also allowed it to become corrupted by the thinking, reasoning, and philosophies of human beings. Instead of holding to the truths of Scripture, we have agreed to dilute the truth to make it more appealing and acceptable to the flesh of man. So, we have lost our saltiness there, too.
So, if we have lost our purity, and if we are now walking by the flesh, and not by the Spirit, and if we have diluted the gospel to make it more acceptable to human flesh, we have lost our saltiness, and therefore we are not useful for God’s eternal kingdom in upholding his word by faith, by deed or by word. We can lead no one to genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
So, what is light? It is something that dispels the darkness. It helps us to see things we cannot see in the dark. It exposes things that might be hidden in the darkness like dust, dirt, ratty furniture, or soiled garments, etc. And, it shows them for what they really are.
Light helps us to see, too, and sight is also insight, so light is to give us insight into things hidden in the darkness so that they can be exposed and so that they can be dealt with appropriately. For, if we remain in the dark, we can’t see those things that need to be cleaned and/or repaired and/or thrown away.
Light is also the opposite of darkness. Darkness is sin, wickedness, evil, deception, immorality, and all unrighteousness. So, light is truth, holiness, righteousness, purity, morality, kindness, and godliness.
So, when God shines the light of truth and righteousness into the darkness of human hearts, he exposes the evil that is there that needs to be removed and cast off. He exposes the sinful heart that needs to be cleansed by the power of God’s Spirit and the hearts wounded by sin which need to be healed by God’s love, mercy and saving grace (1 Pet. 2:24-25).
So, if we are to be the light of the world, first we must have been cleansed of our sin, and we must have cast it off, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. We must have died with Christ to sin, and we must be now living to Christ and to his righteousness, in the power of God’s Spirit. For, we can’t be the light of the world if we are still walking in darkness, for darkness and light don’t mix (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
And, then if we are to be the light of the world, we must be shining that light of truth and righteousness into the darkness of sin in the world, which would then be exposing the sin out there for what it is. And, we should be shining the truth of God’s word and of his solution for sin, too.
So, that means we will not be telling people lies nor will we be sharing with them feel good messages which coddle them in their sins. We will be spreading the truth of the gospel as Jesus taught it, exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness, and calling people to repentance and obedient faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
But we must not be hypocritical. We must be those who are walking the walk and not just talking it, so that we can lead others by example and not by words only.
To Be Like Him
An Original Work / March 16, 2014
Based off Scripture
Crucified you are with Jesus.
To be like Him, oh, you’ll be,
Because He died at Calv’ry,
So from sin you’d be free.
Oh, what joy He brings into your life,
Giving life with Him endlessly.
Oh, what plans He has for your life.
Share the gospel faithfully.
Show the people He loves them.
Now His witness you’ll be.
Tell the world of sin about Jesus,
How He died for them on a tree.
Purifying hearts, He saves them,
Who believe on Christ, God’s Son.
Turning now from their idols,
New lives they have begun.
Jesus saves from sin; we’re forgiven.
Over sin, the vict’ry He won!
When He comes again to take us
To be with Him evermore,
There will be no more crying.
Gladness will be in store.
Heavens joys will now overtake us:
We’ll be with our Lord evermore.