“YE are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matt. 5:13).
Our Lord used simplest figures of speech. Believers are here set forth as the “salt of the earth.” The Christian has many saline characteristics. Salt is cleansing, and every believer—himself cleansed by the Word and the blood—should cast a purifying influence wherever he goes. Every believer should have an antiseptic influence; the very air should clear up with his presence and conversation. The true social gospel is nothing more or less than the salting of the community with the life and testimony of born-again believers. Sin is disease, sickness, and the only remedy is the gospel. We are living gospels, epistles known and read by all men, and our work is to cleanse and purify by the outliving of Christ within.
Salt is relishing—it gives seasoning flavor. Consider how flat is food that has not been salted. And the believer should have salt in himself (Mark 9:50) and not be the flat, insipid sort we find composing the greater part of our church memberships. One reason why men pay so little attention to the gospel today is the tasteless living of Christians. We make our church services as dreary as possible. Many Christians get a negative slant, and go about so dead and dull that they repel any who might be considering the claims of Christ. There should be a zest, a relish, a good flavor to our faith that puts color into life and gives it tone and makes it tasty. The average church or Christian today reminds us of bread without salt.
Salt preserves; it keeps from spoiling and putrefaction. Christians are a preservative to society. The world would have been rotten long ago but for the presence of the Holy Spirit in Christians, the salt of the earth. And when Christ takes up His saints, speedy corruption will immediately set in. It is the Church that saves the world from decay, little as the world appreciates it.
We read of the savor of the knowledge of Christ (2 Cor. 2:14). It is this that gives the salt its flavor. But the believer can become tasteless and the salt thus loses its savor. The most useless thing in the world is salt without savor. It is good for nothing. Unsavory meat can be remedied, but what can you do with unsavory salt? We read that the salt without savor is to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. Such is the fate of the castaway, who brings upon himself the contempt of even the sinning world because he professes what he does not possess.
Here is a grievous reality in our world today. Think of the thousands of lifeless, tasteless Christians who carry no flavor whatsoever—are insipid and flat. And think of the churches that merely carry on an order of service but are devoid of any seasoning grace. Such are headed for judgment, for they are good for nothing else. Let your life be salted with the knowledge of Christ. Let your speech be with grace, seasoned with salt. Don’t be a good-for-nothing Christian.
Reflections on the Gospels.