INSIGHT
 
In ancient times, salt was so valuable that it was used for money. In fact, our modern word salary is derived from the word salt. The Latin word salarium means "salt money" and referred to the allowance of salt that was paid to Roman soldiers. Even today, in some parts of the world, salt is one of the most prized commodities. Salt is valued because of its properties as a condiment and preservative, along with its essentiality to the body. 

In Biblical times, salt took on a religious significance. Apart from it being used as a seasoning for food (Job 6:6), salt had an intimate connection with the idea of a covenant or binding relationship. Called the "salt of the covenant", salt was used in all of the offerings (Lev. 2:13) and was a symbolic "preservative" of covenants (Numbers 18:19; 2 Chron. 13:5). 

Jesus calls His disciples to be the salt of the earth and lights of the world. The Old Testament prophets were the salt of the land of Canaan; but Christians are called to be salt of the whole earth, for Jesus said go into all the world and preach the good news. How can a few people effect such a large region as the world? By working silently as salt with the gospel of Christ! Just as a handful of salt disperses its taste throughout food, so the teaching of the gospel disperses far and wide, penetrating and reaching the hearts of men (Acts 2:37). The salt of the gospel cleanses the soul and preserves it from spiritual decomposition. It is an everlasting covenant between God and true believers. 

Just as salt was required in all sacrifices, so are Christians required to be "salty," to be salt of the earth. Mankind lies in ignorance and wickedness, in need of Jesus! For this reason, Christ sends His believers to season the world, through their lives and teachings, with the knowledge and grace of the gospel! To render those who would believe the gospel acceptable to God! Be the salt of the earth!

The Life in Christ
The Salt of the Earth


Key Text:                   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."

 

Theme:

Christianity is the salt of the earth, diffusing the hope of the gospel into the hearts of men!  Faithful believers are a great blessing to the world because through them, the world is seasoned with the message of eternal life! Christians are called not only to teach the gospel, but also to live lives worthy of the gospel (Col. 1:10). Are you salted with the grace and goodness of the gospel? Is grace and goodness flowing through you in what you say and do? Do men see Christ living in you? Are you the salt of the earth?

 

Application:

Here are some practical suggestions:

1. Be a source of encouragement! Be known

    as a person who edifies, both in the spiritual

    and secular realms.

2. Pray for wisdom! Ask the Lord to shine

    through you in all you say and do, that His

    name will be glorified in your life!

3. Read the Word! Grow in the knowledge of

    the Lord and apply Godís teaching to all

    circumstances!

4. Test everything! In all you do, do it to the

    glory of God! Let all your decisions be to

    the praise of Jesus!

5. Share the gospel. Part of being the salt

    of the earth is us spreading the ďtasteĒ of

    the gospel to others and to preserve the

    souls of men through the hope of the cross!

May the Lord richly bless you!

 

Sermon Outline
The Salt of the Earth!
 I. Properties of Salt
  A. It Preserves
   1. Prevents corruption
       a. Good antiseptic
       b. Keeps away harmful microbes
   2. Maintains purity
      a. Preserves original form
      b. Has a cleansing effect
      c. Removes harmful ice, snow
   3. Preserves balance, unity
   	a. Maintains integrity
      	b. Is a neutral solution
 B. It enhances flavor
  1. Salt makes your tastebuds dance!
  2. Makes you want more of something
  3. Creates a craving
 C. It is influential
  1. It will always be salty
  2. You can count on it!
  3. It dissolves and permeates 
     thoroughly
  4. It will be noticed
II. How salt's properties can be
    exhibited in us:As God makes you 
    salty you will be salt...
 A. By Preserving the Word   
	1 Timothy 4:16
  1- God has set you aside (holy)!
	2 Peter 1:4
  1. Prevent  being corrupted by the 
     world
	James 1:27
  2. Transform yourself by renewal  
	Rom 12:1f
 B. By Preserving Peace  Romans 14:17
  1. In your deeds
  2. In your speech      Colossians 4:6
  3. In your thoughts and attitude
 C. By Influencing your surroundings
  1. With your zeal for good deeds 
	Titus 2:14
  2. Your desire for holiness  2 Cor. 7:1
  3. Be authentic!    Mark 9:50
Small Group Study

Warm-up:

Would you season your food with a spice that is totally flavorless? Why? What is the purpose for using spices?

 

See To It                           Matthew 5:13-16

 

1. What is the nature of salt? What does it do?

 

2. How are light and salt similar? How are they

    different? Explain in secular and spiritual terms.

 

3. Why are Christians the salt of the earth? What

    does it mean to be the salt of the earth?

 

4. How does New Testament Christianity differ

    from Old Testament Judaism in terms of verse

    thirteen?

 

5. Explain what Jesus meant by salt losing its

    saltiness?

 

Seeing It Closer:

 

1. Chemically speaking, can salt (sodium chloride)

     lose its saltiness? What do you think?

 

2. What are the characteristics of those who truly

     love Jesus and His church?

 

3. How are we to be the salt? Give a modern

    application of a Christian being spiritual salt.

 

4. How can we become tasteless or ďsaltless?Ē

 

Getting To It:

 

Pray for each other to be spiritual salt, dispelling the knowledge and grace of the Lord to a dark and lost world. Pray that each of us would never lose our saltiness and thus become useless to God.

 

This week's Quiet Times:

You are the Salt of the Earth!

 

MONDAY

Jesus compares us to two things that are very influential: light and salt. Whatever these two things touch cannot ignore their presence! You can always count on them too; they will never fail to do what theyíre supposed to do, unless of course, they are not the real thing. This week you will learn how to be the salt Jesus says you are, if indeed the Spirit lives in you. Read Matthew 5:13. What are some characteristics of salt? What is salt good for? How is it influential? ďMankind, lying in ignorance and wickedness, were as a vast heap, ready to putrefy; but Christ sent forth his disciples, by their lives and doctrines to season it with knowledge and grace. If they are not such as they should be, they are as salt that has lost its savor.ĒĺMatthew Henry. Since salt was associated with permanence, the expression "covenant of salt" was used to emphasize the binding or permanent nature of Godís laws (Numbers 18:19). Write Psalm 19:8 on an index card and memorize it. 

 

TUESDAY

Salt is a preservative. It prevents corruption from taking place. Read Romans 12:1-2. Are you to conform to (be like) the world in what you do? How are you to transform? Just like salt transforms everything that it touches, so are you to transform (influence) yourself and others. What is the purpose of transformation? Can this purpose be accomplished without transformation? Read 2 Peter 1:4. Notice how you escape corruption by partaking of Godís divine nature. Your saltiness is a reflection of this nature in all you do: When you speak to your brethren, and to other people; what you read, what you watch on TV, the music you listen to, etc... Write James 1:27 on an index card and memorize it. Are you striving to keep yourself from being corrupted by the world?

 

WEDNESDAY

Since salt prevents corruption from taking place, it has a purifying effect. Read 2 Kings 2:20-21. What effect did the salt have on the water? Why symbolism did the salt have in this miracle that the Lord did through Elisha? Think about the purifying effect of Godís command, its influence and its permanence. In the same way the Lord purifies you: Titus 2:14. List the adjectives of Godís people from this passage. What the salt did to Elishaís water God does to you: purifies and makes you fruitful; zealous for good deeds! How will the zeal for your good deeds be like salt? Write 2 Cor. 7:1 on an index card and memorize it. Does your personality reflect reverence toward God? Is it a salty personality? Are you striving to perfect your holiness?

 

THURSDAY

Being salt not only involves keeping yourself pure from the corruption of the world but also keeping Godís doctrine pure in your heart, mind and soul. Read 2 Timothy 2:15. Being salty means being able to use Godís Word adequately. You want to be salty enough so that people see something different in you. Think of potato chips. You canít just have one! Now imagine if the potato chips were incredibly saltyĺwould you keep eating? Read 2 Timothy 2:2. Being salty means being reliable in the Word; ably qualified to teach others Godís Word, not your own word. Salt preserves.  That means it keeps things pure by making sure nothing gets into it and corrupts it. Write 1 Timothy 4:16 on an index card and memorize it. Are you a zingy, salty potato chip, or a greasy flavorless one?

 

FRIDAY

Saltís influence is very powerful; just like lightís influence on darkness. No matter how little there is of it in something, its presence is felt and noted. Its effects are not overcome or diminished even though there might only be a small quantity. Read again Mark 9:50. Is it possible for salt to loose its saltines? Can salt be robbed of its saltiness? Is it authentic salt if it indeed loses its saltiness? Notice that being salt involves preserving peace. Write Colossians 4:6 on an index card and memorize it. Knowing how to speak to someone involves being able and willing to preserve peace and grace. Insipid, corrupt, or obscene speech does not edify. It insults, creates discord and opposes peace. Is your speech salty or bitter? Does your lifestyle reflect the saltiness Jesus speaks of, or does it reflect the corruption of the world? Do people see something different in you than what they see in others?