Ye Are The Salt Of The Earth

Matthew 5:13


I.   Purposes of salt in the Bible.

A.     Lev. 2:13 - Salt is to be used in all sacrifices of meat offerings. “And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.” 

1.       Ezekiel 43:24 - salt is used in the preparation of the meat offerings before God.  This passage is a re-affirmation of what God expected of all meat offerings.  “And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the LORD.

B.     Num. 18:19 - Salt is used to seal covenants.  The heave offerings are a covenant of salt because salt was put on the meat sacrifice.  “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee. 

1.       II Chronicles 13:5 - Abijah declares to all Israel that God has made a covenant of salt with David that Israel might belong to God.  “Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?” 

C.     Deut. 29:23 - The curse of salt, brimstone, and burning is upon that person, city, village, state, and nation and sees the curse of God and says within themselves that they will not be cursed, but blessed, even though they continue walking in the imagination of their heart, getting worse and worse.

1.       Judges 9:45 - Abimelech destroyed the city of Shechem, sowing it with salt so nothing could grow there for a very long time.  “And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.”

D.     II Kings 2:20 - Elisha used salt to show that God has healed the water and land.  “And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. 20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. 21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. 22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.” 


II.   Salt that has lost its savor is good for nothing but to be cast out into the street and be trodden under foot of men.

A.     The salt of eastern countries was impure, being mixed with earthy or vegetable substances.

1.       When it lost its saltiness, it became more like the earth or vegetable substances, while retaining its salty look.

2.       In this condition, the salt would be carefully swept up and put in a place apart from all other waste products.

3.       This salt would not be cast into the field (the field being the world) because it would add nothing at all to the soil, and wouldn't turn into good soil.  This salt destroys all fertility wherever it is placed.

B.     This passage, plus the other verses in context reveal that Jesus is telling Israel he will soon cast them out if they don’t believe in him.


III.   The field is the world.

A.     It is not good for those that have lost their saltiness to be turned into the world, because they cannot be a witness of God's goodness.

1.       These people add nothing to the witness of God, and will not bring sinners to Christ.

2.       This salt is not left in the house, because it adds nothing to the household.

3.       This salt is good only for being cast into the street, where it is trampled under foot of men.

4.       Nothing will grow in the street anyway.

5.       Placing the salt in the street will not harm God's purpose, and will not harm travelers.


IV.   How does salt lose its saltiness?

A.     Verse 13 - The salt loses its saltiness.  This is not "predestinated" of God.  This is our responsibility.

B.     The salt in eastern countries will remain salty as long as it doesn't come in contact with the air, sun, or earth.

1.       By getting out of church.

2.       If it says in a "clump", it remains salty, but when it is broken open, and the elements of the world enter, and it loses its saltiness.

3.       As long as a church member stays in the church, they will retain more saltiness, but when they get out of the church, it isn't long before the world contaminates the person and they become utterly useless for anything, spiritual or material.

C.     It is not wrong to be in the world, it is wrong to let the world get into you.

1.       By mixing and mingling with the world (on their terms).

2.       It should encourage us to remain true to God in spite of what the world does.

3.       We are to be a light to them.

4.       If we depart from being salty, it means we do not believe what God told us is necessary.

5.       If we depart from being salty, we are not returning good for evil like Jesus said, Matt. 5:43-48 (and the entire force of the sermon on the mount).

D.     If we don't have salt on the inside, we will be unable to give salt to anybody else.

1.       We must take care of our own saltiness before we try to take care of another person’s saltiness.


V.   Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Let your Little Light Shine

A.     The world needs to see real Christianity, not “put on’s”.

1.       NOT - like Ezk 8 - the leaders of Israel worshipping false gods in their imagination.  (The condition of Israel was because of her leaders.)  So it is in the world and in the church today.

2.       Men like Daniel, who is able to prove that serving God is better mentally, politically, and every other way than worshipping and serving idols.  (Daniel and his three friends refused to eat the king’s meat in Daniel chapter 1.)  This world needs men like Daniel, who would rather pray than live.  (Put in the lion’s den because he wouldn’t quit praying.  See Daniel chapter 8.)

B.     The problem with leaders who worship idols in their minds while outwardly serving God is that they are double minded.  Because they are double minded, they will not stick with some of the finer points of worship, therefore they will be unable to point out to their followers these same fine points of worship and holiness.  Little by little, Christianity will fall by the wayside, while the outward symbols of worship and holiness remain.  Christianity will wind up being nothing but a hollow shell.