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Ye Are The Salt Of The Earth

Ye Are The Salt Of The Earth          Saturday, December 16, 2017



By Mary Lee Thornton

Matthew 5:13.Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 

16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 In these two illustrations Jesus is describing our place, or role, in the world we live in.  (the reason we are here.) He could have willed it that we would be translated, like Enoch or Elijah, the very moment we were saved, no suffering, no persecution.

 But he has left us here for a purpose. We are left here to keep the world from being completely rotten or decayed. Without the Christians which are in the world it would be in total darkness.

The world does not know the real value of those who live as Christians.

We are here to hold back the night.

We are here to take the stench out of society.

"Ye are the salt of the earth:"

"Ye are the light of the world."

There are four words we want to examine.

We will define each of these words in bible context.

1.   Ye.

2.   Salt.

3.   Earth.

4.   Savour.

1.  "YE."   WHO IS YE?

"Ye" is not everyone. It was not made to kings, or priests, or leaders, or men of high distinction. Jesus made these statements to, seemingly, the most unimportant people of his day.                    

It was made to men who were poor in spirit,

To those who mourn,

To the meek,

Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,

To the merciful.

It was made to those who had a pure heart,

To the peacemakers,

To those who are persecuted for righteousness,

"Ye are the most important people on the earth."

The word "righteousness" is the key to understanding the beatitudes.

"righteousness" could be interchanged with the word "blessed."

"Righteous are the poor in spirit:..."

"Righteous are they that mourn:..."

"Righteous are the meek:..."

"Righteous are the merciful:.."

"Righteous are the pure in heart:..."

"Righteous are the peacemakers:..."

"Righteous are they which are persecuted, for my sake."

"The righteous are the salt of the earth."

 2.  SALT.

Salt was greatly valued in the time of Christ. It was used as a medium of exchange, like money. A bag of salt was reckoned as precious as a man's life. In the climate of Palestine it was indispensable for the preservation of food.

Another more common use for salt is for seasoning. Almost any recipe calls for a “pinch” of salt, or a "dash" of salt.

Jesus was not concerned that the group was small on that day upon the Mount. A 'pinch' of salt is enough to flavor this society. Church we don't have to be many in numbers. All that Jesus asks of us is to be real salt.

The disciples are to stay in the world, touching every phase of society, if we are to redeem it. We redeem society by being what he asks us to be, real Christians, real salt. God told Abraham that ten righteous men would save the city of Sodom.

This verse (Matthew 5:13) implies that we are to be a day-by-day witness for Jesus.

Another thing that is implied in this verse (Matthew 5:13) is that they might lose the gift and grace which he had given them.

Matthew 5:13. “..: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 

The question may be asked,

"How does the salt lose his savour?" 

"What is Jesus referring to in this statement?"

The salt must be kept pure.          

It must be kept clean and free from contaminate.

The story is told of a merchant of Sidon who purchased large quantities of salt and stored it in houses to avoid paying taxes on it. But the floor of the houses was of common earth, and soon the salt by contact with the earth lost its saltines. It was then used to make the hard surface on the road.

The lesson we need to learn from this----

The Christian either redeem the world,

Or the world robs him of his Christianity.

This Book will keep you from your sins,

Or your sins will keep you from this Book.

We must pray and discipline ourselves if His Word is to find fulfillment in us.

These fishermen knew the value of salt. They knew too that nothing was more worthless than salt which had lost its quality as salt. The true character must be preserved.

The salt in us will establish us and keep us from falling.

It will keep you fresh and sweet.

It will help you to forgive.

To eat another person's salt and so to share his hospitality became an emblem of fidelity and friendship among Eastern Nations. In scripture it is an emblem of the covenant between God and his people.

Numbers 18:19b. (the Lord to Aaron) “...: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee.” 

2 Chronicles 13:5b. (the Lord to David) “..., even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? 

And so our Lord says,

"...? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." (Mark 9:50b)

Salt adds flavor or zest. Many foods would be very dull without a little pinch of salt. We can liken this to the influence which real Christian have on society.

Christianity is no dull life.

You are an influence in the work place, in the home, at school. We should radiate the spirit of pure thinking, clean love, honesty, sincere goodness, and holiness.

We all have had someone who had a great influence on us in our Christian life.

Jesus asks us to let the salt of our Christian experience radiate from us in such a way that it will affect someone's life.

Let me tell you about that first "pinch" of salt that Jesus left when He went away.

Acts 2:1.  A hundred-and-twenty grains of salt were all with one accord in one place. Jerusalem was stagnated and dull with one-thousand years of religion.

Jesus had told this little 'pinch' of salt that, (Acts 1:8)..:  “and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” 

In other words Jesus was telling them that, "You will be the greatest influence of your times."

Acts 2:2-4. “A sound from heaven,

                     A rushing mighty wind,

                     Tongues of fire sat on each of them,

                     The Holy Ghost Baptism.

The sound stirred the men of Jerusalem and they came together, they saw unusual things happen, they heard that little 'pinch' of salt worshipping and praising God in the language of their home country.

Acts 1:41. What was once one-hundred-twenty grains of salt suddenly became three-thousand-one-hundred-twenty grains.

Acts 4:4. Another four-thousand grains of salt added = seven-thousand-one-hundred-twenty grains.

Acts 4:17. There was resistance to the salt-- "that it spread no further among the people."

But the salt had not lost its saltness.

Acts 5:16. “Speaks of multitudes from  areas.

Acts 5:28. “Saying, did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? And, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. 

Salt also has medicinal qualities.

Some of us remember Epsom salts.

It was used as a laxative in some cases.

Mixed with warm water it also helped reduce swelling in joints and bruised tissue.

Salt has healing properties.

Dentists recommend warm salt water for bleeding gums, and also to firm-up the gums, and to help in the healing process when a tooth is pulled. Salt or sodium in our body helps it to function.

The salt that Jesus speaks of in this verse (Matthew 5:13) is a moral antiseptic to human society. Real goodness (salt) in the Christian is purifying, it eats into the roots of moral corruption. It was left here by our Lord to quicken the conscience of the world.

Without our constant preaching to others, those we work with, our neighbors, our friends, the whole world would be corrupt. (We preach loudest, and most effective, by our daily lives.)

To be salt is to be obedient.

Leviticus 2:13. “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. 

Numbers 18:19b. “...: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee.” Covenant of salt, perpetual, unbreakable promise


Another way Jesus let us know our place in this world is found in our text.

Matthew 5:14. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 

Jesus was not talking to the greatest intellectual men of his day. In fact they were regarded as being unschooled.

Acts 4:13. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 

Some of the greatest names in human history had already lived before Christ. It would be hard to match, in any period of history, men like Aristotle, and Plato, and Socrates.

The Romans had brought law and government to the greatest heights.

Some of the world's best literature had been written before that time.

Yet in the face of all that brilliance, of all the literature achievement, all the philosophic merit..

Jesus said to a handful of fishermen, tax-collectors, and ordinary people, "Ye are the light of the world."

You are going to be the guiding light.

They were to be the light that was to guide the world out of darkness.

Light came from an upper room-- not from Mars Hill, not from a Roman Senate or forum. That light shined in a pagan world, a world of idolatry, a world of darkness.

Praise God for the light of Christianity. Christianity has done more to civilize the world than all of the other major religions combined. It has helped to establish democratic forms of government around the world, helped to bring justice to battered people almost everywhere.

Jesus knew the power of the 'light' and 'salt'.

Because of Christianity slavery has been abolish in almost the whole world, in only a few nations it still exists.

Matthew 5:14. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 

16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven. 

The world still needs the light to shine in the darkness around us.

Three more words in these verses we want to look at.

1.  The world.

2.  A city.

3.  The house.

1. The world is the entire earth upon which we live.

Mark 16:15. “And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” 

Matthew 28:19. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  

2. A city is the neighborhood in which we live, the school we attend, the place where we work, the stores we shop in.

3. A house is our home where we live, our family.

Notice this is an ever narrowing circle, beginning with the whole world, narrowing to a city, then even smaller to our house.

1 Peter 4:17. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? 

To a certain degree every Christian is responsible for their own household, as Rahab was for hers.

Joshua 2:18. “Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.

Hold the light high.

Let us begin at home to let our light shine.

Let us put our candle on a candlestick so that everyone around us may have a light to see God's glory. A city set on a hill, cannot be hid.

By living as Jesus asks us to,

By living the Sermon on the Mount,

By living a real Christian life, we will see the same results that the early church saw.

There is hope for this world.

But only if we, salt and light, do our part.

So put your light on a candlestick that it may give light to everyone around us.


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By, Mary Lee Thornton

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