By Guest Columnist Leroy Lacy
“You are the salt of the Earth, but what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”
Salt is not only one of the most important substances mentioned in the Bible, but it is also a necessity of life. The Hebrew people were well aware of the importance of salt to health. High concentrations of salt exist in the Dead Sea, a body of water that is nine times saltier than the ocean. The ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah may have been located near the south end of the Dead Sea. Here, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt (see Genesis 19:26).
Salt had a significant place in Hebrew worship. It was included in the grain offering (see Leviticus 2:13), the burnt offering (see Ezekiel 43:24), and the incense (see Exodus 30:35). Part of the temple’s offering included salt (see Ezra 6:9).
Jesus described His disciples as “the Salt of the Earth,” urging them to imitate the usefulness of salt (see Matthew 5:13). “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (see Colossians 4:6).
The human body contains about four percent salt; without enough of it, muscles will not contract, blood will not circulate, food will not digest and the heart will not beat. Without a doubt, salt is vital to life.
If we consider the uses of salt, it will begin to show us the importance of it and what we are to be to the world around us. See, Jesus never said we were the sugar of the world, but, rather, we are the salt of the world. Salt stings, salt burns in open wounds on your body, salt preserves and salt changes the flavor of things. We, as Christians, must make a difference in our community, in our church and in the world.
Salt has many purposes and goes through a process in order for it to be used in its various capacities. The colorless substance has no odor but a characteristic taste. As Christians, we are compared to salt. We have a process that we go through that is orchestrated by the Holy Ghost. Just as salt heals, cures, melts and preserves, we are to heal the sin-sick conditions of this community and world. We are to melt the stony hearts of humanity, help to cure them of their rebellion and preserve the godliness of His present age.
Having received the Gospel mantle, Jesus informs His disciples that they are salt, which means that they have a specific purpose and responsibility - which was to go everywhere preaching and teaching the Gospel. As Christians, we have been divinely designed and cosmically created to have a positive impact on this world and our communities. There are still some areas that need to have salt shaken onto them. We need salty Christians in our government, we need salty Christians in our homes, we need salty Christians in our schools, and we certainly need salty Christians in our churches.
The Purpose of Salt
As stated previously, salt has a wide variety of uses. It gives flavor to food that it did not otherwise have. God wants us to give a flavor to our church and community that it does not possess. However, salt can be bitter when used inappropriately. We cannot afford to be bitter and over-salty.
The text teaches that salt which loses its effectiveness is good for nothing. In the sight of God, Christians who lose their effectiveness are good for nothing. Listen, salt that has lost its effectiveness cannot do itself or anyone else any good. And when God decrees that you are good for nothing, He sometimes calls you from life to reward. Therefore, it is imperative that you strive to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you have been called (see Ephesians 4:1). Second Corinthians 5:17 teaches that, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; if you are a new creature, you endeavor to make life more flavorful for others.
Lastly, if we as Christians are going to make an impact, we must work together, and we must be on the same team – that team is Jesus Christ. Without God, we can do nothing.
May God continue to bless each of you to be the salt of the Earth.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rev. Dr. Leroy Lacy is the pastor of New True Light Baptist Church. He is the owner of Lacy’s Insurance Agency in Canton as well as the Executive Director of 100 Black Men of Canton. His favorite scripture is Romans 12:2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”