A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
Special Study: THE MINISTRY OF SANCTIFIED, SALTY SAINTS
Matthew 5:13; Leviticus 2:13; Colossians 4:6
The people who receive the grace of God and have the indwelling righteousness of God are the salt of the earth. “Ye are the salt of the earth…”, Christ taught His disciples and the people that came to listen to His message. The main thrust of salt is distinctiveness. Salt is distinctively different from the thing on which it has great influence. Similarly, as believers, we are the salt of the world; and there must be that distinctiveness between us and the world. This distinctive purpose or nature of salt is to influence or change the flavour of what salt comes in contact with. We, as believers also, by nature and purpose, must be different. We must maintain our ministry of penetrating, influencing and transforming others on the earth.
SCRIPTURAL IDENTIFICATION OF SYMBOLIC SALT
Matthew 5:13; John 15:3,5,19; Ephesians 2:13-19; Galatians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 3:16,17; 6:11, 19,20; 2 Corinthians 6:16-18; 1 Peter 2:9,10; 1 John 4:4; Romans 1:5-7.
Jesus mentions a symbolic salt in His teaching on the Mount: “ye are the salt of the earth…” (Matthew 5:13). This salt refers to, represents, symbolises and it’s emblematic of the believer. As a believer, you are to salt, season, influence and penetrate the earth. From this emblem, you need to learn what you should look like and what your life’s purpose on earth should be. It is not enough to possess all the spiritual virtues Christ taught in the beatitudes. In fact, the reason He grants you those spiritual experiences is so you can be a great influence in the world in which you live.
It is not everybody that is the salt of the earth. Christ marks out some people (“ye are”) whom He refers to as the salt of the earth. Other scriptural references to “ye are” reveal the identification and marks of those who are symbolically and metaphorically qualified as the salt of the earth. The people who have been cleansed by the word of Christ and are attached to, associated with and stick to Christ are the salt of the earth. The nature of Christ is imparted into them as the nutrients of a tree flow into its branches. They are converted Christians who have responded to Christ’s call and have come out of sin, the world and its principles. Cleansed by the blood of Christ, they have made peace or reconciled with God and are now citizens of His kingdom. They have a change of life and nature. They are the temple of God in whom the Spirit of God dwells. Salt of the earth are believers who have come out of their natural self, bitterness, and resistance to the truth. Blood-bought and redeemed Christians, also referred to as a chosen generation, light of the world, and in whom Christ abides, are the salt of the earth.
Identified, these are Christ’s converts, disciples, followers. They are the people that are called out of the world and cleansed. As such, they are humble, meek, righteous, merciful, pure, peace-loving, consecrated children of God and citizens of the kingdom of God.
SPIRITUAL INFLUENCE OF SALTY SAINTS
Matthew 5:13; 2 Kings 2:19-22; Colossians 4:5,6; 1 Thessalonians 1:7,8; 1 Peter 3:1,2; Ruth 1:16.
Jesus spoke in the plain language His audience understood using objects they could identify with. When He said, “Ye are the salt of the earth”, His audience could easily relate to it because salt is a common household item. Salt has a great influence on everything around it. As a believer and as the salt of the earth, what influence do you have on people around you and your community? Being salt means, you have a good influence. Your life, influence and the impact of your life in the society should turn death to life, bitterness to sweet and decadence turned to decency. If you must influence other people, there must be a clear difference between you and them; you cannot have any influence on people if you are not sober when interacting with them. What kind of influence do you want to have on Christians and outsiders you come in contact with? Negative and bad influence tends to last long with us. If you don’t understand that you are salt on earth, you are likely to do what you should not. Wives should live in such a way that their godly lives will influence their ungodly husbands to repentance; mothers-in-law should take a cue from Naomi whose relationship with her daughters-in-law made them to stick to her even through life’s difficulties. Masters and mistresses should have great positive influence on their subordinates such that they would want to be Christians.
The influence of salt lies in its difference, and we must be unspotted from the world. Salt preserves things from decaying. We are to preserve our world from moral decay and corruption. As salt penetrates, so are believers to penetrate their world and influence the world with new lives. As salt flavours whatever it comes in contact with, so the flavour of Christ in us should make others thirsty for God and godliness. As salt is irrepressible, so must we spread real salt everywhere and our ministry will become unstoppable.
SOBERING INTERPRETATION OF SAVOURLESS SALT
Matthew 5:13; Luke 14:34,35; 1 Kings 9:6,7; 2 Kings 17:17-20; Jeremiah 7:8-15; Ezekiel 28:14-16; John 12:31; Matthew 8:11,12; 13:47-50; 22:13; 25:30; John 15:6.
Savourless salt, sinful Christians, graceless church-men are cast out: they are rejected and do not belong to the Lord anymore. There is no eternal security. Those who are eternally secured are those who are currently living in righteousness and holiness. But those who have gone back into sinning, whether secretly or publicly, are not secured; they will be cast out. When a Christian takes things for granted and is not preserving the saltness, the grace, the strength of character, righteousness and holiness, he is “cast out”. For a Christian to be cast out means that he is rejected and separated from Almighty God and the privileged place he had been, like the Jews. They (the Jews) had privileges and opportunity but misused them; they had the laws and old covenant but failed to walk in the precepts, principles and practices of the covenants. They were consequently to be cast out. Such is the lot of all who are graceless, savourless and unholy.
The savourless salt, the sinning Christian, the graceless church member that has lost the virtue, the grace, the sweetness of salt will eventually be cast out into the outer darkness. “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” If you go into secret sins, it is noticeable by the kind of life you live but if you remain in those sins and you die in that condition, you go to hell.
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