You are important to God and you are important to other Christians. Hopefully you already know these truths. They might be the type of things that often “go without saying”, but we really shouldn’t overlook them. Still, you might readily receive these two truths without hesitation, but there is yet another truth that might be even easier to overlook. Did you know that you are important to the world? I’m not speaking in hyperbole here. If you have accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then YOU are important to the world.
One of my favorite passages in all the Bible is Matthew 5:13-16, which talks about Christians being the salt and light of the world.
“13You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven”
– (Matthew 5:13-15, CSB).
We often focus on the portion of the illustration that talks about light. It’s easy to see how light is directly related to the Gospel message, but we don’t often think of the qualities of salt. Why did God choose to call you and I the salt of the world? Think about these reasons:
1. When you add salt to food, salt adds flavor:
It has always been odd to me to see salt added to watermelon. I’ve never done it, and don’t intend to, but I’m told that it really brings out the flavor of the melon. I’ll put salt on my eggs – which does greatly enhance the taste – but I’ll take your word for it on the melon. This principle of salt might seem contrary to Christianity, since oftentimes it is the world that “has more fun” as opposed to all the “rules” of the Bible. However, viewing our faith as merely a set of rules misses the point of Christianity. Our faith is a personal relationship with the creator of the universe. He is the only one who can give us life, hope, and meaning. Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV).
There are good things in this world, but there is also sin. If we believe that living contrary to the Bible is what brings flavor and excitement to life, then we have nothing in store for us but loss, death, and destruction. As Christians, our job is to tell people of the real joy of life – a relationship with Jesus Christ and eternity in heaven. Be salt! Let people know of the true flavor of life is found in Jesus Christ!
2. When you add salt to certain things, it preserves them:
I’m not going to pretend I’ve ever used salt as a preservative, nor am I going to pretend I really understand how this principle works – something about absorbing water, less bacteria, something, something. However, this principle is simple for us to apply. The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the method of preserving life where sin has introduced death. 1st Corinthians 15:35-58 provides a beautiful picture of God’s ultimate victory over death on our behalf. “Death is swallowed up in victory…thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (verses 54d & 57, NKJV). Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25, NKJV). If you are a Christian, then you carry the message that can preserve the eternal life of any person who has ever walked the face of the earth. Apart from Christ, ALL are dead. Be salt! Tell the world about the preserving power of Jesus!
3. Salt can help heal wounds:
I’ve gargled salt water when I had a sore throat or soaked in salt to help rid an infection. The world is sick and dying. The disease of sin has spread to every man and woman who has ever walked the face of the earth, save Christ. Not only that, but the ramifications of sin – pain, sorrow, death, etc. – have also spread to us all. We have the cure to heal the world of sin, and we have the message of hope to comfort the sorrow and pain of the world. Look at a few things Scripture says Christ’s sacrifice does for us: 1st Peter 2:24 says that by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we are healed. Hebrews 10:11-18 teaches that Christ’s ONE sacrifice atones for our sins FOREVER! 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 explains that in the name of Jesus and by the washing of the Holy Spirit, we have been cleansed and justified of our sins. Matthew 5:4 says that those who mourn in this life will be comforted. And we should realize, not only can God comfort us with the peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:7), but He can also provide a very rational peace. What do I mean? I mean that when I lose a loved one, if I know I will see them again one day in heaven, that truth provides an immeasurable peace that I can easily understand. This is our message. This is the message of healing that we salt shakers are to shout to the world. Be salt! Spread the message of eternal healing to the world!
4. Salt irritates.
Warning: If you use salt to heal, it’s going to hurt. As salt in this world, we should realize that not everyone is going to gleefully accept the message of flavor, preservation, and healing that we have for them. In John 3:19, Jesus says that “light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (NKJV). As humans, we can sometimes push away the light and cling to the darkness. A professor once pointed out to me that wherever Jesus went, He caused division. This is not meant as a point of deterrence from being salt, it’s meant to point out reality that Jesus forces people to make a decision. We must all choose to follow Him, or to reject Him. And we might fear this rejection, but it’s still our job to be the salt of the world. We should also be aware that the irritation of salt can be a sort of measuring stick. If feathers are never ruffled by our presence, then there might be a chance that we have become “salt that has lost its flavor.”
So what makes YOU so vital to the world? Christ does! You are a carrier of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that provides purpose to the life of man, is the only way to eternal life, and gives healing to hearts and lives of all who encounter His glorious message. But what if we keep His wonderful message to ourselves? If we hoard the Gospel instead of sharing it, the world will not taste of the purpose, life, healing, and hope that it provides. Matthew 5:13 says that if salt loses its flavor it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. The world needs you, because you know the truth. So I’ll ask this of myself, and you ask this of yourself, “How salty is my life?” The world needs the flavor, preservation, and healing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s give it to them!
The four uses of salt are from Khene Rae G. Paranga, Ma. Lourdes Therese Casas, Yvanne Sta. Maria, Rachelle JesalvaDe, La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, School for Design and Arts Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film Making, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY80ypQTOJI&list=WLOWwZTBSheX8CGDzWNz51ozGkUjcD-RhS, accessed October 31st 2017.
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