SaltBro. David Chancellor
2/6/2011 12:00 AM
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.
Salt is something we’re all familiar with. Our society enjoys probably too much of it, because we want things to taste good. Salt is used to enhance the flavor of what you eat.
“Ye are the salt of the earth…” We are here to “enhance the flavor.” The Jewish people at the time were the people of God on earth. They weren’t doing a very good job of it, though. They were likely non-salty salt.
Who will do the work of God if his people won’t do it? Jesus gave a warning to his people here. He wanted them to get the relationship with God they needed so they wouldn’t be cast out and trodden underfoot. They needed to be different and to lift up God before the world. What applied to them applies to God’s people today.
Jesus came so we could have abundant life. We are to bear an influence for good in this life. People claiming to be Christians without the abiding presence of God just don’t compare with those who have God. If you’re the same as the world, where will the good influence come from? The world can tell the difference. The presence of God on display in our hearts will make the difference. Without God we can’t do anything to cause good. A Christian without the presence of God will be flat. The world needs Christians who make life good.
Sin isn’t the good life. In Christ we can have more abundant life. The world needs the salt that still has that good savor. Without the abiding presence of God, the people of God might as well be trodden underfoot.
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Luke records the idea of the salt, and says it isn’t any good anywhere when it loses its savor. If you aren’t ready to make a commitment, you aren’t worthy to be his disciple. Jesus very pointedly focused their attention on their commitment to following him. There were wonderful things going on. Jesus succeeded at what every politician wants but he told them if they weren’t ready to commit, they were in the wrong crowd. If we would be Christians, we need to be committed to Christ. We need to do more than start. Commit to be faithful all the way through. Christ has to come before everything else. Without that, we’ll miss the essential element that the world needs. We need to be totally committed to him.
Our country is on the wrong track. Why? We have too much unsavory salt. We have too many Christians without a total commitment to Christ. It won’t make the difference our country needs. Be committed to go with Christ no matter what comes.
The disciples weren’t able for it then, but there came a time when they were able. Be committed to God.
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
“And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.” Because he wasn’t part of them, they told him to stop. “But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.” No man can accomplish the work of God and be against Christ. “For he that is not against us is on our part.” If someone is lifting up Christ, don’t discourage it. “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” We want everyone that has a relationship with Christ to lift him up. We lift him up better walking with him than against him.
Jesus also makes clear how terrible the reward will be of those who hinder people from following Christ. The problem within has to be addressed. It’s a tremendous loss when we don’t know Jesus and don’t walk with him. We need the fire of God on our souls. Everyone that would lift up Jesus needs the Spirit of God. We need the grace of God on all we do for God. Philanthropy isn’t as good as someone with the grace of God manifesting it to their fellowman. Jesus wants his people to have an influence on this world by the Holy Spirit. “…Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” The goal is to lift up Jesus. Don’t discourage those who are lifting up Christ. We don’t want to be detrimental to what the grace of God would achieve.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” We should also continue in prayer and make manifest the mystery of Christ as it ought to be. “. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” This is how it should be. We need the grace of God on our hearts. The essential quality the world needs to make life good is found in Christ. We want people to lift up Christ and we don’t want to be detrimental to that. Commit yourself to Christ and put aside what might hinder. Lift up Jesus.