“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13 ESV)
What is the Christian’s identity? In other words, what is the believer’s identity in Christ?
“Think of the struggle we are witnessing in our culture over the question of identity. Today, people are on an endless quest of finding an identity in those things that they believe will make them happy. The culture tells people to turn inward and follow the desires of the heart to define one’s identity. And once people believe they have found their true identity, notice how passionate they are to make it known,” explains Pastor Christopher J. Gordon.
Jesus stated that His disciples, then and now, are the salt of the earth. That is our identity in Christ. Rather than something to pursue, the believer is presently compared to the characteristics and properties of salt. Salt is who we are. What did Jesus mean by this metaphor?
“Salt in the ancient world was used to prevent the decay of foods and flavor them for better taste. People commonly knew that gypsum and other minerals would dilute the potency of salt and make it useless in the preservation of foods. Jesus used this familiar phenomenon with the added concern that if the salt loses its taste, it is “no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matt. 5:13). Believers are like salt in this world. Their distinctive character, through good works, preserves and flavors this world to prevent its decay,” states Gordon.
It is an unfortunate characteristic of the contemporary church that its leaders seek to make it as compatible as possible to the current culture. Whatever the fallen world is selling, so to speak, there are those in church leadership who are quick to buy; and who want their congregations to do likewise.
“Matthew 5:13. Ye are the salt of the earth. What belongs to doctrine is applied to the persons to whom the administration of it has been committed. When Christ calls the apostles the salt of the earth, he means, that it is their office to salt the earth: because men have nothing in them but what is tasteless, till they have been seasoned with the salt of heavenly doctrine. After having reminded them to what they are called, he pronounces against them a heavy and dreadful judgment, if they do not fulfill their duty. The doctrine, which has been entrusted to them, is shown to be so closely connected with a good conscience and a devout and upright life, that the corruption, which might be tolerated in others, would in them be detestable and monstrous,” states John Calvin.
What was true for the apostles is true for every believer in Christ. All who are in Christ are the salt of the earth. May our saltiness be seen by all today; and always.
Soli deo Gloria!