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Pearls of the Kingdom 5/22/24

It has been a few weeks since we looked at this portion of scripture. Perhaps a “refresh” on this verse in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”


Some important questions for us to consider today:


1.    What did Jesus want his audience to understand when he said, “you are the salt of the earth?” 

2.    Can salt loose its saltiness?

3.    Can salt less salt be made salty again?


I had mentioned last time that there has been much discussion in regards to this quote made by Jesus. Just what was he trying to convey to his audience. Not sure I have all the answers, but enough for us to look closer and open us up to some further discussion today. Asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us, to challenge us and perhaps change us. 


Just thinking here, I am to be like “salt” in the world. Understanding how salt is used in the natural, then what does that look like to me spiritually?  What does “Christian Salt” look like? Interesting question. Any thoughts? I sense it has something to do with how I live my life, interacting in close contact with others. I believe it has reference to my conduct, character, witness and integrity. 


As a Christian, Jesus desires that my life would have an influence by “being salt” in the world. Christians are to the earth what salt is to food. As salt makes food taste better, followers of Jesus Christ are to influence this sinful world for the kingdom of God. We are to be kingdom condiments. We are to be sanctified seasoning. We are to add “godly flavoring” to a “tasteless” sinful world. To be the salt of the earth that Christ calls us to be, we must live our lives for God in the world. 


"Christians, by being Christians, influence society almost automatically." Indeed, you can make a difference in this world by just being who you are. Just be salt. Act like a Christian. Conductyourself as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.” (LLoyd Jones)


If I am going to “change the flavor” in my city, my community, my neighborhood and workplace then I need to be involved, engaged at some level with others around me. Understand saltneeds to be shaken out, poured out, rubbed in, mixed in, come into close contact to have any affect. I am to live my life in the world but I do not live my life like the world. The world needs all the goodness, kindness, patience, gentleness, hope, encouragement and love (kingdom condiments, sanctified seasoning) that I can give. 

 

Can I loose my saltiness? Perhaps a tough question to ask, “Have I lost my saltiness?” My sense here is that I loose my saltiness when I make compromises that impact my character, integrity, witness for the kingdom of God. When I water down the truth of God’s word to justify my actions. When I start living after my flesh and not walking after and being led by the Spirit.  My ability to influence, to change those around me no longer has any impact (become saltless). Seems like instead of changing the world around me, the world is changing me. 


Perhaps the main question, what happens when I loose my saltiness? Can my “salt” be made salty again? I must believe that when my life (character, integrity, witness) has lost its saltiness, its affect on those around me, that I can be made salty again. Gods word says all things are possible, for those who believe. I must believe God is a redeemer. When I confess my sin and turn in repentance the process begins to restore my saltiness. 


Some verses to ponder further:


Rom 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”


1 Pet 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”


Gal 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”


Rom 8:5 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”


Gal 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”


2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


1 Jn 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”


As I had mentioned, not sure I have all the answers for us today. My hope, my goal is perhaps to start some conversations here. Thinking of this verse below and asking the Holy Spirit to give me a “Salt test.” Not a salt test for others, but a salt test for me. See if I am still salty? Have I lost my saltiness through compromised areas of my character, integrity, witness? What do I need to do to confess and change, to be salty again?


2 Cor 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”


Pastor Jeff

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