What Does Matthew 5:13 Mean?

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

Matthew 5:13(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The Church is the Body of Christ and in His absence from the world, we are called to be the salt of the earth and yet we are also warned that if salt loses it saltiness, it is good for nothing, other than to be thrown out and trampled under foot.

Then as now, salt has a number of important purposes. This was especially so in the time of Christ, when synthetic alternatives and refrigeration were unavailable. One use for salt is to add flavour to food while another important use is for preservation - preventing the putrefaction and spoiling of food.

The audience for Christ's Sermon on the Mount, was not the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but His own, chosen disciples. Christ's instruction to be salt was given to those that believed in His name - and the important lesson it teaches is that the presence of true, spiritual believers can make a real difference to a lost and dying world.

But there is also a secondary message which is a warning to all believers - that valuable opportunities to make a difference in our world can be lost through careless carnality or a lukewarm Christian life, which causes us to end up living a life that is good for nothing.

This is not a verse that is addressed to unbelievers on how to be saved, but a verse that instructs those who have already been saved by grace on how to live. This is not a verse that is warning believers that they can lose their eternal salvation, but one that alerts those who have trusted Christ as Saviour that they need to be a sweet seasoning in the lives of unbelievers and also that they act as a preservative in a putrefying world, for to do so will bring with it a great reward.

We are in the world but not of the world, and we must never allow the world to shape us into its own mould. We are to be seasoning in a bland, insipid, and corrupted world. Our words are to be seasoned with salt by speaking the truth of the glorious gospel of grace with those who are dead in their sins. We are to be a preserving agent that is used by God to restrain this world's evil from spreading its cancerous fingers into the lives of those who need to trust in Christ as Saviour.

Let us take up our cross and lay hold of these important instructions that Jesus gave to his disciples, to be the salt of the earth. And let us beware that we do not lose our saver by walking in tandem with the world and living a lukewarm Christian life, but rather let us live our life unto the Lord and to His praise and glory so that we may not waste this life of ours, but be a worthy witness to the goodness and grace of our Heavenly Father Who loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, I pray that I may be a worthy witness and become salt in this world to Your glory. I pray that my words and actions and all that I am will be seasoned with salt, and that You would use me to witness to the goodness of God and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave His life as the ransom for many. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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