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Editorials

March 14, 2014

The Sermon on the Mount: Part 2

Ada — Christ began one of his most beloved discourses with a message of hope in Matthew 5:3-12. He continued by offering more insight on how His followers should live throughout the sermon.

“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. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” —  Matthew 5:13-16

It is interesting to think about the properties of salt and why Christ would call His followers “the salt of the earth.” He also makes it clear that a person without these qualities will be useless in letting their light shine before men and glorifying God by their works. 

Salt has preservative qualities that allow food to last longer before spoiling. A Christian living as “the salt of the earth” preserves the principles that God esteems while outer forces work to destroy them. The world changes and the line between right and wrong blurs as many forms of sin become socially acceptable. Peter quotes the prophet Isaiah and says, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:24-25) The Christian’s duty is to stand by the Word of God and preserve God’s principles through their lives.

Salt is most often used to add flavor to the food we eat. Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” As “the salt of the earth,” our lives and speech reflect the love, humility, gentleness, grace and mercy of Christ. Sometimes we might wonder why someone always tries to do their best and never quits. Or why they are always enthusiastic and smiling and full of energy on a hard day. Or how they can respond with so much poise in difficult situations. These people seem to have “flavor” in the way they live their lives. As Christians, the Spirit adds this flavor to our lives and our works bring glory to God.

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