The Most Important Seasoning

Elia Morise

The most important seasoning is the expression of a Spirit-filled Christian life. What its characteristics are and what weakens it. An overview.

The Lord told His disciples, “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” (Matt 5:13).

“You are…” is a divine invitation to us personally: “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Tim 1:9). Christians have a divine value, for they are the “salt of the earth.” Peter writes: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9). But this high calling also has a serious divine truth associated with it; namely, that bland salt is worthless. “But if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again?” (Mark 9:50). The Greek word for “bland” also means stupid. Let us beware of becoming bland through spiritual stupidity!

The Properties of Salt
We are called to be salt because God has endowed us with divine worth through salvation. But why is Jesus even comparing us to salt? Because this most important of seasonings has qualities that represent the fruitful Christian life.

1. Salt is available everywhere: “And Jesus went through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction” (Matt 9:35). Like our Lord, we go through all towns and neighborhoods to spread the Gospel.

2. Salt is inexpensive: “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:27).

3. Salt is irreplaceable, and also very unique: “Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt?” (Job 6:6a). Christians with the Good News on this earth are just as irreplaceable and unique.

4. Salt has a great impact, even in small amounts: “And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases … And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere” (Luke 9:1-6).

5. Salt is white, symbolizing purity: “But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet 1:15). Christ has cleansed and sanctified us through His blood, so that we may live clean and holy lives for Him.

6. Broken grains of salt symbolize meekness: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23a).

7. The beauty of salt crystals symbolizes a heart filled with the Holy Spirit: “Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit … But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 6:5; 7:55).

8. Salt is also a preservative, and so it represents the ministry of Christians in and to the world: “And he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you’” (Acts 27:24).

9: Salt works silently. God appeals to His people in this way: “in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Isa 30:15b). That is how we imitate Christ: “He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets” (Matt 12:19).

10. Salt dissolves; that is a metaphor for self-denial, which those who are modeled after the Lord are called to. “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’” (Matt 16:24).

11. Salt causes thirst. Like the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, Christians awaken a thirst for living water in others: “So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?’ … They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world’” (John 4:28-29, 42).

12: Salt absorbs: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).

13. In the Bible, salt is also a symbol of gratitude. We are thankful for the gift of salvation: “Now because we eat the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king’s dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king” (Ezra 4:14).

14. Salt also served as a symbol of the covenant with God in the Levitical sacrificial laws: “You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt” (Lev 2:13).

Why Salt Becomes Bland
These wonderful characteristics of salt should also become increasingly visible in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. However, there are times when a believer’s testimony may become weak. Why is that? When does salt become flavorless?

1. If it is stored improperly: “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you” (2 Cor 6:17). This means that we should not be “storing” our lives where impurity and sin reign.

2. Salt becomes bland when it is mixed. This is a depiction of mixing with false doctrine. One example of this is the godly king Jehoshaphat, uniting with the ungodly king Ahab through marriage (2 Chron 18:1). Indeed, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1 Cor 15:33).

3. Salt becomes bland when unclean things are added: “Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone” (Hos 4:17).

A sad example of flavorless salt is the life of Lot. He initially goes with Abraham (Gen 12:4) and becomes very rich (Gen 13:5). He then departs from Abraham and pitches his tent in the godless city of Sodom (v. 12). When God judges Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:24), Lot is forced to flee and loses his wife, who looks back and becomes a pillar of salt (v. 26). Lot’s daughters turn out to be morally depraved (v. 31), and his grandchildren are wicked: Moab (meaning “from the father”) and Ben-Ammi (meaning “son of a relative”). Like the flavor of salt in one’s mouth, Lot’s journey began well, with Abraham and great wealth. But it ends in powerlessness, like salt that is good for nothing more than being trampled underfoot.

Still, there is hope for bland salt. When our salt has gone stale, we need a new bowl to store it in. This is called obedience: “[Elisha] said, ‘Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.’ So they brought it to him” (2 Kings 2:20). Therefore, let us heed the Word of our Lord and imitate Him, so that we can be the most important seasoning in this world: “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another” (Mark 9:50b).

Midnight Call - 11/2022

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