Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.
After reciting the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord tells His disciples in Matthew 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
The Lord calls His disciples in this verse the “salt of the earth”, but in this same verse, He says that the salt can be dispelled, and then it will be good for nothing, but to be cast out into the street and be trodden under the foot of men. Thus it was in the old ages; the salt that lost its flavor when it was exposed to the elements was thrown into the street and used as a pavement or layer of the land. Nevertheless, the pure salt never lost its savor.
The interesting thing is to see that here the Lord compares His disciples to the “salt of the earth.” But the question is: How is it that we are salted or prepared to come to be salt in a figurative sense?
The answer is found in Mark 9:49 where it is recorded, “For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.”
The answer that the Lord Jesus, Himself, gives us is that WE ARE SALTED WITH FIRE.
In this verse, the Lord says that every sacrifice will be salted with salt. In the days of the Levitical priesthood, all the tributes of grains, the sacrifices, and holocausts were salted with salt so they could be accepted by the Lord. Leviticus 2:13 says, “And every oblation of thy meat- offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant\of thy God to be lacking from thy meat-offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.” Also read Ezekiel 43:23-24. Salt cleans, purifies, gives flavor and represents a pact with God. In Mark 9:49, the Lord says, in a figurative sense, that all our sacrifices should be salted with salt. The Apostle Paul tells us in the New Testament that we should offer ourselves a living sacrifice. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Therefore, if we offer ourselves to God in a holy and living sacrifice, we should be seasoned with salt, and the Lord says in Mark 9:49 that the only way to be salted is through fire.
This fire represents the sacrifice by which we go through when we confront the daily trials and tribulations as children of God, according to the example or faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. The ones who reject the sacrifice and opt for disobedience, or for the easy way, do not suffer the trials and tribulations. They will never be seasoned with the salt that is pleasant to God. Let’s remember that John the Baptist said that we will be baptized with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and with fire by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 3:11 says, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost [Spirit], and with fire.” Therefore, if we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we should be baptized with His fire to be prepared with His salt. We have to go through the fire of trials and tribulations to be seasoned with salt, so that our faith can be refined more than gold and be found worthy in the appearing of the Lord. I Peter 1:6-7 says, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
When we are exposed to the adversities of life, we should face them according to the counsel of the Word of God and the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. We should not fall into the human tendency of abandoning that way and let our salt be dispelled because the verse says, “...but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
We have many enemies that trouble and oppress us, and try to offend us. There are many that want our salt to be dispelled and to see us humiliated and trampled upon in the street like the salt that has lost its savor. However, the Lord has placed in front ofus the principles to follow to be triumphant.
In Matthew 5:38-41, the Lord says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
In the past, the law was an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. However, the Lord expresses the principle which should govern us today. The command is not to return evil for evil, neither to appear as fools showing only a degrading or irrational attitude. We recall that, as children of God, we should present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service according to Romans 12:1. There should be good judgment in doing this, and the good judgment makes us children of God. The law, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, recorded in the Old Testament (Exodus 21:24- 25;Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:2 1), known as the law of vengeance limited the retribution that the transgressor had to pay. By striking someone who strikes, the issue is concluded. The offense, or the aggression, only causes more hatred and offenses. On the other hand, if we use a passive attitude, it is possible that the offender will recognize his fault and repent. If he does not, the Lord will judge him with His justice, because His Word says, “Vengeance is mine; Twill repay, saith the Lord.”
As well as this command, the Lord gives us principles to combat everything that can cause us danger, trials or tribulations. For example, if there is need for material things, He tells us, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31-33).
We should not offend, and no one should offend us. The Lord Jesus makes strong statements against offenses. In Mark 9:42 and following, the Lord says that no one should offend us or put a barrier in front of us to cause us to fall. Still, He tells us to remove from us everything that can cause our salt to be dispelled. Please read up to verse
The trial, or baptism of fire, with which we have to be seasoned, is always there, inside and outside of church. However, we should confront it and go through with it to be salted with fire so that our sacrifice can be acceptable before God. The Lord Jesus went through with it to the death, and He came out triumphant. His sacrifice was a sacrifice seasoned with salt. What about us? Can we be baptized with the baptism with which He was baptized? Can we drink from the same cup from which He drank? Can we also be seasoned or salted with fire? Dear reader, what do you say? The Lord says, “For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt” (Mark 9:49).
“Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, AND HAVE PEACE ONE WITH ANOTHER” (Mark 9:50).
From “The Advocate of Truth”. September 27, 2010.
The Church of God - Publishing House - Salem, West Virginia