How Has Jesus Categorized You?

Written by gregdenham on July 9th, 2010

Maybe at the dinner table or in a restaurant among friends but we’ve all said it,“Could you please pass the salt”. And why?

Because salt is a food enhancer. And you don’t need a lot of it to make the food taste just that much better! And sometimes we need just a little salt to do just that.

But during the time of Jesus, salt was not so much a food enhancer but a food preservative. Salt in the first century was an antibacterial! It preserved meat and vegetables and it was so valued that at times the Roman government paid their soldiers with, salt!

Can you imagine then how it impacted the followers of Jesus when He said to them, “YOU are the SALT of the earth …” He was calling them the refrigerant of the ancient world. He was categorizing them. He was branding them. And He was saying that without their influence the world would rot and decay.

The same is true today.

Every follower of Jesus is the preserving INFLUENCE of the world. Wherever you’re are. Whatever family you’re in. Wherever you work. Wherever you play. Wherever you live. Wherever you go to church. YOU are SALT! Right, now, you are the “Salt of the earth …”

You might be thinking, “Ok, I got it — Jesus categorized me as SALT but what exactly is the influence He is referring to that preserves the world from rotting and decaying?” The answer is found in the most immediate context of Jesus’ remarks in Matthew 5:13(and this Sunday we will begin a series of expository teaching on this very subject and I am really excited about it!)

In the meantime, let me give some perspective.

We may think that the realities of mercy and being a peacemaker and valuing others and forgiveness and sexual purity and worship and prayer — are intuitive. Just something that we’re wired to do. But that is not the case. These realities are not intuitive to everyone! They have been passed down to us and taught to us. They are the result of being transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. And, they are  totally necessary! Imagine a world without mercy, and peacemakers, and the valuing of all human beings, and forgiveness, and sexual purity and worship and prayer, to name a few. What is the alternative to these realities? Total decay!

“You are the salt of the earth” Jesus said. This is one of the ways that we, INFLUENCE.

Sometimes you’ll see a difference that your life makes. Other times you will not. But know this, salt always makes a difference. Living out your faith where you are will always make a difference to God’s glory.

I can’t wait to see everyone Sunday!

3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jim Lucari says:

    So very true! We need the transforming power of the risen Christ to be that salt as you describe. Lord help us to stay salty!

  2. Jim Mc Farland says:

    We as Christians need to speak out in our every day activities. We so need to be doers of the word, today in our society more than ever.
    We have a Biblical Mandate to shape our culture, effect lives, change destinies.
    As the Salt and Light of the World, the Lord Jesus Christ has given us a Mandate to influence our culture for Him. As members of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ we are not to be walked on and pushed aside so the world can keep going with business as usual. They may walk all over us, but like Stephen- we need to give a Godly defense.
    As Christians we can and probably should, be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. But we cannot stay in our prayer closet forever, everyone else in our society is coming out of the closet with their views, why not the Christians, who are ordained to be the salt and the light.
    We as Christians ought to be “voice” of the law makers, judges, Public school Principles, presidents and congressmen.
    We as Christians ought to get involved enough in the political process by helping educate society on morality as the Bible teaches it.
    It seems that political correctness has become the law of the land instead of God’s Law. It seems that selfish laws rule our hearts instead of the law of Love ruling in our hearts. We must continue to swim up stream as well as help build dams to stop the current and maybe even re directs it in the right direction.
    Jesus said that if we are to follow Him that we would be fishers of men. Real Fisherman do not catch fish, just to throw them back into the water. Likewise, as Fishers of Men, who are following Jesus, after we catch a fish we must not let that fish keep going in the flow of the current of political correctness. We must help them become Biblically Correct.
    As the salt of the earth, we must not compromise in the name of politically correctness. It is better to be Biblically Correct than Politically Correct. It is better to be right in God’s sight than to be accepted by the world and “go with the flow”.
    When Jesus said “You are the Salt of the Earth” He was referring to the effects of salt. In those days people used salt to preserve their meat from decay. The salt would preserve from corruption, as well as give good flavor.
    Jesus also said we were the light of the Earth. Light has influence to change the world. Light has the power to change a situation. Next time you walk into a dark room – try to turn on the light and notice the difference that light makes. Even if you take a tiny candle into a Dark room you will see a Big change and a difference.
    Jesus Never intended for His church to hide their lights. Jesus Christ said that He will build His Church and the Gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Darkness cannot prevail against the light. Darkness cannot put the light out or overcome the light. Light always wins over darkness when the light is turned on. If we keep our lights on we will make a Difference wherever we go. Darkness will disappear when we step into the room.
    As the Lights of the World we do not carry a literal candle or flashlight but we carry spiritual Light. We carry the Word of God; we carry Moral Integrity and Spiritual Intensity.
    We represent the True Light – Jesus Christ and we represent God and His Kingdom. We represent is right in God’s sight.
    The book of James says that “Faith without works is dead” and that people will see our faith by our good works. We should show our culture and world that God loves them and that He offers them His Help in times of trouble.

    The Truth project: a series that our leadership at CCA decided was to be the “foundational” start of our home groups, went to great lengths to show us how far we have drifted. One example was that our Founding fathers were God fearing and included Him in their public meetings, speeches and writings. One of the documents besides the Bible mentioned was the “The Mayflower Compact”.
    A Compact is another word for covenant and in it, it states the purpose and vision of our Fathers. Every business has a mission statement or a Purpose Statement. Every Church has one, every ministry and every organization has and should keep their employees and staff educated about the mission and Vision of the company or organization that they work for.
    In any organization if there is one who is not trying to “work the vision” then they should find another organization to work for. It would be wrong for us to let the organization be led by people who don’t have the vision or are will work the vision into reality. Well, This United States is no different, it has a Vision and Mission Statement that all need to learn and work to fulfill. If you work for any company you are expected to make the vision, purpose and mission statement a reality. As an employee or volunteer one is required to “work the vision”, in the same way those who live here in America, and those working in our government should always remember the Dream and vision statement of our founding fathers.
    In our history there were many Great American men who talked about, prayed to and included God in their Political activities. It is very important for us to know our history. And to our shock and dismay, that history is being rewritten.
    As the Liberal left and the media and some liberal historians try to erase God from our history in order to erase Him from our future. The Political Correctionalists think that they have the answers to our culture. We as Biblical Correctionalists know that without God we are NOTHING, and who do we think we are to think that America has a future without the God of the Bible. If you really examine what our founding fathers thought and wrote about, you would see the truth about these statements.
    This is a time that we as Christians need to stand up and speak up and be Silent No More in America. Americans need to Learn and know our Christian roots and history in order to have a firm foundation for the future. The Bible says that “if the foundations be removed, what will the righteous do?”
    This nations history and birth was from a Christian view that came from the Bible. The history of American Law will take you back to the Declaration of Independence and the views that they had. [Find and read Blackstone – its the “original” foundation of American law until 1869]
    The Founding Fathers were deeply interested in the morals of the people, because the Republic they had established was critically dependent upon citizens governing themselves. This morality sprang from a deep religious foundation, a comprehensive Christian worldview underlying everything, including the law.
    Blackstone taught that every law crafted by man, if it were to be good law, must conform to God’s law, found in the Scripture and in nature (“written on the conscience of men”). Blackstone was not teaching something new. Sir Edward Coke (1600s), John Locke (1700s) and others had the same perspective. They used terms like “the law of nature” and “Nature’s God.”

    Do these terms sound familiar? They should. Thomas Jefferson penned them into the Declaration of Independence.
    Bit, this nations history goes back even before it was founded, the people who founded it had a Christian world view before they came.
    The Mayflower Compact states there purpose to form a government politic and body that would “advance the Christian faith”. Those members of that compact- so believed that God had called them to spread the gospel here that they believed that even if they were but stepping stones- to die out quickly here- they were still called to bring the Gospel so others could advance it.
    Our founding fathers had biblical values, and views. The Declaration of Independence was signed by majority of Christians and one of them being a pastor. Since the birth of this nation until now many things have changed.
    Change it has for the worse, today the humanism view that crept into our law making process, and our educational faculties.
    The “separation of church and state” as we hear it today is a twisted truth. The original intent was for 2 reasons; to make sure that the country didn’t have a mandatory religion, but instead gave people the freedom of choice. They didn’t want to force any religion on people even though they were all Christian. The second reason was to protect the church from being ruled by the government. In other words the Government (state) could not interfere with the church’s affairs.
    A favorite quote of mine is- those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it. If we fail to see for our self- how, why and the means this country was founded, then like Benjamin Franklin warned
    I am not the super Christian- I make mistakes. But, I have learned growth is described by how fast you ID the error and how quickly you fix it.
    I am learning to become a Barnabas – a son of comfort. I was a hopeless dope fiend; Now I am a dope less hope fiend. One thing I know- Jesus Christ and Him crucified, But, I do not count myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
    My only desire is that you are inspired to do the same- towards that end I move and live and have my being.
    Lord, as I grow older- make me an old salty man- focused on You.

  3. Pam Goldbeck says:

    Wish I could be there on Sunday. Still in Ariz. But will definitely get the tapes.

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