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LESSON 8 • Third Week

YOU ARE THE SALT
OF THE EARTH

Background Reading                       Devotional Reading
2 Kings 2:21; Job 6:6; Mark               Ezekiel 47:1-12
9:49-50; Luke 14:34-35;
Colossians 4:6

Central Verse
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savor, where­with shall it be salted? It is thence­forth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."     Matthew 5:13, KJV

"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its fla­vor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled un­derfoot as worthless."      Matthew 5:13, NLT

Key Terms
Trodden—Past participle of to step or walk on or over: to beat or press with the feet.
Versatile—Turning with ease from one thing to another: able to do many different kinds of things.
Stagnated—To become or remain not active or brisk: motionless.

Brine—Water saturated or strongly impregnated with common salt: water containing a great deal of salt.

Introduction

Salt is one of the most important and valuable commodities that is used in the world. It would be very difficult to live in a world that has no salt, for salt gives flavor and preserve from corruption. It has been said that from reliev­ing rashes to removing stains to restoring household items to their original luster. To beauty scrubs and throat gargles, salt does more than just season and preserve food. In the early days it was so valuable that the Romans used it as currency. We get the word salary from the word salt, because the military men were paid in salt payments. Salt is used in the health industry, the cleaning industry, the food industry, and so many others.

The human body could not function without salt. The animals could not sur­vive without salt, because salt is so necessary to bring balance in so many areas.

Discussion

Salt has so many uses that life would be in a world of trouble without salt. Salt comes from several sources, such as salt mines, from the sea, from springs or wells, and from ashes. But the primary sources are mines and sea water or brine.

Salt is used to purify things, preserve meat, season food, for personal hy­giene. It is a preservative, yet it is tasty. Salt is so versatile, and it has so many uses.

Jesus spoke to His disciples and told them they were the salt of the earth. The believer ought to be able to always bring influence into any situation in life, for he is called to influence. He is called to improve and make the world a better place to live in. The believer and the church should be godly examples in the world around them. They should resist moral decay and corruption that is evident in the social media and in our godless society.

Believers who have become lukewarm, and those who quench the power of the Holy Spirit have lost their saltiness and will be cast out and trodden under the foot of men. Believers who have lost their saltiness are no good to the kingdom, for they are powerless against the attacks of the enemy.

When salt is added to a dish, it should make the food taste better. When there was no refrigeration available, salt was used to preserve the fresh meat in the fall at meat killing time. The meat was salted down and was able to stay preserved until it was springtime, and it was yet good enough to eat.

Jesus knew that when a believer is really committed to Him and the kingdom, he is like salt. Powerful enough to make things change, powerful enough to influence people for good, and change the atmosphere in a room. For they are like salt that has so many uses. During times of adversity, trouble and crisis, the believer is mindful of what he says. His speech is seasoned with salt and this lets him know how to answer every man. As he navigates through difficult conversation, he allows his salt to help make sense of sit­uations.

In Ezekiel chapter forty-seven, the prophet Ezekiel had a vision that showed him a life-giving river coming from the temple. As it flowed it grew in depth and width, giving life and fruitfulness to everything it touched. The river flowed into the Dead Sea area and rid it of death. The Dead Sea is a body of water that is stagnated waters, it is a body of water with salt water. The fresh water flowing into the Dead Sea turned the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds. The purpose of the river was to bring abundant life and healing from God to the land and to the people. The swamps and marshes won't become fresh. They will stay salty. But the river on both sides will grow fruit trees of all kinds. The believers are the salt of the earth and out of their belly shall flow rivers of living waters. But the flowing water must pass through the salt, so it can be purified and get rid of the dead and let life come forth.

Conclusion

A believer's speech must be pleasant, winsome, kind and gracious. It should be words that come from the operation of God's grace in their hearts, and they must speak the truth in love. "Seasoned with salt" should be conversa­tion that is appropriate, meaningful, loving, filled with kindness and marked by purity, not mean spirited, not foul, not profane, nor corrupt. "Speech with grace" (Colossians 4:6) does not exclude fervent and stern words filled with truth, when necessary. It is the believer's responsibility to oppose false be­lievers who are enemies of the cross.

Questions

Why did Jesus classify believers as the salt of the earth?
What are some of the uses for salt?
Where does salt come from?
What did the vision that Ezekiel saw tell the believer about salt?

Essential Thought- "If you give a horse enough salt, you can take him to the water, and he will drink."