“Ye Are The Salt of the Earth”

(Matthew 5:13)


A. We now leave the Beatitudes altogether and move into the
next section of the Sermon on the Mount

1. Remember, however, that the beatitudes have to do with
two things

a. Faith – beginning, growth, maturity and testing

b. Character of people who would be disciples of Jesus

2. It is essential to remember the beatitudes, because they set
up a foundation upon which the rest of the sermon is built

B. In this lesson we look at Jesus’ statement about salt

1. Matthew 5:13

2. This must have amazed the people who heard it for they
were not among the world’s powerful or elite, or in any
way in a position to think of themselves as able to impact
the world

3. However, Jesus knew something about both the world and
about them that is not always readily apparent

C. Today, then we will concentrate on this idea of being the
salt of the earth



1. We are tempted to begin immediately talking about the
people and the fact that Jesus said they are the salt of
the earth

a. First, we must understand that whatever the statement
means, we must first understand the clear implication
about the world

b. We must understand what Jesus knew about the world
before we can understand about salt

2. Jesus clearly implies that the world is full of decay, full
of things that lead to illness and death

a. The world has something called sin which is loose and
on a rampage

b. The tendency of the world is toward that which is evil
and bad

c. The world is corrupt and offensive, it is polluted,
decaying and dying

3. Note a few verses that give us the biblical concept of the

a. Psalm 14:1-3

b. Jeremiah 17:9

c. Genesis 6:5-6

4. If you understand the implication about the world in
Jesus’ statement, his intention for us as salt becomes

a. Salt works because it is fundamentally different from
that to which it is applied

b. Just as the beatitudes taught us, we are to be different
from the world

c. Only when we are different, can we really have the
effect that Jesus had in mind


1. To understand what Jesus reveals about God’s people,
now we must understand some things about salt

a. Salt is a preservative – rubbed into meat, for example, it
prevents the meat from decaying, and keeps it good to

1) Note that salt doesn’t make something good

2)  Salt can only keep something from becoming bad

b. Salt is an antiseptic – dissolved in a glass of water, it
helps kill the germs that cause a sore throat

1) You don’t gargle with salt-water to stay healthy

2)  You gargle to kill the germs

c. Salt is a seasoning agent – sprinkled on bland food, it
helps to enhance the flavor

1) Salt by itself doesn’t taste so good

2)  Salt applied to food makes it better

2. When we make the application of this image of salt to
the people to whom Jesus spoke, it becomes clearer
what Jesus wanted his disciples to do

a. We are to function as a preservative in the world

1) This applies specifically to the tendency of the world
toward the rottenness of sin

2) We do this by being different from the world in which
we live

3) I think you see this effect when a godly man or
woman makes his or her presence known to the world

4) Often, the fact that a godly person is present, stops the
trend toward sin and worse sin

b. We are to function as an antiseptic in the world

1) Again, this applies specifically to sin in the world

2) We do this by living faithfully to God

3) I think you see this effect when our involvement in
life not only stops the trend toward sin, but turns the
trend back toward God

4) We do this when we have opportunity to help set the
pace and the agenda by which the world lives

c. We are to be a seasoning agent in the world

1) This applies to the fact that without God, life becomes
dull and bland and causes people to seek the
ever-elusive thrill

2) Without God, man is on a never ending quest for
meaning and satisfaction

3) You see the salt-effect in the changed lives, values,
meaning and purpose in God’s people

4) We do this by helping people see there is an
alternative to the constant downward spiral of

3. Consider what these verses say about the Christian and the

a. Ephesians 5:1-4

b. John 17:15-18

c. Philippians 4:4-8

d. Philippians 4:11-12

e. Romans 12:1-2

f. 1 John 2:15-17


1. Essentially, the question is:

a. “What happens when salt is no longer different from that
to which it is applied?

b. “What happens when salt no longer functions as salt?”

2. We know something has happened to the salt if the
saltiness is lost

a. Basically, about the only way this can happen is for the
salt to become mixed with another element to the extent
that it is made ineffective

b. This happens when the people who are to be different
from the world become just like the world

c. It that happens, we can no longer preserve, purify or
season the world because we will have the same need of
salt as they do

3. Such salt is useless to both God and man


A. We are called to change the world in which we live

1. We do it by being different from that which is normally
found in the world

2. We do it by practicing the life of God in the midst of a
sinful world

B. Here is where we need to begin making some real
examination of ourselves

1. Is there a clear distinction between your life and that of the
people who live around you and ?

2. Are you indifferent to the condition of the world and to
your responsibility to affect your part of the world for

C. Matthew 5:13


About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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