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Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Salt?

Jesus says in Matthew 5:13, "You [believers] are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." We must, as Matthew Henry comments, retain the relish and savor of the salt. For "if this salt lose its saltiness, if a Christian revolt from his Christianity, if he loses the savor of it, and be no longer under the power and influence of it, what can recover him, or wherewith will you season him?"

God used a small number of people to support Herbert W. Armstrong in the preaching of the gospel to the world. We are now even fewer in number, yet we have influence far out of relation to our size. What is more, only a remnant of us will support the work of the Two Witnesses. God has always worked with the few. However, if we ease up, if we lose our flavor, we will "be thrown out and trampled underfoot"—a scary thought indeed!

At one time, salt was thought to be very rare. As drilling techniques improved, it was discovered that the earth possessed huge underground salt deposits. Near the town of Cardona, Spain, there is literally a mountain of salt. Covered by a few feet of soil, most of the mountain—around 70 percent—is pure rock salt. Just as God's people are rare now, we represent multitudes to be "discovered" in the future. A little salt goes a long way.

These three points barely scratch the surface of this subject. As with salt itself, there is more to it than what first appears. Pointing out the depth of what, on the surface, looks to be simple statements about a common substance could expand into volumes of insights and instruction. Like so much of what we read in the Bible, God has built in many layers of meaning.

What "simple" principle can we take away from this study? God has called us to be living sacrifices. The Christian life is an ongoing process of striving for purity, in which we must ensure that our lives are properly seasoned so that we might not lose our "flavor" and succeed in being among God's firstfruits.

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