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Matthew 5:13 Salt

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by thelord's_pearl, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    I really don't understand this Scripture:
    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. Mat. 5:13
    This Scripture concerns me, help would be appreciated.
     
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  2. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    Does anyone know what this Scripture means? it's a hard one. Thank you
     
  3. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    "You are the salt of the earth"

    Salt, in the ancient world, was used as a means of flavoring/adding zest to food (like it still is today), but it's principle use was as a preservative for food, unlike today (refrigerators were apparently hard to come by back then ;)).

    In this metaphor, Jesus likens His disciples (then and now) to salt. Christians have always been part of the means that God uses to preserve righteousness/purity/moral goodness in this world, because this world is in a constant state of decay (meaning spiritually & morally in this case).

    In fact, if our lives conform to the norms set forth in the Beatitudes (see verses 3–12), then we cannot help but be an influence for good in this world :oldthumbsup: The worse the world becomes and the more its corruption proceeds apace, the more it stands in need of Jesus’ disciples. ~Carson, D A

    "If the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men"

    Because salt by its nature cannot be anything other than salt, it cannot really lose its saltiness; therefore some have taken Jesus to be saying that there is an inner necessity which compels Christians to witness. This interpretation, it seems to me, smacks of the pedantic. Although salt per se cannot lose its saltiness, it can nevertheless be adulterated. If sufficiently adulterated by, say, sand, then salt can no longer be used as a preservative. It loses its effectiveness in staying corruption, and so must be jettisoned as a useless commodity. The purpose of salt is to fight deterioration, and therefore it must not itself deteriorate. ~Carson, D. A. (1999). Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World: An Exposition of Matthew 5–10

    In first-century Palestine, their primary source of salt was the Dead Sea. The salt from the Dead Sea was mixed with other minerals, many of which would contaminate the purity of the salt and leech the saltiness out of the content. Jesus is telling His people that they are the salt of the earth, and they must not allow the saltiness to be leeched away. It must not be destroyed by contaminating minerals. If we are not the salt of the earth, it is probably because we have allowed the world to contaminate us. ~Sproul, R. C. (2013). Matthew

    Salt corrupted by such minerals becomes ineffective as either a flavor enhancer or as a preservative for food. When that happens, it's "thrown out and trampled under foot by men", on the paths and byways as refuse. So it is for us as Christians, and thereby for our witness to this world (if we allow our lives to become "tasteless", contaminated and corrupted by the world and its values .. cf Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15-16).

    God saved us, but He left us in this world for a number of wonderful and important purposes .. e.g. Isaiah 43:10; Matthew 5:13-16; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 2:10, but if we lose our saltiness by compromising our Christian values and embracing the world's instead, we will become ineffective and valueless to them, and in the end then, cast aside as useless and trampled under foot (as one's whose words and witness the world no longer needs to pay attention to).

    --David
    p.s. - finally, and just to be clear, the second half of v13 has ~nothing~ to do with the loss of a true believer's salvation/eternal life, even if such a thing was possible (it is not .. e.g. John 5:24, 6:37-40, 10:27-28; Romans 8:1; Philippians 1:6, 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 5:13; Jude 24-25).
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
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  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    I want to add this as well, a quote by Dr. John MacArthur from his commentary on Matthew 5:13.

    We cannot be an influence for purity in the world if we have compromised our own purity. We cannot sting the world’s conscience if we continually go against our own. We cannot stimulate thirst for righteousness if we have lost our own. We cannot be used of God to retard the corruption of sin in the world if our own lives become corrupted by sin. To lose our saltiness is not to lose our salvation, but it is to lose our effectiveness and to become disqualified for service (see 1 Corinthians 9:27).

    Pure salt does not lose its saltiness, that which makes it valuable and effective. Christians who are pure in heart do not become tasteless, ineffective, and useless in the kingdom of God.

    ~MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 246). Chicago: Moody Press.
    We Christians are made into wholly new creatures by God .. e.g. 2 Corinthians 5:17 cf Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:3; Ephesians 2:4-5, 10, to love righteousness and to hate wickedness, just like He does. On the other hand, the world tends to love wickedness and hate righteousness, so you can see why it also wishes that we would just take our Christian values and what we know about God, and disappear .. 2 Timothy 3:12, but we must not, because they simply must hear .. Romans 10:13-15, 17.

    Blessings to you in Christ,
    David

    Romans 10
    17 Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  5. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    but what if you fell away for a while, which I did, I stopped believing in Jesus Christ and only believed in God, or I got baptized as a teen and was pushed into so I thought I would try and confessed that I believed in Jesus on the day of baptism even though I wasn't sure but thought I'd try and told my friends that they can avoid the Christians while I was also working on being right with God in things I learned, all of this so it can be said to me that if I'm or I was also the salt of the earth, and lose my saltiness by falling away once, how can I be made salty/effective again? I'm concerned that it's saying I can't become salty/effective again when I thought that if you come back to Christ and recognize him you can become effective again and it says in the Word that God is so happy that you've come back and that you're always welcome back.
    Is it possible it could be talking about that you're the salt of the world at present and if you lose your saltiness then you can't become salty again at that time but that there's also a new set of salt to begin w/ that you would have if you've fallen away or if you lost saltiness to an extent when you didn't understand Christ much as a new believer and got baptized but wasn't sure if you believed in him and don't think you were ready to be baptized then. Thank you a lot! tremendously for answering this question :(
     
  6. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hello @thelord's_pearl, the good news is, we have eternal life, so we have no reason to be anxious as we have all the time we need for whatever the Lord wants us to do and know :) The bad news tonight is, I don't have much time to talk :(

    So, here is what I believe in a nutshell. The principle way that we know if someone who claims to be a Christian is, indeed, a true Christian (born again/justified), is that they persevere in the faith (albeit, HIGHLY imperfectly at times, even for very extended times/years, sadly). True Christians are, in fact, the only ones who persevere.

    We also know that there are MANY in the church who are pretenders, and many more who are not true believers, but who both claim and think that they are anyway .. e.g. Matthew 7:22-23, 13:24-30, 36-43.

    We also know that those who claim to be Christians, but then walk away from the faith 'forever', never were (true Christians), rather, they were CINO (Christians In Name Only) .. e.g. 1 John 2:19.

    I believe that those of us who are His, who are known by, chosen, and loved by God (and that "from everlasting"), will persevere in the faith (albeit imperfectly, as I already mentioned above) because He will see that we do/He will "preserve" us in the faith .. e.g. Jeremiah 31:3; Ephesians 1:4-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 5:13; Jude 24-25. We are, in fact, given "eternal life" (~not~ temporal or probationary life) from the moment that we first believe/come to true, saving faith in Christ .. e.g. John 5:24.

    I'll have to talk more about this with you later, but I will leave you with this for your careful consideration. Saints can and do mess up badly throughout much of our lives at times, but in the end, God will draw us back to Him before our lives here are over, as He has promised to both sanctify us and to see us safely through this life to be with Him in Glory .. e.g. Philippians 1:6, 2:13.

    Chapter XVII. Of the Perseverance of the Saints

    Section I.–They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

    Section II.–This perseverance of the saints depends, not upon their own freewill, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit and of the seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

    Section III.–Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalence of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their perseverance, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit; come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalise others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

    ~The Westminster Confession of Faith
    (in part)

    God bless you! (Numbers 6:24-26)

    --David
    p.s. - just FYI, I was baptized in the church when I was about a week old, and I was raised in the church (and loved it, for the most part anyway ;)) after that. I did Sunday School, Youth Choir, retreats, confirmation, and then choir and main church until college, you know, the whole 9 yards. And I always thought that I was a Christian (why wouldn't I have), until the day I finally became one that is, 2 months after my 30th birthday.

    So I have come to believe that I didn't walk away from the faith during my very sinful 20's, because in reality, I was never saved to begin with. We'll talk more about this idea of losing and/or losing and then regaining your salvation tomorrow as well.

    Finally, I wrote everything above so quickly that there may be things that I need to correct for you. This too, sadly, will have to wait.

    Remember that you have all the time in the world, so no worries, and be sure to take your Bible questions to the Lord in prayer (as He is always interested in a dialogue, and thereby, a growing relationship with you).

    Talk to you soon (Dv) :wave:
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  7. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    @St_Worm2, Have you forgotten about this thread? Thank you a lot.
    I don't agree that if you fall away, it means you were not the elect but rather you were not built on the rock or something like that I recall reading about as Jesus spoke about. There were different kinds of seed of the ones who would fall away or the only one that wouldn't. I could also say that my baptism as a teen was probably not valid so I never did fall away once. but now whether or not I'm so sure about Jesus Christ or not I would be following Jesus Christ's good teachings and I'm really trying to learn and this forum would be of great help, it really makes a difference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  8. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hello @thelord's_pearl, you're talking about the various kinds of soil in Matthew 13, yes?

    Jumping back to Matthew 5:13 for the moment now, I believe that two more things are important for you to consider, 1. that the salt metaphor can only be taken so far before it begins to become problematic (and say far more than I believe the Lord intended), and 2. that what is said about a Christian losing his/her saltiness needs to get its meaning/be understood in light of the context of that verse and chapter, rather than understanding it outside of the context that it's written in (so that it supports a particular presupposition instead).

    --David
     
  9. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    I looked it up now and yes I am talking about the various soils in Matthew 13, that some people are just not built on good soil/grounds and that's why they fall away, not bc they're not the elect.

    So in my case as I've told you and posted up, what is my position in terms of losing my saltiness (effectiveness as you said) to an extent and falling away once (if my baptism was valid ie. I put my faith in Him and thought I would try even though I wasn't sure if Jesus Christ was real and didn't have much understanding to begin with). I'm confused, thank you and anyone one else who would help.

    If this Scripture had anything to do with salvation, it would conflict with the parable or Scriptures talking about the son who fell away but returned to the Father and the Father was so happy and welcomed him "back" so I'm very confused!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  10. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    bringing this thread back up
     
  11. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hello thelord's_pearl, I'll have time to talk tomorrow, DV (or perhaps even a little later tonight), but I'd like to make one thing clear for you in the meantime, Matthew 5:13 has 'nothing' to do with salvation. IOW, losing your "saltiness" is not some sort of Bible code for losing your salvation.

    If you'd like to discuss what the Bible has to say about being saved, losing and/or rejecting your salvation, and/or getting it back, I'm happy to do that as there are other verses and passages in the Bible that address the topic of salvation but, again, Matthew 5:13 isn't one of them :preach:

    Just let me know.

    Thanks :)

    --David
    p.s. - Here's a passage to consider that, like Matthew 5:13, is directly from the Lord Himself, but unlike Matthew 5:13, this passage most definitely concerns our salvation. What are some of the things that we can learn from Jesus' words here?

    John 10
    26 You do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
    27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
    28 and I give 'eternal' life to them, and they will 'never' perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  12. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    I highly recommend, given the questions you ask to get the book “The Gospel Centered Life” by Robert Thune.

    He addresses all your questions. I will also add @St_Worm2 gave a very detailed answer to your questions.

    The underlying question you have asked on just about every thread you started is “I wandered away and stopped believing in Jesus and just God.” First, Jesus is truly God and truly human.

    But to answer your question directly...Yes we do wander and sometimes that is due to error in our beliefs aka our theology. Sometimes this happens to believers because of false or just really inexperienced or inept teachers. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our errors and sin, He leads us to repentance and restores us.

    By you coming and asking these questions is probably the Holy Spirit guiding you back to Truth. And you are digging into the Bible and that’s great!

    Do you have a pastor you can ask these questions to? You can get a lot here at CF and some of it won’t be good and some of it like what @St_Worm2 provided is solid because he is teaching from the Bible. However, if you are not in a sound church with sound Biblical teaching, then perhaps we could discuss finding you such a church.

    We repent, turn from our error and sin and God is faithful to forgive and forget. God says ours sins when He forgives is as far as the East is from the West.
     
  13. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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  14. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    That's not true, I didn't say that in just about every thread, probably in about two threads and one of them was a reply, not a question.
    Thanks for the info. One thing I got that I made sense out of is the part where it says "We cannot reflect the world’s corruption back to it" which is that when it says, you are the salt of the earth but if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again; in other words, if you lose your saltiness (effectiveness as a Christian in the world) you can't ever reflect that back to the world. I'd like to hear others' thoughts. Thank you
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020 at 9:53 PM
  15. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    Have salt means to preserve the faith in all you say and do. To me it speaks more to the idea of upholding righteousness by rebuking one another as brothers in the faith and doing so in love and genuine concern for a brother/sister's salvation. We must learn to take rebuking ourselves with thankfulness and love toward the sister or brother who had the concern and love enough to rebuke us as well.
    We see from the Scriptures that Paul had to rebuke Peter who was turning to the OT practices...having been led astray by others with these practices.
    Having salt, keeping the faith in its various forms, can have many applications however. See the following passages for the ideas the word salt conveys to us in Scripture...
    Colossians 4:5-6:
    Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
    II Chronicles 13:5:
    Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?

    To me the word salt in these passages connotes solemnity and strength.
     
  16. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    Any thoughts on what I wrote. Anything else I can learn from Matthew 5:13?
     
  17. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    You said the following in quotes:
    "We cannot reflect the world's corruption back to it"
    Why did you put it in quotes? What writing or Bible are you quoting?
    The emphasis is to have Christian love and peace and keep to all the teachings as God guides you. Do not give way. That being said we all do stumble but not so far as to fall. God picks us up again and with sincere repentance comes forgiveness and a new day.
    If you want to learn more from those passages you will do well to read through your book of Matthew to get the general knowledge of it...if you haven't already. Write down questions you have or make a mental note of such questions. As one reads on many questions are answered for us.
    Then reread with an eye for detail which can bring more clarity.
    Do you know about biblegateway.com? You can look up words or phrases, passages or books of the Bible there. Doing a search on that site for salt or salt of the earth or both will give you more references where the Bible uses such words and that could prove helpful and give greater understanding. Of course the reading through lightly and then more deeply will do the same thing for you.
    I remember as a child I was taught that it brings clarity to think of the purpose of salt...salt preserves...and we must do the same...preserve the faith.
     
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  18. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    redleghunter gave me an article so I quoted from the "article" which has an explanation. No I doubt in Matthew it talks about what that Scripture means and that was not my question. I have fallen away once so that was my question. I'm trying to figure out what it means for me. Why do you advise me to write down what would be loads of questions in a book when I can just write them down here in a post? Why give such a hard time when it's easier for me to do that and get answers from more advanced Christians who are on the forum?!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020 at 2:57 PM
  19. thelord's_pearl

    thelord's_pearl Member

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    @throughfireytrial, thank you for giving me info on the biblegateway.com. I'm not sure how easy it will be to find things from there though.
     
  20. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    You are welcome. It is mostly a tool to search for Scriptures. Sometimes we forget references to look them up on our own...the key word search feature comes in handy in those instances.
     
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