Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
The Lord Jesus said: "You 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.” Matthew 5:13 (NKJ)
Today, most people only use salt to enhance flavor, without it, many foods lose their appeal. The Lord desires to make true believers His salt for the earth. He gives us an inner quality to make our lives palatable to influence those around us. Is not the atmosphere influenced by those who display the fruits of the Spirit much more enjoyable? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:22-23).
Fruit results from drawing upon the life of the vine. The Lord Jesus tells us that He is the True Vine and committed Christians are branches nourished by Him (John 15:1-5). Christians’ character is transformed as they live in fellowship with Him: by faith in His word, the ministry of His Word and communion with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Salt symbolizes two other aspects of spiritual influence. When salt saturates food, it is preserved from decay. When salt is applied to wounds or infections, it purifies and heals. God gave the Holy Spirit, as spiritual salt, to the Church to preserve life’s quality, and to influence the world. The Holy Spirit’s ministry through the Body of Christ was to convince people concerning sin, righteousness and judgment to come (John 16:8). As the salt of the Holy Spirit saturates Christians, they will exhibit the same character and attitudes as God displays and teaches in His Word. Therefore, they try to influence people as well as their nation to accept and practice with these qualities (1 Peter 4:11). If the conditions in our country were to be changed according to God’s truth, grace, love, and justice as Jesus illustrated in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), societies could be at peace with each other.
It seems to me that many Christians have lost their spiritual saltiness for joyful living, preservation, and purification when it comes to elections and political agendas. How can anyone, who knows their Bible, say that God would approve of irresponsible sex, drug addiction, race hatred, homosexuality, abortion, misrepresentation, lust for power, pork barrel politics, and the humanistic program of extracting from public life anything of His influence? Yet, I have talked and heard of many professed Christians who would vote for candidates and parties that have in their platform and their candidates’ speeches toleration of these things which God calls sin and deserving of judgment (Romans 1:17-32; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:7, 8). They even agree with Supreme Court opinions (1962 to present) that contradict, not only these issues, but of more than 160 years of precedent decisions by earlier Supreme Courts and the written opinions and practices of the Constitution’s writers. For example, even Thomas Jefferson, the quoted author of “A wall of separation between Church and State,” is reported to have used the Bible as a part of Washington, DC’s public school curriculum.
If Christians will not let the Holy Spirit and God’s principles be mirrored in their character and in their political influence, they will have lost the dynamic purpose of being God’s salt in this world. In Matthew 5:13, Lord Jesus warned that when salt loses it savor, purification, and preserving properties it becomes “…thenceforth good for nothing…” God can’t use them and men will have no trouble ignoring and further abusing them. In fact unrighteous and deceitful politicians will be mistaken for real Christians. Those who let themselves be influenced by political pressure instead of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word will be, as the Lord Jesus said, “…be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men…” They will be treated as having no significant influence, but to be dominated. Worse yet, the Lord will say to those salt-less souls, “You are lukewarm, and you make me sick” (Revelation 3:16).
Come, brothers and sisters in Christ, in this New Year, 2015, let us be God’s spice of joy, preservation, and purification…salty salt…, so that our society can be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit and the righteousness of God, and, not only find God’s peace among ourselves, but spread it globally. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, will receive eternal life” and “receive power to become the sons of God” (John 3:16; John 1:12).