Matthew 5:13 is probably a familiar passage for most of us. Jesus tells his listeners during the sermon on the mount that they are the “salt of the earth.” You have likely heard many sermons on what it takes to be salt, how to be the salt, and how a little salt can make a big difference. Jesus goes on to say that without saltiness, salt isn’t good for anything. Just what is this saltiness he refers to?
As Christian believers, we have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit at all times. He directs our steps. I try to be careful to always refer to the Holy Spirit as he and not an it. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity. He directs our steps, convicts of sin, and speaks to us as the voice of God to guide us when we let him. Jesus promised his apostles that he would not leave them comfortless, and so often the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Comforter. We see a specific event when Jesus ascended into heaven, and the Book of Acts records a very specific event and time when the Holy Spirit arrived. It is God’s presence in us that makes us salt. Possessing the gospel message, the good news, is what makes Christians different from every other person, and we must spread the gospel to please God. So what is salt that has lost its saltiness?
Preaching that lacks the gospel is salt without saltiness. A professed Christian whose life bears no evidence of Christ’s presence is like salt without its taste. The fruits of the spirit are listed in Galatinas 5, and these are the evidence of a Christian witness being the salt of the earth. So when you hear a prosperity gospel preacher tell you to trust in God to bless you with stuff, but never mentions the shed blood of Christ; when Joel Osteen (think Norman Vincent Peal with shinier teeth) tells you to just think posistive thoughts, but never once mentions the price of sin; when some exclusive little congregation closes themselves into their sanctuary becasue they’re the only 30 people going to heaven; that’s how salt without saltiness looks in our world today.