I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that there is probably some salt in your house, in fact, there was probably salt in the place that you were raised in, your relatives and friends houses, and I might even go so far as to speculate that ever restaurant that you have ever been in has had salt on the table. It is perhaps one of the most prolific substances on the planet, and one that early every living creature needs to exist. Without salt in our bodies we can become very ill, perhaps even to the point of death, but as it is with almost any substance, too much can also be very detrimental.
Matthew 5:13 says “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith will it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” The believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are the salt of the earth, and like salt, we are almost everywhere, intermixed, as it were, with all those who are not, with those who are either not yet or never will be children of God. So how are we to be able to tell, at least at first glance, who has salt and who does not.
I have often joked with other believers that our responsibilities in this matter would be much easier if those who are called by God glowed, or already had the seal of the Lord, (2nd Cor. 1:22) or the stone with their new name on them, (Rev 2:17), but alas, we must be patient. In all truth though, we have a greater opportunity to speak to many more this way, for it can not be seen on the outside of a person who serves the Lord and who does not just by looking at them. So, we as the salt must always be ready to speak, for without any salt, there will be no true savor in their lives.
If you will notice in that same verse our Lord says that if the salt has lost its savor, it is good for nothing. I have pondered this statement many times, and tried to liken it to the parable of the sower, (Matt. 13) thinking that perhaps the one who hast lost there savor could be compared to the seed that fell into the weeds, but I do not believe that the person who was choked out by the weeds was truly saved. We are told numerous times in the Scriptures that he who is obedient and does what Christ commands will be saved, not those who have heard or even repeated the words of an individual who has led them to the cross, apparently words that they heard only with their ears, but not their heart. There was no true repentance in the life of the one who fell amongst the weeds.
Here Christ is speaking to those who have truly believed, accepted and confessed that He is Lord, and their lives are showing it, or at least were. Perhaps like John Mark who left Paul, (Acts 13) and then returned later, the salt for even a short time can lose its savor and then it is up to the Lord to re-salt us, as it were. But that is not what the verse says, it says that if the salt loses its savor, it is good for nothing.
For some whose desire it is to be constantly in the service of the Lord, these are extremely scary words, for though it is impossible for us to lose our salvation, to be an unprofitable servant even for a day brings a type of fear to our souls. To be called the salt of the earth one day and good for nothing the next describes a brother in Christ who has become for whatever reason, unprofitable to the service of Christ. If you were the salt but no longer are, you serve no purpose, and as we have declared, you cannot lose your salvation, but what our Lord does with these individuals is a matter of conjecture on our part. We are told only that it is to be cast out and trodden underfoot. There are no uplifting verses in the Word of God when it comes to this statement of “trodden under foot.”
“Every branch in me that bears not fruit He takes away,” (John 15:2) The salt that has lost its savor is good for nothing. The salt our Lord is speaking of here, these individuals, once had salt but the cares of life, in whatever form they may have come, has caused them to lose their savor. They once were profitable but no longer are. Once we have fulfilled the purposes that our Lord has placed before us here, once the race is complete, we are called home to glory. Those who have lost the ability to be salt as well, I believe, are called home but their tasks have remained unfinished, as it were. They are as the branch that would not, not could not, but would not bear fruit. No unbeliever is part of the vine, nor can they ever have the salt that our Lord is speaking of here, these are Christians, though not perhaps in the fullest sense of the word. They are the weaker brothers and sisters in Christ, who though they are truly saved, serve no purpose in the furthering of the kingdom of heaven, but instead remain in the milk of the word for nearly the entirety of their lives.
The general characteristic of salt is flavorful, beneficial and adds something to almost everything it touches, as the Christian is to be. We are called to add something to the world, something that it does not have and cannot produce in the spiritual realm. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) That is what salt is meant to do, that is our responsibility, to add the knowledge of the Savior to their minds, to help the lost to see that life can have so much more flavor here than they could ever imagine. If you are not talking to the lost about your Lord, you have lost your savor, you have become unprofitable in this area of your walk with Him. You may still have a place in the setting up of chairs in the church or handing out bulletins, but your salt is gone, you have lost it.
We are to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and unless there are a large number of unsaved individuals in your church service each time you meet, your salt and light is doing no one there any good, they already have their own light and salt. This salt is for the lost, those who have not yet called on the name of Jesus for their salvation, the light is to lead them to him. That means that if you are going to be the salt of the world you have to go to where there is no salt, to the lost, to those who think that have plenty of salt, but in reality have none. Think of what our Lord told the woman at the well, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” (John 4:10) Salt, light, water, branches that bear fruit on the vine, I’m not sure the Lord could have made it any clearer than that.
If you desire to fulfill all the characteristic traits of a Christian, then you must go to where the lost are and be salt for them. Salt can heal or wound, you must use wise discretion and much prayer in each individual case, but without daily studying of the Scriptures, seeking His will in all that you do, you salt will be of no use to them, for you will be speaking only your own words, and not those of the Word of God. Fill up your salt-shaker every day, take it with you everywhere you go, but don’t come back to your house with it full each day.