Why do I say that you are the salt of the earth?

Why do I say that you are the salt of the earth?

Matthew 5:13

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?

Why Salt?

Why would Jesus say that we are the salt of the earth? What did He mean by this statement? The word “salary” actually comes from the word “salt” and was used as a currency in ancient times because of its value as a preservative, so in the same way, the Christian’s life has been preserved by Jesus’ precious blood that was shed for sinners like you and me at the cross. Salt was not easy to come by in old times, so when someone had salt, they had the equivalency of having something of great value. We are valued by God, so much so that He had His only Son die for us (John 3:16). That’s as vivid of a display of love as there is.

The Loss of Saltiness

When salt lost its saltiness, it was useless and was good enough only to throw onto the road, and then it was mixed with gypsum and used to seal roofs or used for roads to be trampled underfoot, which is why Jesus said that salt that loses its saltiness will be used for nothing more than to be trampled on (Matt 5:13). The root word for gypsum means “bitter,” so a Christian who is no longer a preservative and flavor enhancer to those around him or her becomes bitter. Also, salt that loses its saltiness is useless.  When salt was mixed with dirt for the roads, it became hardened and wicked away moisture, so in similar fashion, a Christian who loses their saltiness becomes hardened and cannot absorb the water of the Word, which is what Paul refers to as the effects of the Word of God on the believer (Eph 5:26).

The Value of Salt

Salt is a preservative, prohibiting decay, so a Christian can help preserve lives in those who are not yet saved. Salt is also essential to life because without salt no organism can survive. Our speech should be salted with the seasoning of good and godly conversation, which is why Paul says that our speech and conversations with others should be seasoned salt (Col 4:6). Salt is also a powerful agent for cleansing and in many places and with many medicines is used today as a germicidal disinfectant. Salt is only good, however, if it gets out of the shaker, for salt that remains unused is good for nothing. So the believer must show by their life and by their words how valuable the words of life are that are found only in the Bible.

A Closing Prayer

Great God in heaven, please forgive my lack of saltiness to a dying and decaying world that needs the sweet savor of my saltiness in words that can enhance the lives of others in a way that only Your Word can provide. I am sorry for my lack of saltiness to those who are perishing without knowing Christ, and it is in His precious name I pray.


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