February 26th, 2017
A Christian Without Commitment Is Like Salt Without Savor
Luke 14:34-35 (NASB)
“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Jesus).
In Luke 14 Jesus has large crowds who followed Him (v. 25). Jesus tells the people that He has true disciples, and there are those who say they follow Him, but they really aren’t His disciples. True disciples are like salt. False disciples are salt without taste (NAS) or savor (KJV). The NIV uses the word saltiness. It is very difficult for an American Christian in the 21st century to sense the full impact of Christ’s words.
- Jesus compares His true disciples to salt.
“You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). Salt is the only edible rock in the human diet. When a volatile metal (sodium) mixes with a poisonous gas (chlorine) the resulting rock formed is what we know as salt. The Romans gave this white rock its Latin name "salt,” which was as valuable as gold.
- Salt preserves life. Vegetable growing civilizations existed before the Romans in places like China, Egypt and the Middle East (the Jews), and they all considered salt as important to life as water. The body grows weak and unable to resist disease when there is a sodium deficiency. Thousands of Napoleon's troops died during the French retreat from Moscow in 1812 due to poor wound healing and lowered disease resistance caused by their salt deficiencies. Just as the deer and other herbivores gravitate to salt licks, so we intuitively understand our need for God.
- Salt prevents decay. Prior to refrigeration, meat was salted to preserve it from decay. Just as salt prevents the decay of edible foods, so we with the life of Christ in us prevent society’s decay. Because of the value of salt, the ancient Romans built great roads, the first of which they called the Via Salaria (Salt Road), in order to transport salt throughout their kingdom. The words soldier and salary have their roots in the Latin word salt. The Roman army was paid in measurements of salt, giving us the background for our English saying "That man is not worth his salt." The ancient Romans also labeled someone in love salax, or a person "in a salted state, " giving us the origin of the English word salacious. Likewise, the Romans, as the ancient Egyptians, thought no food better than salted vegetables, thus our word salad. Never underestimate the value of Christians.
- Jesus calls false disciples “salt without savor.”
The word translated “savor” (KJV) and “taste” (NAS) and “saltiness” (NIV) is the Greek word moronic. It is the same word used in I Corinthians 2:14 – “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness (e.g. tasteless or moronic).” A true disciple will “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8), but the false disciple who says He is following Christ, when he (she) hears what Christ says, there is tastelessness to the Word of God. “How sweet are Your words to my taste!” (Psalm 119:103) say all the true disciples of Christ. “How tasteless are Your words to my taste!” say all those who call themselves Christians but aren’t.
- Salt without savor destroys life – “it is useless for the soil.” When salt went bad and lost its savor, it was used by the ancients to kill anything living. It was a poison to life, not a preserver of life.
- Salt without savor is no longer good for the dunghill – “it is useless for the manure pile.” Salt sprinkled on ancient dunghills preserved the farm dung (natural fertilizer) from decomposing and losing half to two-thirds of its weight. When salt loses it power, it’s not even good dung.
You can view the video for this sermon HERE.