“YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH”
As the Church is called “light” to reveal and to expose, it is called “salt” to penetrate and convict. The very nature of God is injected into the Church - the Body of Christ! This Church is called “a new man created in Christ Jesus in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). God’s own life in and through the Church penetrates society in a variety of ways when the Church is functioning properly. We serve as a deterrent to evil, an antiseptic, and seasoning.
Mark 9:50 declares that we are to have salt in ourselves. We are salt; therefore we are to function as salt, demonstrating the righteousness and holiness of God in a sensitive relationship to others. In an unrighteous and unholy society, this kind of penetration will be felt. You cannot pour salt into an open wound without having severe repercussions!
I cannot think of a more effective way for the Church to function as salt than in her commitment to Jesus Christ. You ask the question: “What is the primary responsibility of the Church in the world?” Some would say, “to witness, to support missions, etc.” I feel that is not the primary responsibility of the Church. The primary responsibility of the Church is COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST! The effectiveness of the Church in the world is measured by its commitment to Christ. Its commitment is manifested in its effectiveness in the world (Luke 14:25-35).
Salt that has lost its zing, spizirinctum, is less than worthless. When Christians are willing to sacrifice in their commitment to Jesus, this presents an image of the Church that is different from what the world is getting today in some of our more contemporary churches. When believers stop playing at church and get down to business and start to realize that commitment is costly, then the Church of Jesus Christ begins to take on definition and meaning and significance in the world. The Church becomes a heady seasoning in an otherwise tasteless society.
When the Church ceases to be salt (Matthew 5:13) it ceases to penetrate, ceases to function as intended. In the eyes of a ridiculing world that both respects and hates the Church, we look utterly foolish. Israel in captivity was the laughing stock of the ancient world. Jesus said that savorless salt is “good for nothing”. The Church cannot change its role. When we cool in our commitment to Jesus Christ, we are good for nothing although we may be involved in a thousand ways in society.
Beloved, evaluate your priorities as a Christian. Is there anyone or anything that has replaced Christ as a priority in your life? God has injected His people literally all over this earth to function in every conceivable walk of life - using them in thousands of ways.
Paul prayed for the Church (Philippians 4:9-10) “that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.”
Eva and I pray for you daily. I encourage you to lift each other before the Throne of Grace, that together we will penetrate our part of the world for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love to you all.
--Pastor Charles Covington 1933-2006