Living as Salt
“For everyone will be seasoned with fire and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.” (Mark 9:49-50)
According to Jewish law, every sacrifice must be salted with salt before it was offered to God on the altar (Lev.2:13). It was the addition of the salt that made the sacrifice acceptable to God. The sacrificial salt was called the salt of the covenant (Numbers 18:19).
This means that before a Christian life becomes acceptable to God, it must be treated with fire just as every sacrifice is treated with salt. Every follower of Christ is to be a willing sacrifice.
This is for two reasons:
First fire purifies— The life acceptable to God is one that has been cleansed and purified by obedience and discipline. Second fire destroys— The life acceptable to God has gone through tests, trials, persecution of life and come through to victory. “Dear friends, don’t be surprised that you’re being tested by a fiery trial as though something strange were happening to you” (1Pet.4:12 Beck).
The life that is purified by obedience and discipline and has faced the danger of persecution, and because of its loyalty is the sacrifice acceptable to God. Bonhoeffer put it this way:
“Suffering then, is the badge of true discipleship. The disciple is not above his master. This is why Luther reckoned suffering among the marks of the true church. Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering of Christ and it is not at all surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer. In fact it is a joy and a token of His grace” (The Cost of Discipleship, pp.100-101).
Everyone must be salted somehow, either with the fire of hell or the fire of the Holy Spirit.
“Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? (V.50).
The world needs the flavor and purity of the Christians life. If Christians lose the thrill of God’s life, and don’t desire purity where else will the world get its flavor? If we take for granted this miracle of God’s grace it will lead to spiritual decay.
Beware of salt-less salt — the profession that is not real. “Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another”. It’s useless to try and exert influence for good with others, unless by the grace of God you have been transformed into a true disciple of Christ. Keep the seasoning, preserving, purifying fire stirring in you. Be purified from self and you will have peace with others. Only a life cleansed of self and filled with Jesus can live in real fellowship and peace with others.