As God’s salt, we can share God’s saving message with those who are spiritually suffocating.
Michael H. Nitz
Have you ever tasted the salt of the ocean wafting in the air? I always felt more energized when running at the beach or swimming in the ocean. Now I know why. There’s evidence that salty air is “energizing,” especially for those suffering from allergies or asthma.
There’s an 800-year-old salt mine in Poland, retrofitted to look and feel like a fashionable day spa. It’s reputed to offer remarkable help for asthmatics who breathe in air that’s even more salty than the beach. But you don’t have to travel to the Old World to find such treatment. Recently the news in Austin, Texas, featured the opening of a “salt center” that promises help for those suffering from allergies.
WE ARE GOD’S SALT
I know that the ancient world valued salt for its ability to preserve food, especially meat. But could Jesus have had salt’s asthmatic-healing properties in mind when he declared to his followers, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13)? After all, as the Almighty Creator compressed into the carpenter-turned-teacher, Jesus did have a hand in formulating the chemical properties of NaCl.
Notice what Jesus did not say to believers. He did not say: You could be the salt of the earth, or you might be the salt of the earth. He made a declaration. He stated as a fact, “This is what you are when you trust in me: You are the salt of the earth.”
WE CAN HELP THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUALLY SUFFOCATING
The majority of the world is spiritually suffocating from the allergens and pollution of the common but poisoned idea that good works can make us right with God. In spite of the Bible’s declaration that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) the majority still hope that God will receive them if they’re morally superior to the worst of society. The fact is, without Jesus, I and you and everyone will end up with the worst of society in the same dreadful place. The passages says “all” so there aren’t any exclusions or exceptions. If we don’t trust in Jesus as the one who paid for our sins, we are included with all other humans as sinners. Jesus has provided the only escape.
But this exclusivity of Jesus Christ is foreign to a world wheezing and choking from political correctness and its cousin, tolerance for all ideas. To the world an exclusive claim is arrogance. So when a Christian speaks about Jesus being the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, at first this may be a turn-off.
But the more people are exposed to the message of how Jesus suffered for our sins on the cross, the more the air clears. The more people see you and I breathing easy in a spiritual environment salted with the promises of Jesus, the more others will be moved by God to want what makes us breathe easy. And God, through us, extends his saving work to others.
Here is your true value and importance, as measured by God: You are the salt of the earth! This good news is more energizing than taking a vacation beside the ocean.
Michael Nitz is pastor at Bethany, Saginaw, Michigan.
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Author: Michael H. Nitz
Volume 102, Number 10
Issue: October 2015
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