Becoming a Salty Saint
Before we begin, I’d like to give you a study tip about understanding the Bible. The secret is that all of the Bible, not just the New Testament, is about the Lord Jesus Christ. Standing in the shadows in every book, from Genesis to Revelation, in prophecy, in type, and in illustration, you’ll find Jesus. He is the hero of the Bible. This is a “Him” book. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you in all 66 books the message of Jesus.
Leaven, Honey and Salt
That is true especially in the Levitical offerings Moses described in the Old Testament. The offerings themselves spoke of the coming life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Turn to Leviticus 2:11-13.
11No grain offering which you bring to the LORD shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the LORD made by fire….
13And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.(NKJV)
This meal offering is a picture of Jesus Christ. Why does the Lord place such an emphasis on salt and command against leaven and honey? What is God telling us here through the Holy Spirit?
In the Bible, leaven (yeast) is always a symbol of sin. Hebrew housewives were told to get every bit of leaven out of the home during the Passover feast and only unleavened bread could be served.
See Exodus 12:14-15. What consequence befell the person who ate leavened bread during Passover? ______________________________________________________
Leaven speaks of fermentation and of that which puffs up and inflates. Leaven works quietly, stealthily, almost undetected at first. And it works best in lukewarm conditions.
The Lord Jesus Christ was a pure sacrifice. When God says “there shall be no leaven,” He’s saying that as believer-priests we’re to present Christ in His purity. In Him, there was no sin at all. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus Himself warns against leaven. Turn to Matthew 16:6-12. He mentions 2 specific types of leaven: “Beware of the leaven of the _________ and of the ____________,” and by this he meant (v. 12) the doctrines and teachings of these two sects within Judaism.
As a symbol, leaven represents _________. As a picture of Christ, the sacrifice could have no leaven, for Christ was the sinless, pure sacrifice.
In the Leviticus 2 passage, why is there to be no honey? What could be wrong with added honey in the meal offering, a symbol of Christ? Surely Our Lord is sweet.
Indeed He is, but in this sacrifice, honey speaks of extra, added-in sweetness, excessive and external. When we present the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to present Him with integrity. He doesn’t need to be artificially sweetened.
We have prophets of the “honey God” among us who think there are no real problems, and if we’ll just ladle on enough honey, they’ll go away. Prophets of sweetness and light with confectionary convictions preach a candy Christ, a religion that does not want to confront, only love. God is indeed infinite, inexpressible, eternal, unfathomable love. But He’s also a God of justice and truth.
When you take part of the truth and make it all of the truth, that part of the truth becomes an untruth.
Some say, “Don’t take a stand for doctrine. Just be full of love.” Yes, be full of love. But the Bible says, “Speak the truth in love.” There’s never any competition between truth and love. There is danger both in loveless truth and truth-less love. We have modern-day prophets who minimize sin, humanize man, and glorify rebellion against God. I believe God’s people ought to be together, and I want them to be. But it’s far better to be divided by truth than united in error. We can’t simply ladle on the honey and say it’s all sweet and good.
The world has lost its respect for those who preach a saccharine gospel in a church that’s dying of diabetes. We present the Lord Jesus Christ in integrity as He is, not ladle honey over the situation.
Now we come to that ingredient which the sacrifice must contain. The Lord commands it.
13And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.(Leviticus 2:13 NKJV)
Salt in the Bible speaks of life—the saving, purifying, sanctifying life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It speaks of vitality. The Bible says, “Have salt within yourselves.”
In Matthew 5:13 Jesus was speaking to fishermen who preserved their fish with salt when he said, “You are the ___________of the earth.” What does salt do?
There’s a purifying element to salt. A salty ocean bathes the shores, keeping the earth from decaying and putrefying. If you took the salt out of the ocean, everything would turn to a stench. Salt purifies.
We need the decontamination of that salty gospel in our world today.
- In 1963, public prayer was outlawed in our schools.
- In 1973, nine black-robed justices declared pre-born babies to be non-beings. Since that time, America has been stained with the blood of 40 million little babies. In all of America’s wars, from our nation’s beginning to the present, 1.4 million have died. But since 1973, 40 million little preborn Americans have been sacrificed on the altar of convenience. Not long ago I cradled a newborn grandson in my arms, perfectly sculpted, perfectly formed, and thought, “Just a few hours ago, a doctor could have been paid money for killing this child.” This is a sin for which God must surely judge America. It’s time for the salt to work.
- The suicide rate among teenagers has increased by 150% in the last 50 years. It’s time for the salt to work.
- Two-thirds of all of our high school graduating seniors have reported that they have experimented in illegal drugs. It’s time for the salt to work.
- One million of America’s high school girls will get pregnant this year.
- We live in a society that’s seen sodomy go from a sin to a sickness to a socially accepted practice. It’s time for the salt to work.
What’s wrong with our world is not the Communists, the media, Hollywood, the liquor and gambling industries, or pornographers.
The problem is sitting in church pews: saltless saints. Salt without savor in a world that’s rotting. Jesus said we are to be the ________ of the earth.
Salt causes flavor to burst alive in your mouth.
Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? (Job 6:6)
There should be a zest about us that brings flavor to life. Why do so many people stay home from worship? They don’t want to be bored to tears. Why do preachers give boring sermons? Because they themselves are bored. The bland leading the bland. We need a burning, blazing, passionate, emotional love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
You shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” (Mark 9:49)
When the salty gospel of Jesus Christ is presented, it will sting. When the gospel is rubbed into the open and bleeding wounds of society, it will burn. There are people who do not like the clear, unadulterated teaching of the Gospel. But we cannot make ourselves sick in order to make them well. No offense, no effect. We must stop trying to win popularity contests.
A pinch of salt in a jug of water will permeate the entire jug. What’s wrong is that we’ve not allowed the salt to penetrate. We come to church every Sunday and sit in a big salt cellar and salt the salt. But you don’t put the fish in one barrel and the salt in another. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” Not the salt of the church, but the salt of the earth.
Sadly, salt can dissipate
Pure salt in Bible times was extremely valuable, in some societies more than gold. Men were paid with salt. Have you ever heard the expression, “that man’s not worth his salt”? Our word “salary” literally means “salt money.”
Compare Matthew 5:13 and Luke 14:34. Salt can lose its _____________.
When it does, what is it good for? ______________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________
When salt lost its vitality, its pungency, it was good for nothing more than paving the roads. On the highways it would pack down, absorb moisture, kill grass and weeds. It was only good to walk on.
Never before in recent history have we seen Christians held up to more open ridicule than in this day in which we live. The favorite sport today is Christian bashing in the media and academia. Why? Primarily because of a society of salt-less saints who have lost their savor and are now being trampled under foot because we have failed to present the Lord Jesus Christ in His purity, in His integrity, and with His vitality.
May God help us to be salty saints, presenting the salty gospel of a vibrant, living Savior to a world desperate for His preserving, redeeming power.
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