Oct. 5, 2020

Be salty

Be salty

"Be salty and be at peace." That is what Jesus tells His disciples. Perhaps our modern understanding of "be salty" is not the same as it was in Jesus' day.

Do you have a prayer need? Want to share a word of testimony with Pastor Jason. Use this Connection Card.

Greensburg Church of the Nazarene
31 Bluebird Lane, Greensburg, KY 42743

Transcript

(This is not a word for word transcript, but the sermon manuscript.)

PEACE WITH ONE ANOTHER

PART FOUR: BE SALTY

 

 

You may not know this about me, and it may come as a shock to you, but my favorite restaurant for a long time was McDonald’s. As I have gotten older, my body has begun to revolt from eating there, but as a teen and through my twenties it was a frequent stop for breakfast, lunch, and or dinner. It was almost the location for my first date with Nicole, instead we settled for a Chinese restaurant.

 

One of the best items on the menu at McDonald’s is their fries. Unless, of course, they do not put enough salt on those fries. Have you ever had their fries with no salt? They are gross. They are only good for one thing, dipping in ketchup. If you have no ketchup, then the garbage can or dog food bowl.

 

You and I are supposed to be like a good batch of McDonald’s fries. We are to be salty. These are the words of Jesus that we will be reading in Mark. The title for this message is “Be salty.”

 

Mark 9:49-50

49 “Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.

 

This is the Word of God, for the people of God, thanks be to God.

 

To summarize, Jesus is telling His followers to be salty. Being salty in our modern context means “to be angry, infuriated, or annoyed” according to Urban Dictionary. While certainly we all have people that bring us to that definition, I am not sure that is the intention of Jesus. Notice, he says, “Be salty and be at peace with others.” We will be examining these two verses for what it means to be salty, and trying to answer the question, “can there be peace in the world?”

 

Verse 49 Everyone will be salted with fire. There are two purposes for salt, and I think both uses can be applied to this verse. First, salt is used to season, or add flavor to food, like fries. Second, salt is used to preserve food, which in a hot climate like Palestine is extremely important. Especially before they had refrigerators and Bob Vance of Vance refrigeration.

 

“Everyone will be seasoned with fire.” Fire is referencing the all-consuming fire of God’s presence, or at the very least the purifying fire that burns away all that is unclean. When God comes into our lives, fellowship, and for final judgment all that is impure will be consumed by His holiness. Sin cannot be in the presence of God for this reason.

 

There is an interesting verse in the First Testament book of Leviticus, a book that contains instructions for offerings and sacrifices offered to God under the old covenant. In 2:13, God commands this to the Hebrews, “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.” Salt was used in preserving the sacrifice to God, giving it flavor and symbolizing its purification.

 

In the New Testament, under the new covenant of grace, you and I are the sacrifice to God. But just as the First Testament sacrifices required salt, so do you and I. This is possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of our hearts. He is the salt that purifies our hearts and minds from sin. The Spirit preserves us through trials and persecutions. In a world where sin is common, the Holy Spirit sets as apart as uncommon, gives flavor to our lives. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is what Jesus means by being salty.

 

Verse 50 Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other. Salt is good. It adds flavor to food. It preserves food. And symbolically, it signifies that a sacrifice is purified for God. When the Holy Spirit indwells your heart and my heart, we are purified, seasoned, and persevered so we can face this world, freed from sin and possessing the power to choose not to sin. This is what we mean in the Nazarene Church when use the term “entire sanctification.”

 

“If it loses its flavor, how can it have flavor again?” A common mistake about entire sanctification is that it means we can never sin again. While the Holy Spirit does separate us and purify us from sin, notice I said He gives us the power to choose not to sin. Sin happens when we give into fear and sin. This is losing our saltiness. Remember, Adam was created sinless (just as Jesus was born sinless) but chose sin. Having flavor means walking in the Holy Spirit’s power, not sinning. To regain flavor is turn again to the same power that you ignored when choosing sin. Losing our saltiness is to choose to be saltless fries.

 

Sin is the reason why chaos drives out peace, and sin is the natural state of humanity. Without the Holy Spirit in our lives there can be no peace. It is the Holy Spirit indwelling in our hearts and minds that enables us to live in peace with one another. Paul tells us that the fruit, or sign, of the Holy Spirit in a person’s heart is: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Notice, the word fruit is singular not plural, meaning a salty heart, one with in the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, possesses all those things. The Holy Spirit is our peace, the same on in who dwells in my heart and your heart.

 

Can there be peace in thew world? The answer to our question is not without Jesus. To have peace between me, you, and anyone else we must be surrendered to His indwelling presence. There is no peace in the world because they reject the Prince of Peace. But you and I surrendered to the Holy Spirit become His dwelling place.

 

In Colossians 3:15, Paul writes, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we have the power to choose to live in peace with one another! That does not mean we will agree all the time, but you and I will seek the truth together. It does not mean we will share the same vision but choose to trust in the Holy Spirit who rests on each of us.

 

The world cannot achieve peace without surrendering to the will of God. They will not do that because the world refuses to seek the Jesus who can set them free from the real cause of chaos in their lives. To obtain peace, the world must deny itself and give up chasing the pursuit of its own happiness. Sin has blinded the world to this truth, to the point they deny the need to look for Jesus, and that peace can be achieved without Him.

 

Sin always leads to death and destruction. This is the path the world, those who cling the world’s practices, are choosing! They choose this path because sin has corrupted human nature to automatically pick this path. The world is flavorless because the do not have the Holy Spirit, because they refuse to choose Jesus. But you and I have the Holy Spirit in our hearts, who purifies us from sin and preserves us by empowering us to choose not to sin. And the miracle is that through Christ’s gift of full salvation through the Holy Spirit, you and I add flavor to this world! It is through you and me that God preserves the world from itself.

 

For peace to have a chance, you and I must choose to be last and allow the Holy Spirit to purify our hearts from sin. It is through the Holy Spirit in our hearts that you and I can share peace with one another. But we must choose to be salty. Being salty means you and I add flavor to this world through the power of Jesus.

 

Peace with one another is only possible through Jesus Christ, and He lives in our hearts. If He lives in your heart and my heart, are the people in our worlds better off or worse than we are? Not better off by the world’s standards, but by God’s holiness. Saying no is declaring to be flavorless, or saltless. You and I need to be made salty again, a fresh outpouring of the Spirit. Is the city of Greensburg better off or worse because of this fellowship? Saying no is declaring to be flavorless, or saltless. You and I need to be made salty again, a fresh outpouring of the Spirit. He is here and waiting to salt you and me with His fire.