(Square salt crystals in wood cellulose)
“…the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might rescue us out of this present evil age…” (Galatians 1:4)
“Be having salt in yourselves,..” Lord Jesus (Mark 9:50)
The twelve disciples had been walking down the road with Jesus and, among themselves, they had been debating which one of them was the greatest. The Lord begins to correct them about how to be the greatest in the kingdom of God and warning them about temptation, sinning, and hell. At the end of the conversation, He makes some comments about being “salted with fire” and salt. In the interest of brevity, I will only address what is related to our discussion on the pernicious evil age and its corrupting influence.
When He mentioned salt, the Apostles minds would of probably immediately thought about how the law of Moses stated that temple sacrifices should be salted with salt. Secondly, they would of remembered that salt was a preserving agent. Peter, John and James, all former fishermen, may of used salt to preserve their catch of fish.
By having “salt” in themselves, it would prevent the corrupting influence of the evil pernicious age. Remember the effect of the evil influence is likened to decay and rot on your morals or virtue. What does salt represent? One fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: 22-23 is self-control and I believe that is what Jesus is using salt to represent. Self-control will keep you from being “carried away” or “towed” by Satan and enticed to sin. It preserves your morals from decay and rot. The indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the ability to control our will. We are told in II Peter 1: 5-6 to add the qualities of self-control or temperance to our lives. This would protect them and us from the corrupting influence of the age which Lord Jesus came to rescue us from.
Concerning salt in our lives, the Holy Spirit led me to Matthew Henry’s A Commentary On The Whole Bible. Here are his comments written prior to 1721 A.D.:
“The nature of man, being corrupt, and as such being called flesh (Gen. vi. 3; Ps. lxxviii. 39), some way or other must be salted, in order to its being a sacrifice to God.
“Our chief concern is, to present ourselves living sacrifices to the grace of God (Rom. xii. 1), and , in order to our acceptableness we must be salted with salt, our corrupt affections must be subdued and mortified, and we must have in our souls a savour of grace. Thus the offering up or sacrificing of the Gentiles is said to be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, as the sacrifices were salted, Rom. xv. 16.
“Those that have the salt of grace, must make it appear that they have it; that they have salt in themselves, a living principle of grace in their hearts, which works out all corrupt dispositions, and every thing in the soul that tends to putrefaction, and would offend our God, or our own consciences, as unsavory meat doth.
“Our speech must be always with grace seasoned with this salt, that no corrupt communication may proceed out of our mouth, but we may loath it as much as we would to put putrid meat into our mouths. As this gracious salt will keep our own consciences void of offence, so it will keep our conversation with others so, that we may not offend any of Christ’s little ones, but may be at peace one with another.”
Did you notice how he compares the effects of the evil influence of the age to “putrid meat”, “unsavory meat” and “putrefaction” in the soul. This is the rot and decay that we mentioned earlier. He also mentions “our corrupt affections must be subdued and mortified”. “Mortified” is an old English word meaning ” to subdue and kill”; in the Christian sense “to reckon” dead as Paul tells us in Romans 6: 11 (KJV).
Therefore, we need to do as the Lord said and “Have salt within yourselves…” How do we do that? Believe what Paul said about your identification with Christ and present or yield yourselves to God as His servant and trust in the indwelling Holy Spirit to give you the desire and power to do the will of God as you exercise self-control to say “NO” to the enticements of Satan and the age. When you exercise your will to say “No”, He, the Holy Spirit will give you the power to follow through. Your sinful nature will not have dominion over you! This will increase the fruit and power of the indwelling Spirit in our lives AND MAKE US MORE USEFUL TO GOD. This is the only way to stop the corruption of this age from defiling us. Only God’s way works.
Hear Lord Jesus through Paul’s words in Romans 6:12-14:
“Thus, also, as for you, you be constantly counting upon the fact that, on the one hand, you are those who have been separated from the sinful nature, and, on the other, that you are living ones with respect to God in Christ Jesus. Stop therefore allowing the sinful nature to reign as king in your mortal body with a view to obeying it [the body] in its passionate cravings. Moreover, stop putting your members at the disposal of the sinful nature as weapons of unrighteousness, but by a once-for-all act and at once, put yourselves at the disposal of God as those who are actively alive out from among the dead, and put your members as weapons of righteousness at the disposal of God, for [then] the sinful nature will not exercise lordship over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
(Wuest Expanded Translation)
This completes the third installment of this series. The next blog will address what Apostle John had to say about loving the world. I hope you will join us. May God richly bless your understanding of these things and may His indwelling Spirit empower you with self-control.
“Have salt within yourselves…” Lord Jesus