First, we can say that salt was widely used in the ancient world, it was so important that the soldiers of the Roman army received a portion of salt as part of payment, the term they used in Latin for this portion of salt was “salarium”, from which comes the Spanish word “salary”.
On the other hand, within the people of Israel it was used as a condiment (Job 6:6), in the sacrifices consummated on the altar of God (Lev 2:13; Esd 6:9; Mc 9:49), as an ingredient of the censer sacred (Ex 30:35) and to make the field of enemies sterile (Zeph 2:9).
Salt in ancient times had many uses, but in this study we will touch three fundamental characteristics by which the Lord Jesus called his disciples “the salt of the earth”.
Characteristics of Salt related to the Church
The three types of characteristics that relate salt to the Church are:
It is used to give flavor
The Salt Prevents Corruption
In ancient times, to preserve foods such as meat and fish, salt was used as a preservative, since salt prevents these foods from spoiling.
We, as Christians, cannot end the corruption of this world, because salt does not end corruption, but prevents food from breaking down.
In the same way the church of Christ is called so that with its influence of holiness, meekness, love and preaching of the word, it can prevent this world from being corrupted more than it is.
The Salt Produces Thirst
We all know that when you consume salt or some very salty food you will immediately feel thirsty.
In this way, the Lord teaches us through his word that we, with our testimony of life, must create thirst in other people, so that they may come to Christ. In such a way, that the unconverted can say “I want to know the God in whom you trust”.
The Salt gives Flavor
Today we all know that the most important characteristic of salt is to flavor foods. It is a seasoning widely used in cooking, Because unsalted foods are tasteless.
Therefore, Christianity in this world is the same as salt is for meals. Without the influence of the Christ church in this world people have no meaning or purpose, because they do not understand that what gives true meaning to their lives is Jesus Christ.
So that without Christ, a person lives insipidly trying everything in this life, trying to fill their gaps. Like King Solomon, after turning away from God to try to fill himself with the pleasures of the world, he concluded that everything was vanity (vanity is something hollow or empty), and that nothing can satisfy man but only the presence of God (Ecc 12:8, 13).
But if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it?
Finally in this same passage the Lord Jesus gives us a warning. “But if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Mt 5:13). The same message written by Mark tells us “But if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it?” (Mr 9:50).
This part of the word refers to the Christian who does not strive to impact the world around him, but ends up mixing with the things of the world, becoming of little use to God.
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them (2 Peter 2:20-21).