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What Does It Mean To Be Salt?

Updated on March 11, 2012
The Dead Sea - A sea known for its salt.
The Dead Sea - A sea known for its salt. | Source

"Ye are the salt of the earth: 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 underfoot of men." Matthew Chapter 5:13 K.J.V.

In the Bible, Jesus calls His disciples salt and says that salt is used to season. ( Mark 9:50)

But what does it really mean to be salt?

In order to understand what we are to become we first must look at what salt is.

Salt is one of the minerals that are vital to life. It is very potent and is only needed in small doses. Too much salt can cause life to fade away as it is a very strong mineral and the human body as it exists now cannot absorb it without suffering consequences.Salt can be found all over the world for it exists in the ocean and in rocks as well.

Basically salt is sodium chloride, a chemical compound made up of sodium and chloride. Sodium is an alkali metal which means it is classed as a soft metal and is silver in color. Chlorine is a halogen which means it is classified as a non-metal. It may surprise you but at room temperature it is actually a gas. When sodium and chlorine come together they form the compound sodium chloride which is salt.

Beef Jerky - an example of salted meat
Beef Jerky - an example of salted meat | Source

What Is Salt Used For?

You probably are aware that before refrigerators existed, salt was used to preserve food. It is still used today. Salt is also used as a seasoning in food. It makes food taste good and everything savory would be bland without it. When it is snowing, or the roads are icy, salt is used to get rid of the ice. It is no secret that salt helps to heal wounds. It stings and makes you see double but it helps to heal. But did you know that salt is used to make paper? That it is a key ingredient in your laundry detergent and in your soap? Were you aware that salt is used in dyes so that the color will set on the fabric? Salt is used to produce chemicals, it is used to make glass, and is an ingredient in the drilling liquid oil and gas companies use. Salt is used to toughen up the soil (it can also be used as a fertilizer for citrus trees) and helps to make road foundations tough. It is used to clean and is even an ingredient in fire extinguishers! There is a lot that salt is used for.

The fact is, we need salt to live and not just because of what it contributes to the world around us. The body needs salt in order to function. We all know that too much salt can cause hypertension and many other illnesses but the body does need salt in order to function.

How Are Christians Salt?

It is simple really. Salt is a very strong, important ingredient. Christians are salt because they carry the flavor of the Lord within them (the Holy Spirit). When Jesus said that salt is of no use if it loses its flavor, He was right because if salt is added to food and has no flavor then it will simply be in the food but add nothing to it. The entire plate will be bland along with the salt. Salt's purpose is to add something that other foods cannot add. In a way, other foods are alike in that they all benefit from salt. The same is with people. Christians add the flavor that is the Lord. He walks with them and so there is a difference when they are around. Just as people can tell when there is no salt in the pot, people can tell when a person does not have the flavor of the Lord (which is the favor of the Lord). What is a Christian if the Holy Spirit does not abide in him?

Not everyone likes salt because, as I said, salt has a strong taste. The fact is, it is its strong taste - the firm conviction through the Holy Spirit - that causes it to stand out and be different from the rest. And what about the fact that too much salt can cause someone to lose his life? How is that a positive thing for those who are called salt by Jesus? Well this verse clarifies it for me: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." John 12:24 K.J.V. Salt cleanses and heals wounds as does the Word of God which is supposed to dwell in the heart of a Christian.

Father glorify thy name.


Hyphenbird has also written a hub about salt called : Are You Salty? SALT -A Covenant Between God and Man.


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    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Good point, God's grace is upon those who love and serve Him and yet He extends His mercy to those who do not know Him today.

      I do believe that time is short and the end is near.

    • profile image 5 years ago from upstate, NY

      That's a good discription of what it means to be salt; we add the flavor of Christ to the world. We also as true Christians serve as a purifier and preservative of society, just by our presence alone. We as christians are essential for the well being of the world, after the rapture many believe the world will tear itself apart, once the Christians have left!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thanks, celafoe

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 5 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      very good and accurate

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      You are very right, Joanmaynard. Prayers are very powerful as proven in the Bible. Elijah's prayers alone show how God listens to His people and He answers their prayers. Hezekiah is also a good example of the Lord putting off what He had planned to do when he prayed. Yes, prayers work and most do not realize the things they prevent.

    • Joanmaynard profile image

      Joan 5 years ago from St Kitts

      In addition to being the flavor of the earth, we are also the preservation of the earth. It is because of our prayers ( the prayers of the righteous) why our family and friends are preserved from harm and danger. I am certain that there has been a time in our Christian lives where our prayers have given comfort, strength, healing or caused God to open a 'door' in the lives of another.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      May the Lord's flavor continue in you as well, shofarcall.

      I am glad that the hub resonated with you.

    • shofarcall profile image

      shofarcall 5 years ago

      Thank you NW. A really informative hub concerning the components that make up salt and how it so perfectly ties up with what salt is, in a Christians life. I so enjoyed and resonated to your quote: "Christians are salt because they carry the flavour of the Lord within them. Amen to that. May the Lords flavouring in you continue to be passed on to many. God Bless

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Dave Matthews,

      Yes our words must be salted and the word of God does bring flavor to a conversation doesn't it?

      It is also priceless. A wealth that was given to us unselfishly. How can we neglect so great a salvation?

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thanks Michele! You are right! Jesus heals. It is through His stripes we are healed.

      Thank you so much for reading :)

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Caleb DRC, I really do not think that everything will be hunky-dory. You are right; these days there is a lot of lukewarm going around and as He said if we are neither hot nor cold, He will spit us out. I agree that the sting of Salt is what is needed to keep people from perdition.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi teaches12345,

      Such a great point.I think that everyone has an effect on the people around them and as Christians we do have to try to be an example and have flavor.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      North Wind: Back in the day of Jesus, Salt had wealth attached to it.

      Today we know that salt, when added to food improves the texture and flavour of the food. The same goes for our words to others as we try to introduce them to God's Word.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Wonderful hub. Salt heals, Jesus Christ healed all. Salt of the earth. Jesus also told his disciples to go out in the world and teach others. What an amazing hub. I agree with everything those above me have already written. Thank you for writing this hub.

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 6 years ago

      Good analogies, North Wind, and very informative;I had no idea it is used in so many ways. You said salt stings but heals, and I suspect Christians will be progressively using their Salt in this way to warn others of their path leading into eternal torment. There is so much sophistry and deception that assures lukewarm christians that everything will be hunky-dory.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      The verse in Matthew comes across my mind whenever I am puzzled about what to do in a situations regarding standing for my belief. If we do not represent Christianity then who will? If we lose our flavor, then we must be put aside. As Christians, we have a powerful influence on life and can help others to gain flavor. Very well written topic. Thanks for sharing.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you, Hyphenbird. I treasure your comments :)

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Amen. I like how you said not everyone will like salt because it has a strong taste. As believers of Christ and examples of His holiness we must also be strong. Our voice must be clear and have the integrity of salt. No one ever mistakes salt for anything else. It is unique just like a true Christian. Thank you for this lovely and pertinent Hub.