Was Jesus Right That Salt Can Lose its Savor?

Matthew 5:13

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 under foot of men.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): There are countries where there is found salt from which the pungency has completely gone. It is an altogether useless article.

WILLIAM McCLURE THOMSON (1806-1894): I have often seen just such salt, and the identical disposition of it that our Lord has mentioned. A merchant of Sidon having farmed of the Turkish government the revenue from the importation of salt, brought over an immense quantity from the marshes of Cyprus―enough, in fact, to supply the whole province of Sidon for at least twenty years. This he had transferred to the mountains, to cheat the government out of some small percentage. Sixty-five houses were rented and filled with salt. These houses have merely earthen floors, and the salt next the ground, in a few years, entirely spoiled. I saw large quantities of it literally thrown into the street, to be trodden underfoot by people and beasts. It was “good for nothing.”

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW (1808-1878): When our Lord reminds His people that they are “the salt of the earth,” He describes the state of all real believers in grace. The grace of God is that “salt,” apart from which all is corruption and spiritual decay.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): Salt is good―to make meat savoury, and keep flesh from corrupting; and so is the grace of God, to season men’s hearts, make their discourse savoury, and preserve them from the corruption of sin: and so men made partakers of the grace of God; they are good and useful to others, both by their words and actions.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Grace is the salt with which all our religious performances must be seasoned, Colossians 4:6.

JOHN GILL: The “savour” here supposed that it may be lost, cannot mean the savour of  true grace itself, which cannot be lost, being an incorruptible seed.

MATTHEW HENRY: An everlasting covenant is called a “covenant of salt,” because it is incorruptible. The glory reserved for us is incorruptible and undefiled. and the grace wrought in us is the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW: The indestructibility and imperishable nature of real grace in the soul of man is a truth that greatly impacts the holiness and happiness of the Christian and―what is of still greater importance―the glory of God…We should never forget that, where real grace exists, that grace is as imperishable as the God who implanted it; that, where true faith has led your trembling footsteps to Jesus, to receive Him as all your salvation, that faith is as deathless as its Author. But with this broad and emphatic truth, we must proceed to justify the affecting declaration of the Saviour’s words: That it may “lose its savour.”

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): By salt in this place our Saviour seems to mean a Christian life and profession. It is a good, a noble, a great thing to be a Christian: but one that is so in an outward profession may lose his savour.

MATTHEW HENRY: Degenerate Christians, who, rather than part with what they have in the world, will throw up their profession, and then of course become carnal, and worldly, and wholly destitute of a Christian spirit, are like salt that has lost its savourthe most useless worthless thing in the world; it has no manner of virtue or good property in it. It can never be recovered: Wherewith shall it be seasoned? You cannot salt it. This intimates that it is extremely difficult, and next to impossible, to recover an apostate, Hebrews 6:4-6. If Christianity will not prevail to cure men of their worldliness and sensuality, if that remedy has been tried in vain, their case must even be concluded desperate.

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW: Where divine grace, does not exist, nothing stunts the growth, impedes the progress, or restrains the power of the soul’s depravity.

MATTHEW HENRY: We must not only have this salt of grace, but we must always retain the relish and savour of it.

THOMAS COKE (1747-1814): Our Lord’s supposition of the salt’s losing its savour is illustrated by Mr. Henry Maundrell.

HENRY MAUNDRELL (1665-1701): In the valley of salt, near Gebul, and about four hours’ journey from Aleppo, there is a small precipice, occasioned by the continual taking away of the salt. In this, you may see how the veins of it lie: I broke a piece of it; the part exposed to the rain, sun, and air, though it had the sparks and particles of salt, yet it had perfectly lost its savouras in Matthew 5:13. But the innermost, which had been connected with the rock, retained its savour, as I found by proof.

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW: How does this apply to the spiritual life of the believer? It applies most clearly and indisputably to a relapsed state of grace, and of its consequent loss of vigorous influence.

CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): As salt, however good, may possibly “lose its saltness,” so as to become unfit for the service of God; so may immortal souls lose the divine savour which is pleasing to God.

MATTHEW POOLE: Though a man cannot fall away from the truth and reality of grace, yet he may fall away from his profession; he may be given up to believe lies, and embrace damnable errors; he may shake off that dread of God which he seemed to have upon him; and then what is he good for? Wherewith shall he be seasoned? He is neither fit for the land nor the dunghill: as some things will spoil dunghills, so debauched professors do but make wicked men worse, by prejudicing and hardening them against the ways and truths of God…If they have lost their soundness in the faith, and holiness of life, they are of no value.

THOMAS COKE: Those who profess to spread the lively truths of God, who adulterate the Word, and grow degenerate in their tempers and manners, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

MATTHEW HENRY: If you, who should season others, are yourselves unsavoury, void of spiritual life, relish, and vigour; if a Christian be so―especially if a minister be so, his condition is very sad; for, he is irrecoverable: Wherewith shall it be salted? Salt is a remedy for unsavoury meat, but there is no remedy for unsavoury salt. Christianity will give a man a relish; but if a man can take up and continue the profession of it, and yet remain flat and foolish, and graceless and insipid, no other doctrine, no other means, can be applied, to make him savoury. If Christianity does not do it, nothing will. He is unprofitable: It is thenceforth good for nothing; what use can it be put to, in which it will not do more hurt than good?

C. H. SPURGEON: Many a barren Christian has come into this mournful condition by a careless, unsanctified walk before the Lord. Let not saints who are now useful run the risk of enduring the loss of their mercies, but let them be watchful that all things may go well with them.

copied from a biblical chat

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