“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:3-5).
The intention here should not be hard to understand: there should not be the slightest hint of these things among saints, because the wrath of God will be visited upon the disobedient. Have you noticed any of these things coming to a church near you? Isn’t that evidence that the salt is losing its savour?
Salt is the original food preservative. In Old Testament times it was the only means available to prevent food from spoiling. The sacrifices offered at the tabernacle or in the temple had to be pure, so they were salted. This is the inference when Jesus calls His followers the salt of the earth. He wants us to be pure from all defilement and to have salt in ourselves so that we can preserve others around us from defilement.
Of course we are human and even at our best our saltiness is mingled with something of our human imperfection. In like manner, the salt in Old Testament times that was dug from the shores of the Dead Sea was never 100% pure, yet it was effective. There were lower grades of salt with higher levels of other substances, sometimes to the point of there not being enough actual salt in this supposed salt to be of any use.
Jesus warned us not to be like that. If we allow little bits of the impurities of the world around us to infiltrate our lives, pretty soon we will not have enough salt in ourselves to preserve ourselves from the judgment to come. “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” (Matthew 5:13).
Before we complain too much about the putrefaction of the world around us, perhaps we should ask ourselves if we are salty enough to be of any help.