He wants to control everything you do for Him by His blessed Spirit of God... so that you will indeed be God’s salt in this world.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends? How in the world are you? Doing all right? Yes, this your friend Dr. Cook, I’m glad to be back with you. Oh, how I look forward to these times when I can share with you from the Word of God. It’s just as though I were seated across the kitchen table from you or sitting beside you in a car as you drive to work, or however the circumstances may be. Just a couple friends sharing from the Word of God, and I’ve just been praying that the Spirit of God may fill every part of all of my life, my voice, my thoughts, my words, so that what is said to you may actually come from the heart and mind of God. This is what we call the miracle of the ministry where God talks through a human voice, based on His inerrant, infallible Word the Bible, filled with the Spirit of God, impelled by the power of divine purpose, and coming across the miles and across the days and hours, to your particular, specific need. What a wonderful thing that is. Somebody somewhere is going to get some special help from God’s Word today.
I want to stop momentarily on the last couple verses of Mark chapter 9, before we go on into the 10th chapter. We were talking about the Bible basis of cooperation. Number one; loyalty to Christ. Number two; compassion for Christ’s little ones, His believers, His people. Number three; personal holiness, a desperate and all-consuming desire to be a holy person, personal holiness. And then finally this idea of salt with saltness, the reality in other words of Christ in the indwelling Holy Spirit in one’s life.
So, I’m coming down then to Mark 9:49 and 50, talking about this matter of salt just for a moment, okay? “Everyone shall be salted with fire and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves and have peace one with another”. Offerings, “Thou shalt offer salt”, it says in Leviticus chapter 2. This is probably what our Lord Jesus had in mind in using this particular figure of speech, “Sacrifices salted with salt”.
Let me turn the pages of my big Bible here, to Leviticus 2, and it should be about verse 13, let me look. Thirteen, “Every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt, neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering with all thine offerings thou shall offer salt”. Now, why that is? Well going to wait til I get to heaven to get the full answer, but obviously salt is a preservative, it keeps the spoilage from occurring in perishable materials, such as meats and produce and that sort of a thing– salt.
I remember in the years when we were living in the Illinois Valley, Coreen and I had the pastoral care of the dear people there at LaSalle, Illinois, and often times when one of the farmers would slaughter a pig, they’d bring us part of the, part of the pig. I remember one time I had half a hog on the kitchen table. Can you imagine that? What are you going to do with half of a pig? Well, what I did was, I’ve made ham and bacon and sausage and all that sort of a thing and we used salt. I got some salt that was called smoked salt, so that you wouldn’t have to hang the meat in a smoke house or smoke apparatus in order to give it the smoked taste, and then I rubbed very carefully on the meat and then inside along the bone, so as to get that salt flavor all through the meat and preserve it, and then I left it out in the in the garage, hanging up in some cases and in a great big crock in others, until it was thoroughly cured. We ate pretty well in those days, thanks to those long-suffering farmers who had to suffer through my sermons, bless their hearts.
Well, salt, it’s a preservative and this was the idea, I’m sure, in the direction that was given there in Leviticus the second chapter. Now, our Lord Jesus quotes that passage, “Every sacrifice shall be salted with salt”, and the idea of salt is not only preserving, but purifying, “Everyone shall be salted with fire”. The idea of purifying is in there, you see? Now with all that, you then come to the other passages in the Scripture the deal with salt, you find our Lord saying as quoted for instance in Matthew chapter 5, “Ye are the salt of the earth”, but He goes on to say, “If the salt have lost its savor, wherewithal shall be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but be cast out and trodden under foot of men”. You can’t use it for anything. You can’t even use it for fertilizer. It’s useless if it’s lost its flavor. So, you have preservative, you have purifying, and your flavor.
Now that then, is the type of imagery that you have in the Word of God, concerning the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, and this works even in matters having to do what you say. “Let your speech be always with grace’, Paul says, “seasoned with salt”, Colossians 4 verse 6, “so, that ye may know how you ought to answer every man”, and that, it seems to me, has to do with the good sense and the wisdom that God can give. He says, “Salt”, so you know how to answer. Well, if you know how to answer that means you have the answer, you’ve got the wisdom, you’ve got the ideas and you’re going to communicate them to the person needing them. So here then, you have the idea of wisdom, God’s answers to man’s problems. “Your speech with grace seasoned with the wisdom of God”. It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? And when you are real with God, it isn’t mixed with carnal things, “No fountain can you freshwater and saltwater at the same time”, James says in his third chapter.
When “God’s salt”, and when I use that word you know what I’m talking about, (the reality of Christ in your life through the indwelling Holy Spirit based on the Word of God, that is the combination that we’re thinking about), and when that occurs, when your life is filled with the Spirit of God, there is no admixture then of the brassy sound of the flesh, and self-will and self-interest. The more God has control of you, little less there’s going to be of any kind of a mixture. You’re going to have beautiful, salty living and speaking.
Now He says, “Everyone and every sacrifice”, not to beat on this so point too much, but to just point out that God deals with us as persons before He deals with this in terms of what we do for Him. Do you want to think about that for a while? God wants to deal with you as a person before He considers what you can do for Him. “This we say”, Paul says, “Not as we hope, but first they gave themselves unto God then unto us by the Will of God”. The idea of what you’re doing for God, the sacrifices you offer to God, your teaching and preaching, your good works, your life that you live for His glory and in His name, all the things you do for God have to take second place to your personal relationship with Him. “This people honoreth Me with their lips”, God complains to the prophet Isaiah. “This people honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me”.
One of the saddest verses the Old Testament is this one, “They feared the Lord, but served their own gods”. So, that you have an admixture there of the knowledge of Jehovah God and also a deliberate, going after idolatrous things on the part of God’s ancient people. No, God wants your heart, He wants all of it, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart with all thy soul, with all thy mind, with all thy strength”. Every part of all of your life, given to Him is where this whole matter begins. “Everyone shall be salted with fire”. Then He says, “Every sacrifice”, what you do for God in other words, “salted with salt”. Which brings me then to ask this beloved, do you have as a matter of habitual practice, the point of committing your words and deeds to the Holy Spirit of God, so that you will indeed be God’s salt in a world that desperately needs purifying, and that desperately needs preserving, and that desperately needs a little heavenly flavor? “Every one, every sacrifice salted with salt”. Is what I am doing this minute under the control of the blessed, indwelling Holy Spirit of God?
That’s the question that you and I need to ask, and we need by faith, because the Bible says the just shall live by faith, not by sight, we need by faith every moment to turn ourselves over to Him. Poor, dumb, blundering, sinful human beings that we are, the only way that you can live through any given day without defeat and without regret, is deliberately by faith to turn over every step and every word and every decision and every action to the blessed Spirit of God, that He might guide you. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God”, Paul says in Romans 8.Do you get that concept? God wants you before He asks what you do for Him and He wants to control everything you do for Him by His blessed Spirit of God, so that you will indeed be God’s salt in this world. A world that needs purifying, a world that needs preserving, and a world that needs some heavenly flavor in it. Well, we’ll get at this just a little more the next time we get together, God willing.
Father God today, may we be God’s salt in this old world, I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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