The Berean Expositor Volume 52 - Page 91 of 207 Index | Zoom |
very convenient doctrine no doubt, specially where unfaithfulness is concerned.
Nevertheless it is quite unscriptural and therefore not true.
The Sermon on the Mount is not the gospel for the unsaved. If it is, then salvation is
by works, merit and human attainment and much of holy Scripture is contradicted. It is
reward teaching to believers of the time of Christ's first coming and lays down God's
conditions for entry into the kingdom of the heavens. Those who do not fulfil these
conditions are refused entry and "wailing and gnashing of teeth" describe the intense
disappointment of such who are excluded.
5: 13 - 30.
pp. 149 - 154
Having seen the Scriptural setting of the Sermon on the Mount and considered the
Beatitudes, we proceed with verse 13 of chapter 5::
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made
salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by
men" (5: 13, N.I.V.).
Salt gives flavour to food and preserves from corruption. It makes food more
palatable and wholesome. Dr. A. T. Robertson says that it is common in Syria and
Palestine to see salt scattered in piles on the ground, because it has lost its flavour.
Thomson in his The Land and the Book page 381 says, "I saw large quantities of it
literally thrown into the street, to be trodden under foot of men and animals". This is a
picture of encouragement and warning given by the Lord to describe those who were
intensely concerned about entering and enjoying God's kingdom.
Like salt, they should be a preservative against corruption and evil around them.
Instead of this the danger is that such could be infected by these evils, in which case the
"saltiness" has gone and is worthless. The Apostle Paul uses the same figure in
Colossians, "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know
how ye ought to answer every man" (Col. 4: 6).
A second illustration is now given by the Lord:
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people
light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to
everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may
see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (5: 14-16, N.I.V.).
A city on a mountain and a candle on a lampstand would certainly be seen and would
shed its light around. In the same way, the believer should let his light shine to all
mankind. Even so the light does not originate from him, but from the One Who is "the
light of the world" (John 8: 12). The believer is only a light bearer and as such