“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16, ESV).
The gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to redeem the souls of men and women everywhere. Paul experiences this gospel power on the Damascus road. After his conversion, he spends the rest of his days living and proclaiming the gospel message. He undergoes beatings, floggings, shipwrecks, insults, and the sentence of death all for the sake of Christ and his gospel (2 Cor. 1:8-10 & 2 Cor. 6:4-10; ESV). When Paul writes that he’s not ashamed of the gospel in Romans 1:16a, he means what he says and he says what he means.
When Christ followers embrace the gospel unashamedly, then they become like salt of the earth. Through Paul’s writings like Romans, believers have God-breathed words of comfort, exhortation and empowerment. Now, here’s a little something about salt. It’s a multi-purpose ingredient, especially in the 1st Century. Salt was used as a seasoning, as a preservative, as a disinfectant, as a unit of exchange, and most importantly, as a key ingredient for the temple offerings as a sign of God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham.
The next time you hear a sermon on salt of the earth, or study it, or discuss it, be ready to ask a few soul-searching questions. Here are several to stir the proverbial pot: 1.) Do you season your relationships and circumstances for Christ and his gospel? 2.) Do you seek to preserve your relationships and circumstances for Christ and his gospel? 3.) Are you attentive toward removing anything in your life that’s unclean for the sake of Christ and his gospel? 4.) Do you recognize that Christ bought you for his sake and his gospel? and finally, 5.) Are you displaying Christ and his gospel in your life as a sign to others?
When churches house Christ-centered and gospel-centered believers, we serve as lighthouses in our respective communities, towns, cities, regions, and nations. Lighthouses warn ships about the dangerous breakers and shallow seas. They also provide hope for ships at sea, which have been away from land for weeks, months, or years. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus says that “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2a, ESV). Like the apostle Paul, Jesus sends out his laborers into the world with his gospel message, the good news of the kingdom. It’s Christ’s gospel, and he entrusts it to us until he returns.