Understanding The ‘Salt Of The Earth’ Meaning Of In The Bible

Photo of author

Published by Shannon Jacobs



Last Updated:

Editorial Policy and Guidelines

Our content is expertly crafted and reviewed by theologians and scholars, ensuring accuracy and relevance by referencing reliable sources, primarily the Bible. Before publication and significant updates, we rigorously confirm the factual integrity, delivering well-informed articles grounded in biblical teachings

The salt of the earth is a biblical idiom that means “the most important or useful people in a group.” It refers to Jesus’ disciples and the importance of their role in God’s plan for humanity. The phrase is also used to describe a person who is morally upright and of good character.

The phrase refers to the essential nature of salt, which is used as a preservative. The disciples are like salt as they help preserve God’s earthly kingdom. God intends for his followers to be morally upright people who make the world a better place. Salt is a metaphor for goodness and purity.

Key Takeaways

  • The phrase “salt of the earth” is a metaphor used by Jesus to emphasize the vital role His followers play in the world. By being morally upright and positively influencing society, Christians act as a preservative against moral decay, much like how salt preserves food and enhances its flavor.
  • Jesus’ teaching stresses the importance of Christians being active in their faith by being humble, forgiving, loving, and serving others selflessly. These actions help them make a tangible difference in the world, enhancing and preserving the community just as salt does with food.
  • The metaphor underscores the intrinsic value of Christians in God’s eyes, akin to how salt was a valuable commodity in ancient times. It’s a call for believers to maintain their distinctiveness and effectiveness in a world that can often be challenging and morally complex.

What Does The “Salt Of The Earth” Mean In The Bible?

The salt of the earth[1] is a common phrase that means that someone or something is fundamentally good and valuable. The phrase comes from Matthew 5:13, which says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

This passage in Matthew’s gospel is part of a long section concerned with Jesus’ teachings about how his followers should live their lives. He tells them to be humble, avoid lusting after wealth and power, pray for their enemies, forgive those who hurt them, love one another as he loves them, act as peacemakers who bring justice and mercy to all situations they encounter (Matthew 5:9–10), and serve others without expecting anything in return (Matthew 5:13–16).

So why does Jesus use the phrase “the salt of the Earth”? He uses it to refer to people who are humble, gracious toward others, and willing to sacrifice themselves for others’ benefit. Jesus says these people are like salt—they improve the world by bringing out its best qualities. Without them, life would be bland and tasteless. In other words, they’re indispensable!

Jesus says that Christians are like salt because each of us influences others around us. We are called by God to bring healing, hope, and salvation to those who do not know Christ. We should seek to impact our culture with love and compassion, just as salt preserves flavor to bland food.

As Christians, we are called to be light in a dark and fallen world where sin has corrupted everything (Matthew 5:13–16). When we live for Christ, we become powerful witnesses for Him and His truth that can change lives for eternity!

a close-up shot of salt crystals clustered together in a natural formation, glistening under the warm glow of sunlight

Why Did Jesus Say That “You Are The Salt Of The Earth”?

Jesus knew that we are to let the light shine to the world and add salt as flavor to food. The world has lost its savor because it has lost its salt. Jesus is not saying that we are better than everyone else but that we need to be different from the rest of the world for our lives to impact others.

Jesus was saying this because He wants us to be different from the world in how we live our lives. He wants us to live in such a way that people will stand up and take notice of how different we are from them. This can happen when we look for ways to make a difference in someone’s life or when we seek ways to help others.

We can do this by being involved in community service projects, volunteering at local shelters or soup kitchens, or doing anything else that helps others, including giving away money if you have it available at any time (Luke 6:38).

What Does “Salt Of The Earth” Mean To Us Today?

Salt of the Earth is an idiom that means “a person who is honest, kind, and sincere.” It comes from Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:13, where he says that if we are the salt of the Earth, we should not lose our flavor.

The phrase originates in the ancient world as a proverb meaning “earthly good” or “fair and good people.” In the Bible, it is used to describe those who support and make up society (as opposed to those who are corrupt). The saying was also used by St. Jerome around 420 AD to describe Christians who were faithful to God despite persecution from non-believers.

Today, salt of the Earth still means an honest person with good intentions. It describes someone ethical and trustworthy, especially in difficult situations. It can also be applied to someone who is down-to-earth and humble or who has good morals and values.

an open palm cradling pink salt, the delicate hues of pink and white blending seamlessly

How Can We Be The Salt Of The Earth?

1. Spread His Word

Jesus calls us that the world would be better if everyone followed God’s word and teachings. When we spread these teachings to others, we are a positive influence on society. We can do this by sharing God’s word and scriptures in our daily lives and letting people know about God’s love for all of us. If you want to be the salt of the Earth, you should be willing to share God’s love with others through popular bible verse phrases that may inspire others.

2. Fellowship

Christians are called to be a light in the world, and one of the ways we can do that is by getting together with other believers. We should join a church where people can gather together for fellowship and spiritual growth.

This will allow us to build relationships with people who share our beliefs, as well as grow closer to God through worshiping him together. Fellowship is crucial to being the salt of the Earth because it helps us to stay connected to other Christians, which is something we need to grow spiritually.

3. Pray Without Ceasing

One way Christians can be the salt on the Earth is by praying for those around us. We should join a church where people regularly gather to pray for their community and the world. This will allow us to build relationships with people who share our beliefs while also allowing them to experience God’s love through prayers and daily Bible verses.

4. Reach Out To Those In Need

We should also be the salt of the Earth by reaching out to those around us. This means giving all your grain offerings to others who need it, but it also means being willing to listen when they want someone to talk with.

This is especially important in our current political climate, where many people feel alone and hopeless. We can all be part of the solution by listening to those who are struggling and trying to encourage them by letting them know that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.

5. Be A Good Example

Jesus said we should be the world’s light (Matthew 5:14). We can do this by being an excellent example to others. This means not only doing what is right but also sharing with others why we are doing it and how they can follow suit. Being a good example is not always easy, but if we commit to doing it, our lives will have more meaning and purpose.

Prayer To Be Salt Of The Earth

Dear Lord,

I pray that you would make me the salt of the Earth. I pray for wisdom and discernment to be able to make a difference in the world around me. I pray that I will be able to speak truth into the lives of those around me and that I will be able to live out my faith in ways that are beneficial to others.

I also pray that you will help me to be a good example of how someone can live out their faith in a practical, everyday way. I pray that you will give me the strength, courage, and wisdom to be an excellent example of your love and grace. Help me to be a light in the darkness, and help me to stand up for what is right.

Help me to be a good influence on those around me by setting an example of how they should live their lives as Christians. Help me to be a light in dark places where there is no hope. Give me the strength and courage to speak up when I see an injustice being done, even if it means going against someone who has power over me or my family. In Jesus’ name.

small bowl holding a mound of coarse sea salt, glimmering under soft ambient light


Salt is a powerful substance that can be used to preserve things from moral and spiritual decay. In the same way, we are called by God to be a “preservative” for our families, communities, and even nations.

We must remember that we were not placed here on Earth for our very existence but also to thrive. We must impact those around us by being the light of Christ in their lives. We must use our influence to speak out against sin, injustice, and evil. By doing this, we can be “the salt of the Earth” and preserve those around us from decay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to be the salt of the world in the Bible?

To be the “salt of the world” in the Bible means to have a preserving and enhancing influence on the world. As salt enhances flavor and prevents decay, Christians are called to uphold moral integrity and spread goodness, impacting the world positively by their presence and actions.

What is the spiritual meaning of salt in the Bible?

The spiritual meaning of salt in the Bible symbolizes purity, preservation, and the covenant between God and His people. It reflects the imperative for Christians to live lives that preserve moral standards and spread spiritual knowledge in a decaying world.

What is the meaning behind the salt of the earth?

The meaning behind “the salt of the earth” is that Christians are called to be valuable and influential within society. Like salt, which adds flavor and preserves food, Christians are expected to enrich the world around them and act as moral preservatives.

What Bible verse says ye are the salt of the earth?

The Bible verse that says “ye are the salt of the earth” is Matthew 5:13. In this verse, Jesus teaches His followers about their influential role in the world, emphasizing the importance of maintaining their distinctiveness and effectiveness in society.

Leave a Comment