Mark 9:50 Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."
There are a lot of things that lead us into sin. There are bad things, bad places, and bad people who can lead us into sin - that's one reason why parents are so concerned with their children's friends, they don't want anything to lead them astray. It is however relatively easy to avoid the bad people, places and things - and its one of the things we pray for, when in praying the Lord's Prayer, we ask, and lead us not into temptation.
But there is more to this petition than just avoiding the bad - temptation can come from good things as well, when they are put in the wrong place. A bicycle can be a good thing for a 5 year old, once you learn how to ride it. But it can also be a temptation, to go places you don't have permission to go, and to do things you don't have the skill to do. Every good thing has a place, but it is out of place, when any person, place or thing becomes the center of our life - because that is God's place. That's the reason why missing worship to do something else good is wrong, because in the process you let something else take God's place.
How important is this? Well, in our lesson, Jesus spends some time trying to help us to understand the consequences of sin. We know that the wages of sin is death, and we know that without forgiveness, the wages of sin is an eternity in Hell. So if something causes you to sin, it would be good to cut it out of your life. And while it's not hard to cut had things out of our life, and certainly possible to cut good things that are out of place, out of our life - there are some things, we are quite attached to, like our fingers and toes, eyes and ears - and Jesus says, if they cause us to sin, we need to cut them out of our lives. What does this mean?
It doesn't mean that we need to hurt ourselves, it does mean, that sin is bad and needs to be avoided - but even more than that it shows us why we need God at the center of our lives. It is by grace through faith that we hear the word of God which shows us our sins. It is by grace through faith that we turn from sin and turn to God. It is by grace through faith that we are forgiven and redeemed and made a new creation. And it is in that new creation that our whole being can praise worship and honor God.
And that's what brings us to our text - Have salt in yourself! You see, the most important thing for us to know and remember is that God loves us, and sent His son to save us. Salt is something that preserves - having salt in yourself, means having something inside you which will preserve you from sin, from death, and from the devil. What preserves you from sin, death and the devil? Jesus does. Jesus conquered sin, death and the devil and gives us the victory, that's what our faith is all about, and that's how we are saved.
By ourselves we don't have anything which can preserve us, and in the face of the fires of hell it would be better to cut off your hand or gouge out your eye, than to let sin lead you to destruction. But if we have Jesus, if we are covered in his blood, than our whole body, and our whole life is redeemed - that's why we don't trust in what we do, but we trust in what Jesus has done for us on the cross - that's what has redeemed us, that's what has bought us the forgiveness of sins and peace with God.
And it is that faith, life and salvation, that has not only brought peace to our lives, and forgiveness for our sins - but it is also what enables us to live in peace with one another, as we forgive others, as God in Christ has forgiven us. We want them to know the joy we have in Christ.