I’ve always been a bit of a mad scientist. The urge to figure out exactly the way things work is simply part of my DNA. So, as a boy, it was no surprise to find me nose deep in a book, the computer, or the lawnmower (sorry, Dad) trying to figure out what makes things tick.
It seemed logical to want to dive down to the atomic level when I chose my profession. Now I get paid to mix chemicals together and see what happens. Still, let’s just say that there are days when I wake up with more hair on my arms than others.
Yet, it is amazing to think just how much chemistry can provide insight into the way God works with us. Yes, now is the time to roll your eyes and think that I am crazy, but it is true! Take the following chemical equation:
HCl + NaOH → NaCl + H2O
Many of you recognize the two products of the reaction: sodium chloride (table salt) and water. The other two materials are hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide (lye). So again, you may think, what does this have to do with anything spiritual? But let’s apply it!
Hydrochloric acid is an extremely corrosive substance. It is one of the strongest acids known to man. It can dissolve metal and requires extreme caution when you use it. Similarly, our human nature before salvation is much the same. Sin is a caustic substance that can dissolve our relationship with God and others. It requires extreme care to deal with and should only be handled by Christ, the only one qualified to remove it!
Sodium hydroxide is a cleansing agent. It is used to create soaps and can provide assistance in removing those stuck-on, stubborn messes. When mixed with an acid, it creates a cleansing, neutralizing reaction. We also require a cleansing neutralization of our sinful nature that can only come through the blood of Christ. He takes our caustic, sinful nature and applies His cleansing blood.
The products of the reaction are salt and water. If you read the Sermon on the Mount, Christ tells us “ye are the salt of the earth“ (Matthew 5:13, 3 Nephi 12:13). We all know that salt is a preservative and flavoring agent. As Christians, we are called to preserve the Gospel in its purity and provide the flavor of our testimony to the world around us. That salt can only be created in us by the reaction Christ provides.
Lastly, we all know about water. It is life! Without it, no living creature can exist. Along with salt, the reaction produces water. When the blood of Christ cleanses our sinful nature, we become vessels of the living water He provides to our souls. We now have the opportunity to share that with those around us and continue to draw from it to help us walk through life.
So there you have it! I bet you didn’t realize that when Jesus was giving us the Sermon on the Mount he was actually giving us a chemistry lesson!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.