Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Parable of the Sower and the Hearts of Men

Jesus told his disciples...

Mar 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
Mar 4:12  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

The parables were a means to both veil and reveal truth. To those whom are given to know, the truth, and to those whom it is not given, mystery. A mystery is less likely to be opposed or manipulated because it is difficult to be offended by that which is vague or unknown. This is one reason that I believe that the Gospel parables we have with us today are accurate representations of those presented 2000 years ago. I also believe that the parables offer us validity that the message of the Gospels is divine in origin because they conceal and reveal deep truths which penetrate to the foundation of our souls.

In Luke we read...

Luk 8:5  A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
Luk 8:6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
Luk 8:7  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
Luk 8:8  And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things,
he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Luk 8:9  And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
Luk 8:10  And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

So we have Jesus presenting a mystery to the hearer, a mystery presented as a parable, a teaching intended to reveal and conceal. Jesus reveals the meaning of this parable to his disciples...

Luk 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Luk 8:12  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Luk 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Luk 8:14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

If we look briefly in Mark we can see how Jesus premised the understanding of all His parables upon an understanding of the parable of the sower.

Mar 4:13  And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
The parable of the sower is therefore very important and here is why. I believe it is because of this one statement...

Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.



Notwithstanding that the notion of "an honest and good heart" destroys the false doctrine of "birth depravity" (inability doctrine), but it reveals to us that the Word of God can only take root in those whom have honest and good hearts. Those by the wayside, those upon the rocks, those among the thorns are all representative of those whom have a deceptive and evil heart. Fruit is brought forth by those with an honest and good heart.

Therefore it would be prudent to consider how does one obtain an honest and good heart? It is very simple. We just have to be completely honest with ourselves and let the root of conviction wrought by our conscience take hold. If we do that then we can do this...

Jas 1:21  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

An honest and good heart brings forth the desire to abide in the truth. An honest and good heart necessitates the forsaking of all unrighteousness and a recieving of the truth within. Hence we are to lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and recieve meekly the word within which is what saves our souls. We open our hearts to God who then indwells us with His Spirit and energises us to walk in love and purity before Him. This is the new birth and this is real salvation.

The seed, which is the word, can only take root within those who wholeheartedly recieve it. Without a wholehearted reception of the word within it is only a matter of time before either doubt, temptation, or the cares of this world draw us away from God.

This is why Satan attacks the repentance message. This is why all the false religious sects and denominations and the false theological framework which underpins them attack the repentance message. The good and honest heart is a fruit of genuine repentance, a repentance wrought through a godly sorrow which brings such a crisis, such conviction to the soul, wrought through complete honesty as to one's selfishness before God, an honesty to the true evil of what one has done (to
thesmselves, to others and to God) and how foolish one has been in allowing themselves to be decieved into such a state.

This conviction wrought understanding brings with it a motivation for righteousness, a true purging of iniquity from the heart, bringing with it the possibility to wholeheartedly yield to the grace of God in recieving the word within. This conviction brings us into possession of the good and honest heart, the fertile soul in which the seed of God can grow.

Deceptive theology will always compromise the notion of the honest and good heart, and in so doing an individual can be subtly deceived into a state of assurance whilst they lay by the wayside, upon the rocks, or among the thorns. We have to make sure that we are rooted in both the understanding and possession of an honest and good heart and that we remain diligent that we remain rooted in such. If we do this we will not only live but live abundantly.

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