The Good Soil
Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
– Matthew 13:8
Today the Parable of the Sower series comes to a close! It is hard to believe that the first one in the group of four, The Pathway, was shared back in January of 2018. It feels great to finally finish what was first thought of years ago during a sermon out of this passage in 2011. If you have not seen the rest of the series, I really courage you to check them out!
Now, let's wrap up this series with a look at the final soil that illustrates the only saving response to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Good Soil
I think it is good to remember what was said at the beginning of this series. That this parable from Jesus is showing us four responses to the gospel. Four types of hearts and how three of them either reject Christ all together or eventually show themselves to have never been truly changed by him. Three hearts that are lost without salvation. However the fourth soil is a heart that the grace of God has taken root in and has produced a changed life! It is a soil that bears fruit.
Bearing fruit–the evidence of being born again (John 3:3-8)–will always follow true salvation in a person's life. This is because they are a different person on the inside. Their heart has gone from death to life, and where their is life, there is fruit!
John the Baptist made this clear to those who were claiming to be righteous while having no real change in their lives.
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. – Matthew 3:8
John told these Pharisees who came out to him as he was baptizing, that if repentance is true and genuine there will be fruit of a changed life. Not that the fruit is what saves a man, but that a saved man produces fruit. He continues his warning:
Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. – Matthew 3:10
What a warning! Again, we do not do good work, or try and change ourselves to produce fruit to overcome our own sin and earn our salvation. However, we produce fruit in our lives because our sin has been overcome by Jesus!
Heart change that produces new desires, new thoughts, new actions, new words, new life, will always be evident in some way in those saved by the grace of God.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. – John 3:36
This scripture in the Gospel of John makes it crystal clear. He starts with the positive, whoever believes has eternal life. However, when he switches to the negative you expect him to say whoever does not believe. However he doesn't. Instead he says whoever does not obey is still under God's wrath. Why is that? It is because the person who does not believe, will not obey. They will still try and live this life in their own power, trusting their own ways, and desiring their own glory. There are even people in the church who say they love God, yet still willingly and joyfully love and pursue the things of the world. But the one who has been changed, the one who believes, will joyfully follow Christ!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. – Galatians 5:22-25
Finally, we see in Galatians that the Spirit of God is who produces fruit in a person! He produces change because our sinful nature, our flesh, has been crucified! We now are free to live by the Spirit. To experience the true fruit of a changed life! Thanks be to God, that by his grace, true repentance is even possible! That he can bring us to a point of being brought from death to life! I hope and pray that your life overflows with the fruit of the spirit, as you stay in step with the Spirit, bearing fruit that keeps with repentance.
I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have enjoyed creating it. It has reminded me that no one is without hope and that God can take the hard heart, the shallow heart, or the heart that loves the world, and can make them new! He takes the dead and lifeless ground, and makes it good soil! I hope you know what that is like. I hope you know Jesus Christ. If you don't, or have questions, please use the Connect Page to reach out.