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The Parables #16

THE GOOD SEED PICTURES CHRISTIANS.

“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom,” verse 38.

1. Christian, you are the Lord’s planting. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever,” 1 Peter 1:23. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen,” 2 Peter 3:18.

Within us has been planted a new nature which will manifest itself and which will require us to reject the world and its ways and rather obey God and His law.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” Matthew 6:33. This will bring us into conflict with the world when the world demands that we disobey God and submit to its commands.

This is what happened Peter and John. They put God’s kingdom first!

The enemies of the gospel in their day said: “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men,” Acts 5:28-29.

That choice has had to be made by God’s people throughout the ages and it has brought suffering, persecution and death to countless multitudes of the saints of God. The time of such conflict draws near again! Have you the seed of God planted within you? Is there a new nature springing up in you? Give thought to this today.

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The Parables #15

God’s activities are beneficial to the earth. “Sowed good seed.”

The influence of this seed is good, morally good and helpful.

Isaiah 61:1-3 sets the standard for the Saviour’s ministry and points to the work He continues to carry on through the preaching of the gospel and His works of Province.

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

These verses form the text of the Saviour’s first recorded sermon, Luke 4:16-21.

Many verses are found in the New Testament which enforce this truth.

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them,” Matthew 4:23-24.

See also Matthew 9:35, Acts 2:22, 4:27, 10;38.

All these indicate the character of the Saviour’s ministry and of the work of God amongst men.

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The Parables #14

The Wheat and The tares

Scripture: Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43.

We have another wonderful picture presented to us for our instruction and edification.

I. HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Our second consideration under this heading:

2. God is actively at work amongst mankind. “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field.” God is busy in the midst of this world’s affairs, sowing seed. His work is largely unnoticed by men. Men must be reminded of God and His work. Daniel 2:28, 5:21. The Saviour used the image of the farmer – a busy man!

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The Parables #13

The Wheat and The tares

Scripture: Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43.

We have another wonderful picture presented to us for our instruction and edification. How abundantly does nature illustrate the gospel.Please note the words: “Another parable put he forth unto them,” verse 24. These words were spoken for the benefit of His disciples. The Lord is speaking to His people here in this passage. Please be sure to hear and heed what He says.

I. HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

1. Few give any thought to this kingdom! In 1596 Andrew Melville, the successor to John Knox, made a famous speech in which he reminded the King James VI that ‘there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland.’ As well as King James ‘There is Christ Jesus, the King of the Church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member.’ James VI paid little heed to Melville’s words as is the habit of most professing Christian inhabitants of this earth!

The existence and the activities of God’s kingdom are as real as that of the UK, the USA, Russia etc.

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The Parables #12

Consider the good and fruitful ground.

“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred,” Mark 4:20. Note that as there were three types of bad ground so there are three types of good ground.

1. What makes good ground?

Three features: “Hear”, “Receive”, “Bring forth”. You can see the progress of growth here.

  • “Hear” – first use in NT. “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him,” Matthew 2:3. Hearing followed by reaction.
  • “Receive” – akin to “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet,” Matthew 10:14. Door shut in the face of!
  • “Bring forth fruit”: Here is what it means. “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God,” Cols 1:10.

2. This how to have a successful, fruitful Christian life.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Galatians 5:22.

3. Note the different degrees of fruitfulness.

“Some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Paul speaks “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Cors 15:10. Notice Paul takes no honour for his labours. All Christians do not attain to the same level of fruitfulness. Not every stalk of barley brings forth the same number of kernels. Some more than others.
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” 1 Cor 3:8. Read 1 Cor 12:6-11.

All we are asked to do is our best. “And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord,” Matthew 25:20-23.

Faithfulness is rewarded and not really the amount done! “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing,” 2 Timothy 4:8.

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