Various Responses to God's Word
Passage: Luke 8:4–8:15
The Big Picture: “The Parable of the Seed Among the Soils”looks for hearers of the word who persevere in the Christian faith over a lifetime and produce a crop – a “crop” being everything that characterizes Christian behaviour. Those who do not hear and do not respond to the word of God will not be saved. They do not believe. Their hearts are not regenerate.
Point # 1 Like the sower, God spreads his word widely among all kinds of people.
Point # 2 Like the three kinds of unfruitful soil, many will respond to the word with less than saving faith, be it . . .
- a complete lack of response due to the seed falling on their hard heart and being taken away by the devil before it has time to grow
- temporary superficiality masquerading as true commitment
- genuine interest and conviction about the truth that simply falls short due to the rigorous demands of discipleship
Point # 3 Like the fruitful soil, the only legitimate response to God's word is obedience and perseverance, which demonstrate true regeneration.
What is Conversion?
A biblical understanding of conversion recognizes that only God can save, and that he saves individuals by enabling them to respond to the gospel message through repenting of sin and trusting in Christ.
A biblical understanding of conversion recognizes both what God does . . . and what people do in salvation. In conversion, God
- gives life to the dead (Eph. 2:5)
- gives sight to the blind (2 Cor. 4:3-6)
- and gives the gifts of faith and repentance (Phil.1:29; Acts 11:18).
And in conversion, people
Why Did Jesus Use Parables?
- Jesus tells parables because in line with Scripture his message blinds, deafens, and hardens (Matthew 13:11-15).
- Jesus tells parables because in line with Scripture his message reveals things hidden in Scripture (Matthew 13:34-35).