Sunday, January 31, 2010

Romans 7:1-4

Romans 7:1-4

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

a. When Christ died Israel’s husband died, therefore covenentally they were free from the law, and really under obligation to receive their Messiah. Covenentally the same husband that died, rose from the dead.

1). Jeremiah 3:14, 20 “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.

b. Paul echoes this same thought in 1 Corinthians.
 
1). 1 Corinthians 7:39 “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Parable of the Sower: Those sown among Thorns

Those among the thorns

A. The Parable and the Interpretation in Mathew

1. Matthew 13:7 “And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

a. The seed fell among thorns and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

2. Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

a. cares [3308 * merimna] [Bullinger: dividing or distracting the mind; then that which does so, care, thought, anxious care, trouble.][Zodhiates: Anxiety, care that brings disruption to the mind.]

b. A derivative of merimna [3309 * merimnao] is translated “careful” in Philippians 4:6; “take thought” in Matthew 6:31;

1). Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

a).  Being careful, taking thought is worry. It is the opposite of faith. Worry in a Christian is confidence in the belief that God will not do what he said he would. Worry is sin.

b). I remember I used to jump on this kind of stuff every chance I got. I’d say that Carefree sugarless gum is “Christian” gum because its “care free”. Or I would tweak the traditional American farewell of “Good bye and be careful”, to “Good bye and be careful for nothing”.

3. “…and the deceitfulness of riches…”

2). deceitfulness [539 * apate][ deceit, especially by false statements, self deception.] [Vine’s: that which gives a false impression, whether by appearance, statement, or influence.]

3). Scripture declares riches are deceitful, they give a false impression. If our trust is in them it is a false security.

a). 1 Timothy 6:17-19 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

c). Proverbs 23:4, 5 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

4). Scripture hints that laying up in store and laying up treasure in heaven are the same.

a). Matthew 6:19-23 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

5). Scripture also links an evil eye with a hardened and stingy heart.

a). Dueteronomy 15:7-11 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

c. Being preoccupied with the cares of this life will cause us to be insensitive to spiritual things and as such vulnerable to traps and snares.

1). Luke 21: 34, 35 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 

d. We must remember that Jesus bore these while he was on the cross.

1). Matthew 27:27-29 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

B. The Parable and the Interpretation in Mark

1. Mark 4:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

2. Mark 4:18, 19 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches…

a. We previously looked at the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. Now I want to visit another of the thorns.

3. “…and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”

a. lusts [1939 * epithumia] [Zodhiates: strong desire, longing, lust.

b. entering [1531 * eisporeumai] [Zodhiates: to enter in.]

1). The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of the flesh and the lusts of other things will “enter in”, enter in where? They will enter into our heart and choke the life of the word of God out of us. We need to guard our heart to keep that from happening.

2). Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

c. Walking in the lusts of the flesh is the opposite of doing the will of God.

1). 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

d. The works of the flesh are produced through the lusts of the flesh.

1). Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

e. Walking in the lusts and works of the flesh will choke the life of the word out of our lives. What we sow we will reap.

1). Galatians 6:7-9 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

f. Christians who walk in the flesh are being led by the devil.

1). Ephesians 2:2, 3 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

g. We must remember that while on the cross Jesus bore a crown of thorns so we don’t have to walk in them.

1). Mark 15:16-18 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.
17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!

C. The Parable and the Interpretation in Luke

1. Luke 8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

2. Luke 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.

a. choked [4846 * sumpnigo] [Zodhiates:to choke, suffocate.]

b. pleasures [2237 * hedone] [Strong’s: sensual delight, implication, desire, lust, pleasure.] [Bullinger: enjoyment, lusts of the flesh.] [Vine’s:used of the gratification of natural or sinful desires.] [Zodhiates: Pleasure, gratification, enjoyment.] [English: hedonism, hedonistic.]

c. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

d. Three characteristics of last day Christians, “lovers of their own selves”, “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God”, and they have “a form of godliness” but they deny “the power thereof”.

1). Lovers of their own selves will not lay down their own lives unto death.

a). Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

b). Acts 20:22-24 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

2). Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God will not crucify their flesh, they will not stop serving their lustful appetites, even though it is clear that as Christians they should not continue in them.

a). Galatians 5:19-21, 24 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
[24]And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

b). Titus 3:1-5 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

3). Those who have a form of godliness but deny the power of a godly life walk in disobedience.

a). Titus 1:15, 16 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

e. Thorns are a result of Adam’s sin.

1). Genesis 3:17, 18 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

f. To have thorns in our lives and allow them to choke the word is laziness.

1). Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

g. God told Moses that if Israel left any of the original inhabitants of the land in the land they would be thorns in their sides. As New Covenant believers we need to understand that the types and foreshadows in the Old Testament particularly Israel and the promised land is not a foreshadow of us going to heaven, it is a foreshadow of us getting our inheritance after we are born again. The thorns in the Old Covenant were the nations Israel failed to remove out of the land. In the New Covenant the thorns are what Jesus said they were, “the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches”, “the lusts of other things”.

1). Numbers 33:50-56 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,
51 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;
52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:
53 And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.
54 And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.
55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
56 Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.

h. Joshua told Israel the same thing.

1). Joshua 23:11-13 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

a). Notice that God told Israel that if they allowed the inhabitants to remain in the land and to marry into them, that God would not drive them out.

b). These nations are a type of the sins and works of the flesh that God wants to get out of our lives, and just like Israel, if we fail to co-labor with God get these things out of our lives we will never get victory over them.

2). These nations were to be driven out little by little.

a). Exodus 23:27-31 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee
28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.
30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.
31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

b). Notice the co-laboring of God and Israel. He would drive them out and they would drive them out.

i. If we continue to hear the word of God and and through laziness and slothfulness fail to get the thorns out of our lives will result in rejection. The wicked lazy servant ended up in hell.

1). Matthew 25:26, 30 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
[30] And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

2). 2 Samuel 23:6, 7 But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands:
7 But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place.

3). In Hebrew 5:10 the apostle begins to talk about Melchizedek but stops and doesn’t begin talking about Melchizedek again until chapter 7. Between those verses is a strong warning and exhortation that shows how laziness leads to apostasy.

a). Hebrews 6:7-12 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye  have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

b). rejected [ 96 * adokimos] not approved, rejected after trial.

c). Same Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 9:27 for “castaway”. The context is being rejected by God.

D. Summary: We have the responsibility to get thorns out of our lives by using the benefits of the New Covenant, primarily our authority and walking in obedience. When we fail to get the thorns out of our lives we are walking in spiritual laziness and disobedience which will result in failure and rejection.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Parable of the Sower: Those on the rock

Those on the rock

A. The Parable and the Interpretation in Matthew

1. Matthew 13:5, 6 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

a. In Matthew there was not much earth and no deepness of earth, and because of that they grew up. When the sun was up they were scorched, and they had no root, they withered away.

2. Matthew 13:20, 21 “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while…”

a. Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies In The New Testament : There is not a contradiction on where the word fell. Matthew has “stony places”, Mark has “stony ground”, and Luke has “the rock”. It is not ground covered with loose stones, but a hard, rock surface, covered with a thin layer of soil.

b. [NIV Note on Matthew 13:5 “Not ground covered with small stones, but shallow soil on top of solid rock.”]

3. “…he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while…”

a. Colossians 2:6, 7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

b. Ephesians 3:17 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love…”

c. The Scriptures are not saying that unless we are consistently obeying Christ we have no root in our lives. Every behavior pattern in our lives good or bad has a root system supporting it, to illustrate that we need only look at these Scriptures with the ones below.

1) Hebrew 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

2) Deuteronomy 29:18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;

3) Isaiah 5:24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

4. “… for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”

a. [Amplified Bible: “…when affliction or trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble, he is repelled and begins to distrust and desert Him Whom he ought to trust and obey, and he falls away.”

b. tribulation [2347 * thilipsis] [Zodhiates: Tribulation, trouble, affliction. In a figurative manner, pressure from evils, affliction, distress.

1). Here Jesus is clearly saying that pressure from evil, troubles and distress will come from simply obeying the word. A perfect example would be the believers in Thessalonica.

a). 1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

b). Acts 17:1-10 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.
10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
2). In his letter to those believers Paul greatly encouraged them to be faithful.

a). 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.


2). Sometimes tribulation is the punishment for sin, but in the following examples the “sin” is a wilful departure from truth. It is not just a stumbling into sin. It is much more serious.

a). 2 Thessalonians 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

b). Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

c. persecution [1375 * diogmos] [Zodhiates: Pursuit, especially of enemies.

d. David wrote of afflictions, but he also clarified the statement that God will deliver the righteous out of them all.

1). Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

e. The Apostle Paul wrote of the persecutions that accompanied him. This persecution came as a result of the word Paul was obedient in.

1). 2 Timothy 3:10-12 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

f. The persecutions and afflictions that come because of the word being sown in our heart are snares and traps laid by the devil to cause us to stumble and fall and give up. They are the trials of our faith in this Church age proving ground.

1). 1 Peter 1:5-7 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

B. The Parable and the Interpretation in Mark

1. Mark 4:5, 6 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

a. In Mark it says there was not much earth, thee seed sprang up immediately because there was no deepness of earth; and when the sun was up, it was scorched, and because it had no root, it withered away.

2. Mark 4:16, 17 “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time…”

a. These hearers receive the word with gladness, but there is no trust/root in their Covenant God .

1) Jeremiah 17:5, 6 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

2). As trust in the flesh/man grows, the heart departs from God. Life becomes a desert of sorts, withering from lack of water in a parched wilderness. Even if good comes he will never see it.

3. “…afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.”

a. We are to resist the attempts of the devil to devour us in our faith.

1). 1 Peter 5:8-10 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

b. Some affliction appears to be a choice, that if we want to be faithful and obedient to God in our relationship, the result will be affliction.

1). Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

2). 2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

c. One of the things Peter is referring to is the shield of faith in the armor of God.

1). Ephesians 6:10-17 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

2). Paul says “Above all” use your faith to quench the fiery darts, of the wicked.

d. When persecution and affliction comes because of the word, they are offended.

1). offended [4624 * skandalizo] [Zodhiates: to cause to stumble and fall. In the NT, figuratively to be a stumbling block to someone, to cause to stumble at or in something, lead astray.] [Thayer: to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.]

2). Too many Christians through a shallow relationship with Christ, a lack of trust and faith in God, allow persecution, affliction which are the fiery darts of the wicked to cause them to begin to distrust and desert Jesus.

C. The Parable and the Interpretation in Luke

1. Luke 8:6 And some fell upon the rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

a. [NIV Note on Luke 8:6 “…a thin layer of soil that covered solid rock. Any moisture that fell there soon evaporated, and the germinating seed withered and died.]

b. In Luke’s account of the parable Jesus mentioned “…it withered away because it lacked moisture.”

1). Just as plants need water to survive, our spirits need spiritual water in order to be the productive ground.

a). John 4:13, 14 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give me shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

b). Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, of God.

c). John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them unto the fire, and they are burned.

2. Luke 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.

a. We have already discussed the result of no root/trust/relationship with God. Another characteristic of that is weakness in resisting temptation, i.e., no shield or a weak shield of faith producing an inability to resist temptation.

b. “…which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”

1). believe [4100 * pisteuo] [Zodhiates: to believe, have faith.]

2). temptation [3986 * peirasmos] [Zodhiates: a putting to the test, proof, trial. In a bad sense, temptation.]

3). fall away [aphistemi * 868] [Zodhiates: to put away, to remove.]

c. The Covenant we have in God through Jesus Christ enables us to resist every temptation.

1). 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

d. When we are overcome by temptation, we have failed to use the tools God has given us to resist. We have neglected this great salvation which includes within it the ability to overcome temptation, the fiery darts of the devil.

1). Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

D. Summary

1. Those on the rock are those who have a very shallow relationship with God. They are not rooted in Christ and are constantly moved by circumstances.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Parable of the Sower: Those on the wayside

Those on the wayside

A. The Parable and the interpretation in Matthew

1. Matthew 13:3, 4 “”…Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up:”

a. In Matthew 2 things occur: the seeds fell by the way side and the fowls devoured them up.

2. Matthew 13:19 “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.”

a. In Matthew Jesus says these people hear the word, but do not understand it and the wicked one [the devil] seizes it out of their heart.

b. catcheth [726 * harpazo] [Zodhiates: Literally, to seize upon with force, to rob. It denotes an open act of violence in contrast to cunning and secret stealing.

c. understandeth [4920 * suniemi] [Bullinger: to bring together…to collect together the single features of an object into a whole; hence to collect, apprehend, grasp, comprehend, understand, to be earnestly occupied with the object, to reflect morally, ponder, lay to heart, (implying mental activity, knowledge acquired by reflection and consideration…)

d. Understanding in one sense is just the ability to comprehend, to grasp something mentally but in the other sense of the word it is a choice. I choose to earnestly occupy myself with the word to reflect and to consider or I choose not to.

3. Reasons for not understanding in Matthew. The most important component of the reason found in Matthew is the choice of the hearers. Regardless of the probability that these who make this choice are ignorant of its ramifications, the result is the same. The enemy of their souls steals away from them God’s loving desire to bless their lives and eternity.

a. In Matthew 13:10-12, the Scripture says, “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” A clear understanding of what Jesus is referring, is given in Mark’ gospel.

1). Mark 4:24, 25 “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.”

a). heed[991 * blepo] [Bullinger:to look, to see, have the power of sight applied to mental vision or consideration, to consider, take to heart, employed to express a more intent, earnest spiritual contemplation…”

2) [Amplified Bible] Mark 4:24 “And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure of thought and study you give to the truth you hear will be the measure of virtue and knowledge that comes back to you, and more besides will be given to you who hear.”

3). Saints, the same effort that we give to seeking out the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven will be the same amount of revelation we receive back. Jesus went on to say that if we give no effort to seek out the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, then the little that we have will be taken from us.

a). Hebrews 2:1 “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”

b. Matthew 13:13-15 “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

1). Jesus goes on to explain in Matthew 13:13-15, that the effect of not understanding on the part of the people is a fulfillment of a passage in Isaiah. This explanation also clears up a misunderstanding of Isaiah 6:9, 10.

2). Isaiah 6:9, 10 “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”

3). In looking at the passage in Isaiah it seems that God out of sovereign choice is the one making the people to not understand, because he says make their heart fat, makes their ears heavy, and shuts their eyes. But Jesus clears it up by saying the people themselves caused their own inability to hear or see, through their own disobedience.

a). waxed gross [3975 * pachuno] [Zodhiates: to become dull and callous.] [NIV: “become calloused”].

b). In his definition, Zodhiates cites a passage in Deuteronomy.

c). Deuteronomy 32:15 “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxed fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.”

B. The parable and the interpretation in Mark.

1. Mark 4:3, 4 “Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.”

a. In Mark 2 things occur: seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls devoured it up.

2. Mark 4:15 “And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”

a. Jesus says they hear the word, but satan takes it out of there heart.

b. taketh [142 * airo] [E. W. Vine: to lift, carry, take up or away.] [Strongs: away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt.]

2). Reasons for not understanding in Mark

a). Mark 4:10-12 “And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
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:
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.”

3). All of the inability to understand is ultimately linked to failure to be obedient. The devil, our enemy will certainly take advantage of this.

a). Leviticus 26:14-16 “But if you will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments.
And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.”

C. The parable and the interpretation in Luke.

1. Luke 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.”

a. In Luke 3 things occur: some fell by the way side, it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

2. Luke 8:12 “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest they should believe and be saved.”

a. saved [4982 * sozo] [Zodhiates: to save, deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction.]

b. The phrase “trodden down’ is used in the parable but not in the interpretation.

c. trodden down [2662 * katapateo] to trample down, figuratively to reject with disdain.

d. I am fully persuaded that this passage is not exclusively referring to getting born again, but includes all the Covenant blessings and promises, victory over sin, healing, preservation, all of the promises.

2. Reasons for not understanding in Luke

 a. Luke 8:9, 10 “And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
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.”

D. Summary

1. The clear explanation of the inability to understand on the part of “those on the wayside” is their own failure to invest the time and effort to seek out the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.