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The Parable of the Sower

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
June 12, 2022 12:01 am

The Parable of the Sower

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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June 12, 2022 12:01 am

When Jesus spoke in parables, some of His hearers gained insights into the kingdom of God while other listeners were left in confusion. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition of Luke's gospel and reveals the important reason why Christ taught in this way.

Get R.C. Sproul's Expositional Commentary on the Gospel of Luke for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/2103/luke-commentary

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R.C. Sproul

Today, renewing her by the parables that Jesus taught were meant to review but also to conceal to those whom God had given ears to hear. It was Revelation but for those whose hearts were hardened by the basic antipathy and hostility to the things of God. The parables were a form of divine judgment. Jesus taught her a bit difficult to understand. There are layers of meaning that we may not see right off the bat, but most of them seem as clear as the nose on your face so you wonder why some people were left scratching their heads and missing the point that could've altered the course of their lives destroyed Dr. RC Sproul as he preaches from Luke chapter 8, and focuses on the parable of the sewer before records for us.

Jesus teaching of the parable of the sower gives us a brief historical note by saying they came to pass outwardly went through every city and village preaching bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God in the 12 were within below tells us that certain women also were what that those revenue healed of evil spirits and infirmities of the names of them married Magaly. We are told out of bed, and seven demons now this poor woman has suffered from the characterization of having been a harlot, which is somehow come up out of church history because it says that she had had seven demons taken out of her, but there's not a sin to love evidence anywhere in Scripture that this woman was ever a harlot and she is saying is an outstanding example of fidelity. The Lord Jesus Christ was to this woman. Jesus first revealed himself on resurrection morning and we see also named Joanna and Susanna hello tells us that many others supported Jesus with their substance. One commentator says that this was the woman's aid society that supported Jesus during his earthly ministry.

Another commentator has defined Luke's entire gospel is the ladies home Journal of the Bible because Luke gives more attention to women than any of the other gospel writers know women were not numbered among the apostles, but they did have a significant role in the entourage of Jesus during his earthly ministry. And here their nobility, their sacrifice their fidelity are noted by this gospel writer, then we are told, a great multitude was gathered and they had come to him from every city and he spoke by a parable. Listen once more to the parable of the sower went out to so we see that she sewed some fell by the wayside was trampled down and the birds of the air departed. Some fell upon. Rocket is it sprang up.

It withered away because it lacked moisture.

Some fell among thorns and the thorns sprang up with it and choked the others fell on good ground sprang up and yielded a crop, 100, when he had said these things cried.

He was ears to hear, let him hear. Here's a story taken from the agricultural methodology of Jesus day seed was not sown in the fields and the way it is normally and our country and at this time, but rather one that came time for planting. The sower would have a large bag over his shoulder filled with the seed that he was going to plant and unlike us, he would not plow the fields first and then so the sea but rather he would go through the field sowing the seed and the little when the currents would carry the seed where it would sometimes into the middle of the field. Sometimes in the path alongside her in the middle or on those sections of the field under which there were hidden outcropping is a limestone wherever the currents carried the seed there. The sea landed and then when he was done sowing the seed that he would take his plow and he would plow the seed into the earth and wait for the rain to come and have the seed be germinated so in every season. Every time seed was sown by a farmer certain things took place some of the seed that was cast about would fall along the path that was beaten down hard and and had no possibility of penetrating into the earth, and the seed that was cast in that manner never germinated, never bore fruit was plucked by the birds of the air in the sense same to be wasted and then some of the seed that fell upon the rocket had nowhere to go underneath the ground and when the plow came through it. Couldn't break up the rock and so the seed rested just barely below the surface on the stone but had no possibility of taking root.

Some of the seed fell along the sides of the field where there were already other things growing thorns and brambles and the seed would fall there in the middle of that could take root there was earth there. But when it would take Ruth and begin to grow alongside the thorns in the brambles.

The seeds choked out and died without coming to fruition. Then Jesus said in the parable, there was seed that fell upon good Earth's not earth it was hard and not earth that was stoned on earth that was covered with thorns and brambles fine soil that the nutrients needed for germination and growth were right there in this seed talk roots and it grew and produced a hundredfold a wonderful crop. But then, after telling this little story. Jesus said to hear him say that a sale and say he was ears to hear what I'm saying but in here.

At that point, the disciples weren't sure whether they understood the point of the parable and so they said to Jesus, what does this parable me and Jesus answers the question explains the meaning of the parable. But before he dies he says something that is often disturbing people as they read this text of sacred Scripture. He said to you has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.

But to the rest of those outside it is given in parable that now quoting from Isaiah says, saying they may not see, and hearing they may not understand we normally assume that the whole point of a parable, was to clarify some difficult point of Jesus teaching but actually the parables that Abdul purpose for those who have ears that hear the parables were given to them to reveal the hidden things of the kingdom of God. But at the same time that the parables were given to his son to some people to explain, elucidate and clarify the teaching of Jesus.

Jesus spoke in parables to others to hide the truth of the gospel. Why would he do that parables were given not only to reveal but to conceal to those whom God had given ears to hear. It was Revelation but for those whose hearts were hardened but did not have ears to hear who's next worst afternoon didn't want to hear the word of God, but a basic antipathy and hostility to the things of God. The parables were a form of divine judgment is as though God were saying to these people. You don't want to hear me fine. I won't let you God's justice is poetic. He gives people over to their sin if their hearts were hardened by their own, Sandy would say let that hardened heart be even more hard left that stiff neck even more step that's what you want.

That's what you get perfectly just judgment of God with respect to people who did not want to have God in their thinking.

But Jesus said this parable was given to reveal things about the kingdom to the disciples and so he now explains it for them, said the parables that's the sea is the word of God as the first thing we have to understand about this story, Jesus gives that the story about seed brain cast in the wind and onto the earth and by thorns and all the rest is not simply about exercise and agriculture. This is a parable about the preaching of the word of God, the sea represents God's holy word, and so the holy word is sown.

It is preached and those by the wayside are the ones who hear but the devil comes like the birds in the air and take that word out of their hearts left.

They should believe and be say your people Israel right now. I'm sure for hearing this parable that you tested. Jesus gave it right now that this word is falling apart. Ears understand it intellectually, but it doesn't pierce your soul doesn't penetrate your heart, your heart is still in the possession of the enemy and he wants to do everything in his power to keep that word from entering into your soul though you hear it outwardly you down here at inwardly. You are like that. See the fellow along the way along the road.

The second group. He said the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear it received the word with joy but they have no root, they believe for a while and then in the times of temptation, they fall away. Now some look at this parable and think that what teachers is the people because they say and lose their salvation.

They can be in a state of grace and be justified, but it doesn't last. LF flies in the face of everything else. The Bible teaches us about the perseverance of the saints. The Bible tells us that those whom the Lord redeems the preserves he gives to them the seal of the earnest of the Holy Spirit and we are told you begins the good work will finish it to the end of John tells us that those who went out from us never really were with us.

John goes to great lengths to teach us that God the father has given the sun a people and those whom the father gives to the sun calmed of the sun and nothing can snatch them out of his aunt, so I don't believe in a second that a true believer ever loses his or her salvation.

They may have periods of backsliding and the rest, and they may be engaged in serious and radical fall away from grace, but never full and final fall away a grace we say it this way. If you have never loose and if you lose it you never had.

That's the paradox situation, but we see over and over and over again. Examples of people who make professions of faith in Christ and also do it enthusiastically, joyfully, but it is curious conversion not a true conversion. One of the banes of mass evangelism in America in the last couple of centuries is been the phenomenon that evangelists scratch their head about work will give these public meetings.

And though give a stirring sermon and at the end of the sermon they give an altar call and call people to come forward in the give their lives to Jesus and maybe you've been the places like this and see these kinds of experience were all of a sudden a wave of humanity comes out of their seats and into the aisle and come forward to confess their faith in Christ than the study show six months later not just some but sadly, the majority of them returned to their old ways and show no evidence of conversion whatsoever. You see, in our fallen condition while were spiritually dead. We can still perceive something of the benefits of the gospel.

The gospel is good news. And as creatures made in the image of God, though our consciences have been seared by sin.

We still even in our natural condition have an ability to feel guilt and in many cases some people that's all they see their guilty and they know their guilty and the euphemisms rationalizations that we as human beings do to assuage our guilt don't work and so when somebody preaches the gospel of free grace and forgiveness of their sins. They jump out at there's an emotional response, but as the parable indicates there once it is superficial is a response only the surface. A momentary emotional response, but not one that comes from the depths of the soul, not one that confirms from this deepest chambers of the heart.

It's a surface response and it's like see the falls upon that tiny little bit of earth, under which there's bound and takes root for a second, but the roads don't go deep enough to sustain life in its springs up quickly and as soon as the sun comes up in sport as if it whether sometimes bring no fruit whatsoever that describes this I say false conversions which are one of the deadliest dangers that we deal with in the church by now. If you been here for anytime you've got to be sick and tired of hearing me say that were not justified by a profession of faith, but only by a possession genuine faith. Anybody can say they believe anybody can have their hearts tingling for a moment, but real converters turns the life upside another something about this. I want to save my sermon last last Sunday I mentioned my own personal testimony were I said them. September 13, 1957, 11 o'clock I met Christ defining moment of my life. From there after that I read after telling that account. I concern when I went home. I thought all my I hope the people did walk away thinking that unless you can save the day in the hour of your conversion that you're not really converted. I do think that regeneration the work by which the Holy Spirit changes the disposition of your soul and brings you from darkness, and the lights and from unbelief in the faith isn't instantaneous thing is not something that happens gradually and Nora's anybody ever partially reborn during the regenerate or not regenerate, but you can version experience that is your intellectual awareness of what is taking place may take years to realize that I think of the example of Billy Graham, his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, the Billy tell the story of baseball. One night in North Carolina and on the way home I was still in his bay for uniformity on a dairy for some reason stop at this revival heard the preaching of a mammogram of Mordechai Hamm and Mordechai Hamm gave a altar call at the end of his service of Billy Graham went forward. His life was changed forever. The Billy Graham contained the day in the hour when he became converted but his wife Ruth Presbytery and she grew up through catechetical instruction in a Christian home and she couldn't tell you within five years when her conversion took place. So the question is not when and where were you converted is not the point. But the question is are you converted.

Not that you answer no recall not you raise your hand much afraid the sinners prayer not to sign the card. Are you converted this Holy Spirit dwell in your hearts has your life been chain by the regenerating grace of God the Holy Spirit. The only test for that is whether you bear fruit. What about this other group. This third group, Jesus describes the ones who fell among thorns are those who, when they heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But again, like the ones that fall upon the stone. These at least take root and maybe their profession lasts a little longer than those who fell upon the stones, the things that fell upon the thorns never leave the floor and her child by the thorn used to teach at the young life Institute in Colorado and I used to give a warning to that organization and their leaders. I would say to them. As far as I know, I don't know any organization that has a more effective administrating high school kids than young life.

I said, but the danger here is that you make Christianity so attractive that's people can be converted to young life and never become part of the Christ and one of the problems that the leaders of young life used to deal with constantly with the problem. What they called to that is kids that would come the camp singing the songs around the bonfires and enjoy all the wonderful fellowship in the young life groups and so on. But then they would fall away. Go down the tubes were and then renounce their faith again release converted people who fell away. I don't think so there conversion experience was furious. It was not the real thing. That's why it's so important that we hear a parable like this lest we go through life blithely and blindly assuming that we're in a state of grace when were far from the kingdom of God. That's why we need to search our hearts to make our calling and our election sure lest we be to see and then Jesus said there was that. See the fell upon the good or not. The outcomes away from this angle only good people respond to the gospel.

That's not the point that Jesus is making know the good soil is the soil that is been changed by God the Holy Spirit is the good soil where the seed takes root because God the Holy Spirit has prepared and filled it and made it part time, which is something in our flesh we cannot do for ourselves with those whose hearts have been changed by the Holy Spirit when they hear the word they love the word embrace the word they obey and they bring forth the fruit of conversion, the fruit of real salvation in abundance hundred fold. I think that's the point of this very interesting but difficult parable is the reason why many commentators don't even call it the parable of the sower. They call it the parable of the soil because it's the soil that determines whether the fruit comes forth in whether the scene germinates the soil been prepared by the Holy Ghost who has ears to hear the fruit of genuine salvation, genuine conversion to Christ is obvious for all to see those who hear the good news grow for a while but eventually fall away whenever converted to begin with we just heard a sermon by Dr. RC Sproul from the gospel of Luke. We returned to the study every Sunday in our resource offer today will be a great help to you as we continue the series when you contact us and give a donation of any amount we will provide you with a digital download of RC's nearly 600 page commentary on Luke. In it he traces the record of Jesus life as told by Luke to learn that this gospel is for believers and skeptics alike Britain so that you may have certainty about the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.

Though it is in the office today. My colleagues and I are worshiping with our families, but you can give your gift and request this resource offer when you go to Renewing Your Mind.org. Our desire here at later ministries is to proclaim the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible. One way we do that is by offering a variety of podcasts.

For example, simply put, is a short podcast about one words every week my colleague Gary Cooper sheds light on a different biblical or theological term and makes it easy to understand. Go to simply put podcast.com and scroll through the episodes you'll expand your understanding and deepen your faith. One word of the time Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach of linear ministries.

Thank you for being with us today and I hope you make plans to join us again next Sunday


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