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April 15, 2021 8:00 am
The Bible is full of the figurative language of farming activity. Everything from sowing seeds and separating chaff from grain to reaping the resulting harvest in Matthew chapter 21 we learn that God is also the ultimate fruit inspector. What is the fruit of the true Christian life and what provocative statement does Jesus make concerning the topic will find out on this broadcast of the Bible study our welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James board preparing you to think and act likely let's listening together to the teaching of Dr. Boyce as we consider what kind of fruit our own lives are very large. Jesus Christ was a superb teacher, the ungodly world often acknowledge that if I think about Jesus Christ. All one of the teaching devices. Jesus used was to initiate some significant action and then follow up by words of teaching in the Gospel of John, that emerges almost as a pattern by which the material is put together. Jesus will perform a miracle.
For example, and then there will be a discourse of violence to explain what the symbolism unless America was all about. One obvious example is a multiplication of the loaves and fish. After that had been done. Jesus as a one chapter where he identifies himself as the bread of life again at the resurrection of Lazarus's and that connection with Jesus talks about himself as the resurrection and the life not is not quite as obvious in Matthew's gospel. Matthew has a different pattern of organization, but it's still there and you see it in place is in one place where you see it very clearly. Are these chapters to which we come now is Matthew 21 and 22 first half of Matthew 21 Jesus has performed three significant and as we discover symbolic actions he had come into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday presenting himself as king followed that up by the cleansing of the temple saying that the religious leaders of the day had corrupted the temple worship, turning it into a den of thieves. When supposed to be a house of prayer and then finally, most difficult understand that most remove from the earlier examples had cursed the fig tree now. People didn't understand what he was getting at his disciples didn't, especially in the matter of the fig tree because instead of asking him what was that all about which we might've expected. They were just impressed with the fact that the fig tree withered her know how that happened so quickly and though I suppose in their mind they were thinking. Someday I may want to curse at the Dragon you just tell me how to do that I would be very impressive. Jesus took the question at face value.
He thought about prayer but it really wasn't primarily what he was teaching what you have.
Following those three symbolic actions are a series of parables that are intended to explain what this was all about or three of them. First of all, there is the story of two very different sons 21 verses 28 to 32 and there is that parable of the wicked tenant farmers those who were managing the land for an absent landlord Anson the following section, verses 33 to 46 and then finally spilling over into the next chapter of the story of the wedding banquet verse 14 verses of that chapter, which obviously these stories are intended to explain the earlier actions because Jesus as a guest of the end says. Therefore, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit is obviously what the withering of the fig tree was all about. Didn't have any fruit and it's a way of saying that these stories are intended to explain everything else. Each of the stories is simplicity itself. Although at the beginning. Leaders of the people and even the disciples might not have any clue what Jesus was really trying to teach by the actions by that time you got through with the parables they got it because were told at the end of the story about that tenant farmers the Pharisees and the chief priests. It says new he was talking about them almost look at these two parables. First of all there's this one about the two sons. Each was told by his father to go and work in the vineyard became the first one is reaction was negative is that I will do it hot out there.
I don't want to go work in the vineyard when somebody else do it all the servants and later he repented of his negative reaction and he went. Then there was the second one.
The father went to him and said go work in the vineyard. He said sure dad anything you say on the obedience on. I went by and he did go and so Jesus having posed a little story turned to his listeners and said now tell me which of them did what his father wanted and they said well the first is obviously the right answer. So Jesus at this conclusion.
I tell you the truth with tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you for John came together to show you the way of righteousness which you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes didn't even after you saw this did not repent and believe it is obvious how that should be taken son who profess to obey his father, but then Ashley disobeyed represents the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.
The other leaders of the people they make great professions of their faithfulness and their religion, but their hearts were actually very far from God, then the sun would force that now, but afterwards that it represents the outcasts of society. Those who are not regarded as religious or were in rebellion against the law of God, but at some point in their lives. Repented Aladdin actually coming to Jesus Christ ministry. Actually, you demonstrated those two courses now since the command of the father was to work in the vineyard. We have to understand this parable allotment only as a parable of salvation which, of course, it is also parable of service. Remember what he was talking earlier about the fig tree was a question of the fig tree producing fruit.
So here where he's talking about services, talking about what it really is to be a Christian is to have repented of sin obey the father and trusted Christ, but at the same time because we've done that.
It also points out life of service as a way of answering the question were those works truly God's children. Jesus answered would be those who obey the father and it's a way of answering the similar question what is the food of true religion Jesus answer is in terms of doing or in the negative case. Failing to do the father's will. I have to bear that in mind, because that's the central point of the parable in parables generally have one central point. If you you take other details and try to read things into them.
You sometimes get into trouble. Suppose you did that here you could take the case of the second son and said I will but didn't go into the vineyard and I guess somebody can argue from my it is bad to make any kind of profession and religion because you might actually break it later. Well obviously that's not true because public confession of faith is what's required of those were Christians at what Paul writes about in Romans he says if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be safer is with your heart that you are believing are saved so as is and talking about any kind of profession. What is talking about is an insincere profession as a profession who says yes Lord, but then refuses to do what he says we need to ask because this has to be personal MRI in that category can't answer that question by saying well I joined the church. I affirm the creeds have a reputation as a good Christian, even active in? Maybe I'm a minister answer to that isn't good enough you can do all those things and still be disobedient to God. Just as these religious leaders were active in all sorts of religious matters in a big thing going.
I had a prosperous church there in Jerusalem were raking in all kinds of money like a magnificent reputation. Everybody looked up to the Pharisees, but they weren't actually building God's kingdom what they were doing was building little religious kingdoms of their own very easy for us to do answer that question rightly. If you've trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and are now consciously faithfully engaged in the Christian work which is called you, I think the other son first. What he said no to his father, but afterwards he repented, and went to work in the vineyard.
We mustn't think that Jesus was commending everything about him. Certainly the fact that he repented, and went to work was good but is not suggesting for a moment that it's a good idea to postpone obedience in order that somehow you might repent later in obey. Suppose this is something that needs to be said, particularly to those that were young.
It's very easy in our secular culture bombarded with the kind of ungodly influences we have for you is a young person to say well yes I been taught that I am to be a Christian. Serve Jesus Christ. But there are a lot of things I want to do first. I'll do that first. Afterwards I'll be like that somehow I'll repented and go to work in the vineyard. Then this because his son did it and that was good doesn't mean that that's the only option you have.
Not doing it at all, or refusing to do it. Doing it later. The best thing to do is agree to do it now and start now and keep on doing throughout your entire life. It's the best possible thing to give your whole life to Jesus service were privileged to be able to do that because not only do you have the time to serve your young. You also have the time for preparation. We did many people in the evangelical church today were thoroughly equipped to do the work.
Spiritually, yes. But even in terms of academic and other training need that today and you have the privilege. If you'll do it. Besides, you postpone your commitment to Christ and his work. Now there's no guarantee that you'll have a chance to do it later on they speak to you later, but he won't necessarily do that may happen to come to the end of your life is money. People have in your will still not made a commitment and pass without Christ into eternity. The only safe thing to give quick and obedient response of Jesus Christ. Now less of her story.
We come to the second one this one about the wicked tenant farmers and others connection between them. Obviously, each one has to do with the vineyard.
There's also a progression from the first of the second because the second get stronger and its language in the respirable they fault of the son of didn't go into the vineyard was his hypocrisy.
He said yes but he didn't do it. Just the kind of thing Jesus was accusing these religious leaders when you get to the second of these two parables you find that this disobedient spirit of the religious leaders was explosive being so evil that will result that lasts in the murder of the landowner son was obviously Jesus our story tells about a group of tenant farmers who had been brought in the managers vineyard for the landowner. The landowner went off and while he was gone. They were to make it productive give him a share of the produce.
When he came that I didn't want to do that and send him his profits and so he sent servants to beat the servants and killed some of them and finally he said, while I respect my son. He sent the son and of course they killed him? That's about starting showing that some people even religious leaders are so strong in their hatred for God. They killed the messengers of God persecute them did in this case eventually killed the Lord Jesus Christ, God's son and today would do it. Also, if they could.
The two great commandments at an earlier.
The first commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength. Second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. That man in his unregenerate state is so hostile. The character and desires of God that he hates God with all his heart mind soul and strength. If the truth be told, and his neighbor even as he hates himself. Jesus began by telling how landowner planted a vineyard and put walls around it. Doug winepress of the watchtower.
It was obvious that he was doing that in terms of Old Testament imagery.
Because in the Old Testament Israel is often described as a blindness planted in the choice land. For example, Isaiah 5 verses one into my blood. One had a vineyard on a fertile hillside dug it off and cleared of stones planted it with the choices behind the watchtower and it cut out of winepress as well.
Perhaps the very verses for which Jesus through the imagery against all meeting verses eight through 10, you brought a vine out of Egypt? That is about the people of Israel drove out the nations of planet that you cleared the ground for it, and it took root filled the land that mountains were covered with that shade mighty Cedars with its branches rather text like that you got it in Jeremiah to Ezekiel 19 and so forth that so well known when Jesus began to tell his parable of the vineyard. It would have required a particularly dense person not get the fact that he was talking about Israel.
We must make the mistake as we often do when we read the Bible of saying well that applies to them. In this case it applies to the Jews or implies that these religious leaders.
We are interpreting it that way alone are missing what Jesus Christ is saying, because what Jesus is saying is this is true of many people. All persuasions in the church as well as I'm about to make a practice of religion but not actually know God and are not actually following him with all of this be applied equally well that many people today has Jesus not planted us from our lands for our neighborhoods give us a place to be. Hasn't she fenced the sadness of the watered and cared for us as a leap dollar watchtower forest looking over assessment. He sent tenants to care for us in the form of his ministers. These things that are unregenerate state would not been faithfully not return to him. What is his phone. Matter of fact, like the tenant farmers.
We have hated God, and we would kill them if we could only bring in here.
One of the best-known sermons of Jonathan Edwards. One of the greatest perhaps the greatest theologian America has ever produced its entitled men naturally are God's enemies and it was based on Romans 510 which says that if when we were God's enemies we were reconciled to him for the death of his son. Most of us will become diverse like I talk about the reconciliation death of Christ. The atonement of all that good. We stress that the way Edward slot Edwards was aware that you don't appreciate the crossing was to understand the reason for it. You don't appreciate grace and mercy understand sin. So he went this whole message talking about the ways in which men and women in unregenerate state are actually God's enemies that were God's enemies and our judgments. God's enemies and our natural likes and dislikes God's enemies and our wills.
God's enemies and our affections over God's enemies are practice. We look at those first law where God's enemies and our judgments means we have mean opinions about God. Edwards is an illustration here, he said listen, if you're in the company of people and somebody in the company begins to criticize a friend of yours wanting until you come to his defense against somebody in the company where you find yourself should begin to praise somebody that you know to be an enemy. You immediately bring forward arguments to show why he shouldn't be so praise because he's actually got a very nice person says we don't do that with God. People can say all sorts of things about God, but we don't applies to his defense because we really don't care we don't think very highly of him. He just doesn't count very much in our scheme of things we did not necessarily that there is a God. Most Americans say there is lot but they certainly live as if there is not bliss… What Edwards wrote. They entertain very low in contemptible thoughts of God whatever honor and respect they may pretend to show love toward God. If there practice be examined so they certainly look upon them as a being that is what little to be regarded language of their hearts is true is the Lord that I should obey his voice or what is the Almighty that we should serve him and what profit should we have that we pray him to him.
We counted worthy. Neither the beloved nurse.
They dare not behave without slates disregard towards one of their fellow preachers with little raised above them in power and authority as they dare and do towards God value equals much more than God for 10 times more afraid of offending, such that the displeasing God that made them Such exceeding contempt on God is to prefer every vile loss before him, and every worldly enjoyment is set higher in the restatement gonna morsel of meat you pennies of worldly gain is preferred before God. God is sent last of lowest in the esteem of natural man is worth thinking about, because that is true. Secondly, Edward said where God's enemies in the natural relish of our souls now relishes an old-fashioned word originally used today are condiment set up on the table to enhance the food Edwards day and something like likes or desires what he meant when he spoke about that as we don't naturally like God. In fact, the opposite is the case, by nature, we find his attributes repugnant here. Edwards discusses those four attributes of God that I talked about on other occasions's sovereignty, his holiness, his omniscience in his immutability point is we had God for every one of those things we hate him for his somber day because he is sovereign over us to rule our lives. We hated him for his holiness because he is holy and we are not hated him for his omniscience again and hide from him. He knows exactly everything secret in our hearts and we paid him for his immutability because it means you like to change any of the other attributes sovereign and will always be sovereign in his holy will always be holy is omniscient and he will always be omniscient.
Nothing you and I can do about that and we hate him because he is like that.
Edwards wrote they hear God is infinitely holy, pure and righteous bleeding and they do not like him up on this account. I have no relish of such qualifications. I take no delight in contemplating them on account of their distaste of these professions. I dislike all is other attributes greater aversion to him because his omniscience is a wholly omniscience they are not pleased that he has omnipotence and can do whatever he pleases because it's a holy omnipotence enemies even to his mercy because it is a holy mercy. I do not like his immutability because by this he never will be. Otherwise he is infinitely holy God explains, of course, our people has a little to do with God.
Why can hardly talk about God to some people.
I had a neighbor once it was like that, even to get what Mr. knew I was a minister, but of the work God came in to the conversation she had. Don't talk to me about God. A six-year-old daughter at the time she told her she didn't even want her six-year-old daughter to hear the name of God mentioned is why people won't go to church with you when you invite them. That's why they won't read Christian books when you give it to them why they won't play his wife the truth be called, even some allegedly Christian people have so much difficulty those things is because the natural instincts of the relish of our heart is contrary to the character of God. Edward said were also enemies of God will set is God's will and I will or cross purposes. What God wills. We hate what God hates. We desire. Why were opposed to God's governments are not as loyal subjects as we should be opposed to his rule of Austin and the world was expressed by the psalmist of the second Psalm when he quotes the enemies of God saying let's break God's chain cast off is better from us. It would set forth way we are God's enemies and our affections as our emotions flare out against God. In prosperous times when everything's going well for us and where not displeased by anything we can indulge students charitable ideas of the Almighty things begin to go wrong for us as any kind of difficulty in our lives, then our malice burns against him.
Edward said this is exercised in dreadful heart risings inward wrangling's and quarreling the last of the software in the heart is like a viper kissing and spitting out poison God never free from the heart may seem to be let alone and secure yet a very little thing will set it in a rage.
Temptations will show what's in the heart alteration romance circumstances will discover the heart says his affections will be most clearly seen in those who are in rebellion against God are in hell.
And then finally he says, were enemies of God in our practice years where he gets close. The main point of Christ's parable and says that although men and women cannot injure God because he so much above them, they nevertheless do what they can depose the servants they ridiculed as faithful ministers. I do everything they can to discourage other people from thinking seriously about spiritual things.
And as Edward says at one point actually enlists under Satan's banner is willing soldiers. Christ's parable is about speaking back to the religious leaders of the day, but he speaking back to religious people and non-religious people of all times as well. The question is we come to the end of Ida's swats to be done. Such persons question Jesus asked his listeners eat to give an answer himself, but he didn't. He was teaching them. He is trying to draw them out. He told the story he said looking about these wicked tenant farmers beat up the service and eventually killed the son what's going to happen. What will the owner of the vineyard do when he finally gets there and I gave the only possible answer verse 41, he will bring those wretched the store Richard and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants will give them a share of the crop harvest time was right answer was only possible answer. Anyone could give but by giving that answer actually were pronouncing their own so I asked what would you say if Jesus asked the question you much of the owner of the vineyard due to you. Because of the way you have been treating him. He's provided for you is giving you life itself is giving you opportunities for service is giving you the capacity to know and worship in which the animals don't clamp much or another hypocrite are completely ignorant. You would have to answer the way the Pharisees answer Jesus you would have to say he will bring down judgments doing that you would pronounce your own Jesus or their answer has what he said that you never read in the Scriptures the stone the builders rejected has become the Lord Is Done. This Is Marvelous in Our Eyes… I Tell You That the Kingdom of God Will Be Taken Away from You and Given to a People Who Will Produce Its Fruit.
You Falls on the Stone Will Be Broken to Pieces, but He on Whom It Falls to Be Crushed. This Quotation Is from Psalm 118 Verses 22 and 23. But What He Refers to the Stone and the Crushing of All I Think What He Must've Had in Mind Was That Great Vision That God Gave to Nebuchadnezzar. Remember the Four Succeeding Empires Finally Got Stone Looking down from the Mountain, Crushed All of the Others Parts of the Statue so That It Was Eventually Blown Away by the Wind and Then at Stone Grew up and Filled the Whole Earth. That's Obviously Representing the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Mountain Is His Kingdom. And so What Jesus Is Telling the People of His Day Is Something like This You Can Be Part of That Kingdom. The Kingdom I Am Establishing by Faith in Me and by Serving. They Argue Could Be Part of This World's Kingdoms Are What Is Even Worse.
You Can Be Trying to Build Your Own Kingdom. Many, Many People Do Your Trying to Build Your Own Kingdom Selling Your Soul to This World's Kingdoms. One Day You As Well As They Will Be Destroyed. The Judgment of God Something to Be Taken Lightly. It Can't Be Taken Lightly Because God Can't Be Taken Lightly. The God Who Offers Salvation. Now Is the God It Was Going to Act in Judgment Year after on Him and Now Is Your Savior, Which Is the Day of His Grace As You Judge One Day When You Stand before the Final Judgment. This Is the Day of Grace. Grace Is Now As Jesus Spoke These Words He Was on the Way to the Cross to Die to Save Those Who Would Place Their Trust in Him. So Although Judgments without Their Races Right Here.
Invitations Come to Jesus Now Be Part of That Believing Father We Bow before You Sleep Close Our Time of Study Asked for That Work of Your Spirit in Our Hearts That No Mere Recitation of Words However True or Persuasive Will Ever Accomplish Asked You to Take These Truths Spoken by Jesus Christ, and Carry Them Home. Each One by Your Grace, We Might Repent of Sin for Jesus Sake to Be Part of Work for the Advancement of That Kingdom Which Will Be Forever All of the Kingdoms of This World Passed Away His You Are Listening to the Bible Study Hours with the Bible Teaching of Dr. James Boyce Listener Supported Ministry of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. The Alliance Exists to Promote a Biblical Understanding and Worldview. Drawing upon the Insight and Wisdom of Reformed Theologians from Decades and Even Centuries Gone by.
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