Friday, January 15, 2010


The parable of the sower, found in Luke 8:4-15, has many interpretations. However, there are only two general areas of disagreement over which type of soil produces saved (born again) Christians. One view focuses upon the fruit produced by the good soil, and suggests that only fruit-producing soil refers to saved individuals. Most holding this view use the biblical concept of "by their fruit ye shall know them" (from Matthew 7:16, 20). However, this passage is referring to false prophets who try to pass themselves off as Christians. In the parable of the sower, neither the rocky soil, nor the thorny soil make any attempt to pass themselves off as prophets. They simply react to the seed.

The other major view, to which I hold, is that there are three kinds of Christians portrayed in this passage. No one questions the good soil as being saved individuals who, in sharing their testimony, produce fruit (other believers). The text does not mention either of these two as having fruit, true, but what is the test of whether or not a person is a Christian? Is it out-going, witnessing individuals only that get saved? No. In fact, if it required people to witness and be soul-winners in order to be accepted as part of the body of Christ, a great majority of the members of my church and most likely, every other church, would be considered lost. So, if a person does not have to witness to be saved, why do some believe that the stony soil and the thorn-infested ground are unsaved?

If one simply looks at the passage, it is clear that the first soil, represented as a packed-down soil, could not produce because the seed did not penetrate the soil, and the birds ate it. There is absolutely no life produced by that seed. However, in the case of the stony ground, life begins, and even though this new life dies off before producing, nevertheless, it was alive. The same is true of the thorny soil. Life began. When we look at what happened to these two examples of those having come to life, we see most church members. Some have little or no doctrinal understanding (root), and when pressured, they simply wither away. Others are seduced (choked) by missed place priorities and selfish motives, and make little or no contribution to the kingdom of God.

I guess the ultimate difference between these two views is this: one believes that folks brought to life by the Word of God can lose it or die spiritually. Others believe that once the seed, the Word of God, produces new life, it remains alive spiritually. Either you believe "once saved, always saved" or you don't. Personally, I believe that once God, through His grace, gives a person faith to believe the Gospel, and that person trusts in Christ, they are born again. What they do with their new life produces works that will be tried by fire, and even though they did nothing worthy of reward in this world, their soul will remain saved (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing! If we truly are a child of God, it is He that works in us to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). It is He that works all things for good as He transforms us into the image of His dear Son (Romans 8:28-29)! Praise the Lord!

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