A Receptive Heart
December 25, 2020
Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:3-9).
The point of the parable stresses the truth that those who have saving faith in Jesus Christ will show evidence of that throughout their Christian life. The branch that is attached to the vine will bear fruit (John 15:4-5). If it does not, then it is cut off and thrown away (John 15:1-2). The fig tree that has leaves but no fruit is destroyed (Matthew 21:19). A person who ‘professes’ saving faith does not necessarily ‘possess’ saving faith. Again, the proof is in the fruit.
What is the fruit of genuine salvation? Paul wrote, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24). He wrote, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
True saving faith transforms a person from a hard hearted, shallow believing, worldly living person into a saint - a person of holy character and righteous conduct. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Not every true believer produces such fruit overnight. In fact, it is a life-long process. Not every true believer produces the fullness of the fruit intended - that’s the hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty that Jesus talked about. But the true believer will produce spiritual fruit.
The fertile soil, the receptive heart, is a heart of stone now made a heart of flesh by saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is a shallow heart that now has a depth and breadth of faith in Jesus Christ - and it’s a depth and breadth of faith that continues to deepen and broaden. It is a worldly heart that has now become a Kingdom heart - the things of the world have no hold on them anymore; they care less about the things of the world because they care more for the Kingdom of Christ. It is a heart upon which the Word of God has been imprinted, appreciated, and obeyed (Ezekiel 11:19-20).
“Lord Jesus, Your Word is truth. It is clear from this parable that saving faith is radically different from religious faith or from associating with faith to actually exercising saving faith. Help me help others to realize this truth so they can be truly saved and know it. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”