Taking Root, Bearing Fruit
15/16 AUGUST 2020 | Prayer & Praise Services
Rev Adrian Ng
Scripture Passage: LUKE 8:1-21 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | True Disciples hear, retain and perseveringly put into practice the Word of God and Jesus calls them his family. (V19)
The Parable of the Sower (Parable of the Soils) is one of 4 which are found in all 3 Synoptic gospels. Only 2 parables are explained in detail by Jesus and this is one of them; therefore, it is an important yet challenging parable. It was told about half way through Christ’s ministry at a time when he had a huge following. Yet, he knew the crowd were listening to him for all kinds of rea-sons but few wanted to obey God.
The Disciples wanted to truly understand and so Jesus explained only to this select group the different kinds of hearts (the soil) which will hear the Word (the seed) and what it means to be a true disciple.
1. The path represents CEREBRAL (Intellectual) Christians who study the Bible as an academic exercise but never let the Word reach their hearts The Bible tells us that it is only in this group that Satan is actively snatching the Word. One study concluded that 78% of young Christians may be in this category so we may assume this is the same for the whole church. “Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge, warns John Wesley.
2. Rocky soil points to emotionally CHARGED-UP Christians who receive the word with joy and passion but give up when trouble comes. They are often left disillusioned and bitter. However we should remember this observation. “If it didn’t last, it didn’t root”.
3. Thorny soil represents CONSUMERISTIC Christians who have no maturity and no fruit. They hear, they are convicted, they go to church. But they get choked and do not bear fruit. This is because they cannot release worries of the world. Pursuit of other goals will drown out God’s Word. Surveys show that only 8% of Gen Z youth (born after 2000) put spiritual goals at the top of their agenda.
4. Good soil means COMMITTED Christians. In this category are disciples who yield an excellent harvest. Jesus goes on to prescribe the steps that lead a person to become this kind of Disciple. Such a person needs to take God’s word seriously. They need to hear the Word, retain it and apply it perseveringly until it produces a crop. The fruit produced would match the list in Gal 5:22-24.
The Words of God are the Words of Life and it is a matter of life and death to us. Let us be serious, listen carefully to the Word, retain it thoughtfully and apply it unswervingly so that we will be counted Family by our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Sermon Notes by Frances Lim )
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. Jesus went into great details in explaining this Parable to the disciples. What do you think was Jesus' main intention in addressing the disciples?
2. In what ways is this Parable still relevant to us today?
3. The speaker described the 4 kinds of soils as cerebral (intellectual), emotionally charged-up, consumeristic, and committed Christians. Which soil reflects your life?
4. Imagine if Jesus were explaining this Parable in the midst of our small group time now, how would you respond to Him?