Jesus describes four types of human hearts, only one of which will believe and bear fruit.
Tag: word of God
A Christian’s loyalty ultimately rests in God. A Christian recognizes God’s sovereignty in their lives over human governments, administrations, organizations, or any other form of authority. Throughout history this has placed God’s followers at odds with many of man’s institution. Worldly men are always striving for influence over other men. Whether it is through social status, governmental institutions, or religious authority men are always placing themselves in a position where they are able to exert influence and control over others.
In Matthew 4, Mark 1, and Luke 4 an event from Christ’s life is recorded which details three temptations that He endured directly from Satan. While there are other places within the Scriptures that seem to imply temptations were prevalent in His life (Luke 22:42), only this occasion directly shows Christ interacting with Satan one on one. It is a very intriguing passage, because it proves to us without doubt that Christ went through the same hardships, trials, and temptations that we go through each and every day. Christ also shows us that with God’s help we can avoid sin. No one forces us into sin, and God’s precepts give us guidance in how to overcome temptation. Therefore, we are left with no excuse for sin. There are many such lessons we could draw from this account. I want to notice five important points that I hope will cause us to think about temptations and trials in our own life.
In Matthew 12 we see three different instances where the Pharisees tried to find fault in Jesus and in his disciples. The last instance they accused him of casting out demons by the authority and power of Beelzebub. In other words, they were saying, “Satan is behind the words and power of Jesus.” Jesus then begins (v25f) to prove why it is that he cannot be casting out demons by the power of a demon. Starting in verse 33 we read, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.” We should not expect good things to come from someone who does not practice good. For example, we would not want to encourage a habitual traffic offender to become a driving instructor. A tree is known by its fruit.
The truth matters. God’s truth matters. If God tells us something it must be important. As His followers we must never take for granted the fact that Satan will never stop trying to subvert the Bible.
As has been shown in earlier entries on this site, prophecy provides proof that 1) the prophet of old prophesied truth, and thus 2) spoke of the future in a way that no man, apart from the power of an all knowing being, could. Therefore, we can deduce that if the prophets of old were confirmed by what they spoke, there must be a Higher power providing these men with the ability to foreknow.
In Ezekiel 2:4 God tells Ezekiel that he is being sent to the children of Israel, “a rebellious nation,” to say to them, “thus says the Lord.” Ezekiel, throughout the entire book of prophecy bearing his name, states the same thing: thus says the Lord. (See Ezekiel 6:1, 12:17, 22:33, etc.) This is a very important statement made in Ezekiel, and he is not alone among the prophets in its use. Jeremiah begins his book stating these were the words of the Lord (1:2,4).
The word of God teems with imagery. From Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar’s prophetic dreams, to Revelation’s well-known apocalyptic symbolism, to Jesus’ many memorable parables (“The kingdom of heaven is like…”), God employs imagery throughout Scripture to reveal His will. Speaking to the mind’s eye, the Bible’s imagery encourages us to first envision its truths that we might then be enlightened by them.