Parable of the sower

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alcott, Oct 24, 2005.

?

The soil beside the road-- seeds were snatched away by birds

  1. These people are definitely not saved

    53.3%
  2. These people <i>might</i> be saved if they quickly and irrationally believe, then die quickly

    6.7%
  3. These people cannot understand the gospel (v.19), so they may be "safe," like a young child

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Anyone who "receives" the gospel at all will be saved, including these people

    6.7%
  5. These people were <i>enlightened,</i> but rejected the gospel-- now they can <i>never</i> be saved (

    13.3%
  6. These people are not saved upon the "sowing" in question, yet can still be saved later

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. This represents one type of <i>heart</i>; therefore any further "sowings" will reveal the same resul

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. The condition of one's heart does not matter-- God <i>predestines</i> who will be saved and who will

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. These people <i>might</i> have been saved, but quickly lost their salvation

    13.3%
  10. I have a different view than any of these options

    6.7%
  11. No answer

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Alcott

    Alcott
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    While I'm sure most of us accept, in a general way, the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 and Jesus' explanation of its meaning, there seems to be disagreement, probably based on denominationalism, as to which groups represented by the different soils are saved or unsaved.

    Here is the parable and explanation by Jesus from Matthew 13 in the KJV (in order to keep the translation controversey out of this):

    3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
    4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
    5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
    6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
    7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
    8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
    .............&gt;

    19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
    20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
    21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
    22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
    23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
     
  2. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    I believe a common erroneous application of this passage is for us to be like the good soil.

    I believe the proper interpretation of this passage is Jesus encouraging his followers and us today to continue sowing the seeds, even when it doesn't land on good soil because of the multiplication that happens when it does.
     
  3. swaimj

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    I have studied this section in Luke, but not Matthew, so I am not sure if Matthew's application of the story in the context is the same as Luke's. In Luke, the parable of the sower is followed by events in chapter 8 in which Jesus performs miracles. Specifically, there is a miracle in which Jesus overcomes nature (calming the sea), demonic power (the demoniac), chronic disease (the woman with the issue of blood), and death (Jairus' daughter). The response to Jesus' miracles by different individuals illustrates or provides examples of real-life people who respond in the various ways explained in the parable. Some respond with true faith, others respond with no faith, and some respond with weak faith which Jesus criticizes. Those who respond with true faith receive a kingdom blessing--a miracle that foreshadows the excellence of the coming kingdom. The parables and the miracle stories demonstrate the nature of true faith--it bears fruit; and it gives examples of people who understand Jesus' kingdom teaching and respond properly. The purpose of all of this is for us to see what real faith is and what it does and for us to follow the commendable examples.
     
  4. Alcott

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    One interesting result so far, although I really expected it-- no one seems willing to say that those symbolized by the seeds that fell by the road, on rocky soil, and among thorns, were enlightened by the gospel but in the end rejected it, and now they can never be saved, per Hebrews 6:4-6. So since Baptists-- at least with 'traditional' Baptist beliefs-- claim the "once saved; always saved" doctrine, which means the Hebrews 6 passage cannot apply to those who are, at any time, saved, and now if it does not apply to those who hear and at first heed the gospel, that they can never come again to repentance-- then who does this passage apply to?
     
  5. HankD

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    IMO, it is within the realm of possibility that in verse 7 these are those who are indeed saved (that is those who fell in among the thorns) but fruitless.

    22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

    This seems to be the primary lesson of the parable - fruit bearing.

    Verse 4 - no life whatsoever, the "fowls" snatch up the word, these are lost.
    Verse 5 is the OSAS passage of difficulty. What is represented by the phrase "they had no deepness of earth:"? Personally I view King Agrippa as within this category

    Acts 26
    27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
    28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

    Now, can king Agrippa ever come back to this point?

    Yes but only "if God permit" because it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
    ... etc ... to renew them again unto repentance.

    My sense of Hebrews 6 is that after a real experience of the conviction of sin certain folk may have a measure of belief and come right up to the door of true faith in Jesus Christ but do not come to closure with Him and consequently "fall away".

    Can they ever return to this place of having the Gospel preached to them in conviction of sin?

    It would seem not but yes.

    If God permits.

    HankD
     
  6. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Amen, Brother Gold Dragon -- Preach it! [​IMG]

    The word of encouragement is to the worker
    in the fields which fields are white ready
    for harvest.
     
  7. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Alcott

    Hebrews 6 is a response to a hypothetical question that the author has been asked to comment on.

    This is evidenced by the language of Chapter 5:11-14 where the author chastizes them for not being more spiritually mature and needing "milk" (as a baby) rather than "meat" as someone mature in there faith. He speaks of leaving the elementary teachings and moving on; "to meat?".

    The doctrine concerning whether a person can loose their salvation and then regain it is (apparently) considered "meat". He begins the discussion with "In the case of..." He is directly addressing a question someone has asked.

    He uses the word "tasted" several times. This is a word used to denote someone who was trying a variety of "philosophies" in the Greek culture. It does not really convey the idea of fully embracing a "philosopy".

    The author is saying that it is impossible for a Christian to loose their salvation, and then regain it, because they would have to crucify Christ all over again. That is clear from v. 6-7

    The question then becomes whether a Christian can loose their salvation at all. I believe the author is telling us "no."

    In. v. 9-11, the author tells them that he is "convinced of better things concerning them, things that accompany salvation".

    He is saying he doesn't think that "they" are like the hypothetical person who just "tastes" Christianity.

    The "things that accompany salvation" are:

    1. God doesn't forget your work, love, and ministry toward the saints.

    2. That they would have full assurance of their salvation and perseverve until the coming of Christ (the end)

    3. That they would imitate those who had faith and thus inherit the promises of God.

    There is a clear expectation of a ministry of good workds as the validation of a profession of faith.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  8. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    P.S.

    fargiv mi po spilin

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  9. JackRUS

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    If you are concerned about your spelling on this board, I might suggest that you download this google toolbar that has a built in spellcheck. It works pretty good.

    http://toolbar.google.com/?promo=mor-tb-en
     
  10. JackRUS

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    As far as the eternal security aspect of the parable, I would comment that one of the rules of biblical interpretation is the the emphatic always overrules the implied.

    Rom. 8:31-39
    John 10:28-29
    Rom. 11:29
    Ps. 89:30-34, etc.
     
  11. gb93433

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    He who has ears to hear let him hear.
     
  12. Me4Him

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    It probably does-- parables are for simple illustrations; not for finer points of theology.

    55%.


    This number amazed me more than any other, "parables are the Gospel", if you don't understand them, you don't understand the scriptures.

    Lu 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God:

    but to others in parables;

    that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
     
  13. Alcott

    Alcott
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    If you really try to build a theology by the parables, what are some things you will get?....
    The Kingdom of Heaven is not eternal because a mustard tree is not eternal.
    The Kingdom can be bought with worldly wealth, since the man who found the pearl sold all he had to buy it.
    We can definitely lose our salvation, since the servant who was given one talent was part of his master's household and he had his part taken away and was sent to "outer darkness."
    God is not all-knowing, since his enemy came and planted thorns among his wheat and he didn't know it until the seeds sprouted.

    These may not be the best examples, but at any rate, care should be taken about building doctrines based on the parables. I think they are meant to illustrate a valid point, and to take them beyond that point is incompetent.
     
  14. Craigbythesea

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    The man symbolized by the side of the road did not understand the gospel when he heard it, and before he could spend some time thinking it over and come to an understanding of it and be enlightened, the evil one comes along and snatches away what had been sown in his heart.

    The man symbolized by the rocky soil and the man symbolized by the thorny area did understand the Gospel and they were enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come. The man symbolized by the rocky soil, however, eventually fell away and was eternally damned. The man symbolized by the thorny area simply became unfruitful.

    This explanation of this parable spoken by Jesus was very easy to understand for 1500 years, but when the erroneous concepts of the sovereignty of God evolved into the doctrine of OSAS, new interpretations had to be invented for both this parable and Hebrews chapter 6, along with hundreds of other verses in the Bible. Some of the many Baptist interpretations of Hebrew 6:4 – 8 border on the insane—and very possibly even cross the line.

    Just because we are Baptists does not require that we believe the absurd and reject the historical interpretation of hundreds of verses in the Bible to force them to fit the new 16th century theology of men.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Craigbythesea

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    Alcott wrote,

    Building our theology upon the parables can be a bit dangerous, especially if we don't understand the nature of parables; but if a sound interpretation of the parables does not line up with our theology—our theology is NOT the theology of the Bible.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Craigbythesea
    You said
    _____
    "This explanation of this parable spoken by Jesus was very easy to understand for 1500 years, but when the erroneous concepts of the sovereignty of God evolved into the doctrine of OSAS, new interpretations had to be invented for both this parable and Hebrews chapter 6, along with hundreds of other verses in the Bible. Some of the many Baptist interpretations of Hebrew 6:4 – 8 border on the insane—and very possibly even cross the line."
    _____

    Are you saying that every church father, indeed every Christian, for the first 1500 years believed you could loose your salvation and rejected the doctrine of eternal security?

    If so, please show me.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  17. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    First, I am not going to try to persaude you on the issue of eternal security. I know your mind is made up.

    What I do want to address is the notion that the doctrine of eternal security was unknown or had consistently been rejected by the church for the first 1500 years and the implication that Calvin somehow "invented" the concept of "eternal security".

    I did a little research on my own. Here's what I found on a website that is against the doctrine of eternal security, by Steve Witzki.

    http://www.fwponline.cc/v21n1/v21n1witzki.html

    "While the first extensive discussion of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is found in Augustine’s Treatise on the Gift of Perseverance, written around A. D. 429, Augustine believed it was possible to experience the justifying grace of God and yet not persevere to the end. Augustine did believe God’s elect would certainly persevere to the end, but he denied that a person could know they were in the elect and he also warned it was possible to be justified but not among the elect. Not until Calvin was unconditional election, permanent regeneration, and certitude of final perseverance all connected."

    OK, let's see.

    The issue was being discussed at least as early as Augustine. That means Calvin did not invent it, and that the early church fathers believed it to be important enough to address in writing.

    Augustine believed that the "elect" would "certainly persevere to the end". That sounds a whole lot like Augustine believed in the eternal security, at least for the "elect". Apparently, he was unwilling to connect justification with being "elect".

    Calvin was the first to show the connections between the mentioned doctrines. That means he didn't "invent" the doctrines, but was commenting on scripture and doctrine that were already known.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  18. Craigbythesea

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    Canadygd wrote,

    No, I am not saying that. The doctrine of eternal security did not evolve until the 16th century as a product of a misunderstanding of the sovereignty of God, and thus it was unknown to any of the Church Fathers. And since conditional security was the only view for 1500 hundred years, other than the heresy of universalism, we do not find any of the church fathers defending the doctrine of conditional security against any other view. The doctrine of conditional security is so very clearly taught in the Scriptures that all of the church fathers took it for granted. When they wrote commentaries on the Scriptures, they always interpreted the Scriptures to teach conditional security. The problem of what to do with those Christians who fell away from the faith and committed adultery and other grievous sins was discussed by many in great detail. And we have many of these writing with us today, and you can read them for yourself on the internet or in a Bible College or seminary library. And, of course, very many pastors have a copy of these writings either in volumes on their shelves or in Bible study programs or both. Indeed, they can be downloaded for free at E-sword.net and other websites.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
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    Augustine believed that some Christian were God's elect and that other Christians were not. If they were God’s elect, they would persevere and meet all of the conditions for continued salvation. If they were not God’s elect, they may or may continue in their faith and meet all of the conditions for continued salvation, and if they did not, they were damned to hell. Thus Augustine taught conditional security and he interpreted the conditional passages in the Bible to be conditional as did everyone for 1500 years. However, his view that some true and genuine Christians were not among the elect of God was so obviously ridiculous that almost no one took him seriously and his theology died with him. It was not resurrected till the 16th century, and the concept that some true and genuine Christians were not among the elect of God was immediately seen to be ridiculous and disregarded.

    Calvin’s doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saint’s was not as ridiculous as that of Augustine, but it has never been generally accepted by the Church—not even among Baptists—because it directly contradicts hundreds of verses in the Bible.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Faith alone

    Faith alone
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    I think that most of us believe that it matters not how Christians and churches have taught regarding a doctrine down through the ages. It matters only what the Bible clearly teaches. (SOLA SCRIPTURAS) Hence, I have not done much research over the years on the teachings of the church. (Though John Hannah has a neat little book on the evolution of church doctrines through history called Our Legacy, The History of Church Doctrine.)

    Augustine taught that a person must be converted before they could repent and believe. Augustine apparently believed that a saved person could lose their salvation, but if they was really among the elect they would get saved again before they died. I think his idea of "the elect" was different than modern Reformed theology, though there may have been a form of eternal security in his writings, though some might call it just a form of fatalism.

    Has anyone ever thought about the fact that Catholicism has taught a form of eternal security for at least 1500 years? True, it's based upon infant baptism, but it IS a form of security of the [baptized] believer. The RCC taught that baptism is efficacious in its effect whether performed by a believer or an unbeliever. In some mystical, unexplained way a permanent change is brought about in the baptized person, even if they have not yet believed. This change stands against all subsequent sin, even mortal sins, as well as venial sins. They teach that baptism does not in and of itself save, but it opens the way, and does not need to ever be repeated. Now of course, I do not agree with this teaching, but it is significant in that it is a form of eternal security that has been held since probably Justin Martyr in the early 2nd century.

    Some RCC and church fathers:
    Now these quotes may not be clear on how the person viewed the security of the baptized believer, but the RCC teaches that this has been held since the beginning, FWIW.

    In my way of thinking, it's SOLA SCRIPTURA. In the early days only the very core of modern doctrines can be seen if we look at any doctrine. Should we then doubt everything that the Bible teaches? Hannah taught, as others do as well, that during the church apologists (150-300AD) not much theologically significant was done (or at least, has been preserved for us). It wasn't until after there was freedom subsequent to Constantine that any depth of doctrine began to develop.

    Hannah quotes (p.211) Hilary of Poitiers,
    Hilary was pre-Augustinian.

    Hannah also says that Gottschalk (9th century) taught even stronger than did Augustine on predestination security. During the dark ages Hsannah says that the doctrine of predestination was frowned upon by the RCC, and essentially lost. During 900 - 1500 the RCC developed a doctrine that thought salvation began with grace, it must be followed by continued good works IOT lead to eternal life. But should we really be very concerned about what was believed during that dark period of human history?

    I say, "SOLA SCRIPTURTA." Do we have it right now? That's the question.

    FA
     

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