Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5
February 8, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

<504> Thesis: Fruitfulness requires both a legitimate "love" and a legitimate "faith". Introduction: For several weeks now we have been considering Jesus' preparation of His disciples for their participation in His agenda. As we have considered His parable about what they could expect from their participation, we have seen that His main interest was whether they would permit the responses of others to the Word of God to dictate their own. Then, under that issue, we have seen that Jesus simply declared the realities which will determine the responses that men give to the Word of their God. The first reality is the reluctance of men to immediately respond. This gives the devil time to come along and swoop up the seeds of the Word just like birds eating the exposed seeds that lie upon the open ground in plain view. The second reality is the fact that many men are simply completely unsuited for the task of bearing fruit. They have no capacity to relate to God so that the water of His Life can flow into them, nor have they any willingness to permit God to reach into them to draw out of them the things that would give His words the ability to bear fruit. Thus, the first two "types of people" who will hear the words of faithful disciples will not produce anything more than a superficial interest in the Truth. This morning we are going to look at the third of the types of people who will hear the words of God from His disciples. This type is the first of the four to actually permit a sustained growth of the plant from the seed. The birds do not eat the seed. Temptation does not kill off the ensuing plant. But, even here there is no fruitfulness. We are going to ask this question: what is it that prevents those words from accomplishing their beneficial purpose? There are three factors in the answer.