Summary: The question I want you to ask yourself this morning as we look at the parable of the fig tree is “Am I living in my grace period?” If you are, I hope that you will see your need and be motivated by God’s Spirit to allow Him work in you making you what y
When I was in the insurance industry, I constantly had to deal with people seeking to maintain their policies perpetually in what they referred to as the policy’s grace period. A grace period is defined as the additional period of time a lender or an insurance policy issuer provides for a borrower to make passed due payment on a debt without penalty. I believe that there are a number of Christians living in their spiritual grace period. The question I want you to ask yourself this morning as we look at the parable of the fig tree is “Am I living in my grace period?” If you are, I hope that you will see your need and be motivated by God’s Spirit to allow Him work in you making you what you ought to be. As we study the parable of the fig tree, we want to consider the fig tree’s place, its purpose, its performance, and its probation or grace period.
I. Its Place
A. Luke 13:6 "He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard..."
B. The vineyard keeper planted it. It was not just a wild fig tree.
C. It was planted in the vineyard along with similar fruit trees.
1. It enjoyed all the same privileges as the other trees in the vineyard.
2. It had the same nourishment, rain, and sun.
D. Believers in Jesus Christ have planted by Jesus Christ into the body of Christ and as such share in the same nurturing from God.
1. Jeremiah 17:7-8a "Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh. But her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."
2. I Corinthians 12:13 "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
II. Its Purpose
A. Luke 13:6-7 "... he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree..."
B. The purpose of the fig tree was to produce fruit. It had no other purpose for existing. It was planted to bear fruit. It was a fruit tree.
C. John 15:8 "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."
D. John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
E. So Great Salvation, Charles Ryrie, Victor Books, 1989, pp. 45-46. “Every Christian will bear spiritual fruit. Somewhere, sometime, somehow. Otherwise, that person is not a believer. Every born-again individual will be fruitful. Not to be fruitful is to be faithless, without faith, and therefore without salvation. Having said that, some caveats are in order. 1. This does not mean that a believer will always be fruitful. Certainly we can admit that if there can be hours and days when a believer can be unfruitful, then why may there not also be months and even years when he can be in that same condition? Paul exhorted believers to engage in good works so they would not be unfruitful (Titus 3:14). Peter also exhorted believers to add the qualities of Christian character to their faith lest they be unfruitful (2 Peter 1:8). Obviously, both of those passages indicate that a true believer might be unfruitful. And the simple fact that both Paul and Peter exhort believers to be fruitful shows that believers are not always fruitful. 2. This does not mean that a certain person’s fruit will necessarily be outwardly evident. Even if I know the person and have some regular contact with him, I still may not see his fruit. Indeed, I might even have legitimate grounds for wondering if he is a believer because I have not seen fruit. His fruit may be very private or erratic, but the fact that I do not see it does not mean it is not there. 3. My understanding of what fruit is and therefore what I expect others to bear may be faulty and/or incomplete. It is all too easy to have a mental list of spiritual fruits and to conclude if someone does not produce what is on my list that he or she is not a believer. But the reality is that most lists that we humans devise are too short, too selective, too prejudiced, and often extrabiblical. God likely has a much more accurate and longer list than most of us do. Nevertheless, every Christian will bear fruit; otherwise, he or she is not a true believer.”