Summary: There are things that hinder the soil of our heart from being truly fruitful, and things that help our soil to be fertile, let’s have good soil!
VCC August 16, 1998
Preparing the Soil
Peter is written to those who were going through all kinds of trials (1:6)
He has exhorted the Christians to personal holiness in chapter 1
After encouraging personal holiness, he commanded them to have sincere love for the brotherhood (1:22)
Jesus came to establish a brotherhood, a church, a community of believers.
Mt 23:8 "But you are not to be called `Rabbi’, for you have only one Master and you are all brothers
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10, NIV).
Keep on loving each other as brothers. (Hebrews 13:1, NIV).
1:22, we are encouraged to love once again even though we have love, because all of us need to press forward, finding that we are so far from whatChrist intends to make us that we must always be pressing forward.
Php 3:14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.
That which provides all growth in our spiritual life is the word of God (1:23-25)
Imperishable--cannot be destroyed
Acts 12:24, 19:29, grew mightily and prevailed
Living--zoe - alive and having life giving power
Heb. 4:12-- quick and powerful
Eph. 6:16--two-edged sword, the most versatile offensive weapon to destroy enemy at that time.
Enduring - it will remain around long after all else fades away.
It will always remain and you cannot change it, you may neglect, or choke it in your individual heart; but it will still love and remain and will appear to testify against those who scorn the Word and do not believe.
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. (John 12:48, NIV).
Heb 2:3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
The soil of the heart
It is very important the kind of soil that the powerful Word of God comes upon.
Mt. 13--Parable on sower and seed and 4 kinds of ground.
Path… hears and does not comprehend, so does nothing.
Rocky…receives with joy and trouble or persecution causes it to fall away.
Thorns…worries of life and deceitfulness of wealth
Good…hears, understands, and brings forth fruit
We need to be hungry and thirsty for God’s Word
Isa 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
Necessities to good soil
Rid self of all malice
Rid = Apothesthai = to strip off one’s clothes (like dirty garments from digging a ditch)
We need to strip off kakia, all the evil of the heathen world.
Col 3:1,8 - Set your hearts…set your minds…put to death…rid yourself…clothe yourselves…let the peace, the word
Different aspecs of malice (kakis)…each destroys the receptivity of the Word, and softness of the heart.
deceit– (dolos) trickery of a man who is out to deceive others to attain his own ends
hypocrisy– (a man who all the time is acting a part and concealing his real motives…his Christianity is for his own profit and prestige, not for the service and glory of Christ.
Luke 18:11--Pharisee and the publican…show vs humility
envy– (phthonos) Peter knew that this was a hard sin to deal with an
Mark 10:41 - the ten were enviouis of James and John who tried to get ahead in kingdom
Luke 22:24 - disputing about who should occupy the seats of greatest honor at last supper
Joseph’s brothers sold him into Egypt through envy
Jesus was crucified because of envy (Mt. 27:18)
slander - (katalalia) = means evil-speaking, and is almost always the fruit of envy in the heart and usually takes place when its victim is not there to defend himself..
These saints knew what this was because they suffered it.
2:12--they were wrongfully accused of doing wrong.
3:15-be prepared to give and answer to everyone
2 Cor. 12:20--backbiting (KJV)
Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. (James 4:11, NIV).
As long as we are steeped in the selfishness, and vices that affect relationship, the soil is not fruitful
Purifying our hearts and desires helps prepare the soil of our hearts so we can receive the Word.
Two evidences of healthy spiritual life is a longing for proper food and growth that comes from taking it.
We need to crave pure spiritual milk.