Like its physical counterpart, spiritual growth happens slowly. A newly baptized Christian will not produce the fruit of the spirit as easily as a mature one.
The Parable of the Growing Seed is unique to the book of Mark, the most basic of the gospels, perhaps due to it being so simple and its point self-evident.
The first parable of Matthew 13 lays the groundwork (pun intended) for the remainder of the chapter. Martin Collins explains the various soils upon which the seed of the gospel falls, and the reasons why growth—or its lack—results.
In Part One, we began to dig into the biblical metaphor of producing fruit and the importance of the root to that process. ...
God spreads His Word liberally among the world's people. Besides God's direct involvement in converting people, the difference between one growing in it and another "dying on the vine" is the soil in which the Word is planted, explained in Jesus' Parable o. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, citing a recent article in the Barna Report on research conducted by David Kinnaman, reveals that great confusion exists in defining spiritual maturity. In contrast to some definitions, spiritual maturity cannot be measured with numeric. . .
Drawing an analogy between kudzu and the thorns in the Parable of the Sower, Mike Ford shows how we have to "weed out" detrimental habits that choke our lives. If we want to produce quality fruit, we must weed the garden!
Richard Ritenbaugh, reiterating that in physical and spiritual creation, God does not wave a wand, but does a great deal of work. Likewise, in our repentance, there is a great deal of reciprocal effort between God and us. In the stories of Star Wars, the X. . .
Bill Onisick, asserting that getting grape vines to bear fruit is difficult, suggests that the production of succulent grapes is at least a two-year project, in which pruning dead wood and lateral vines that produce much foliage, but little fruit, and expo. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on his experiences growing peaches, observes that fruit maturation takes time, from 90 to 150 days. Waiting for the peaches is just part of the story; while we wait, we must also work, including thinning and pruning. In our f. . .
We often speak confidently of friends and relatives who will rise in the second or general resurrection to have their opportunity for salvation—but what a shame it would be if we were not there to greet them! Mike Ford, reminiscing about being there . . .
The ability to do miracles does not identify a speaker as a representative of God, especially if the signs entice one to depart from the Word of God. Jesus warns that if we ask God for protection from demonic influence, we cannot sit back passively; Satan . . .
David Maas, anticipating the forthcoming Passover, and the stern warning from the apostle Paul that we thoroughly examine ourselves, cautions us to be very careful how we undertake this self-examination. We must realize that (1) taking the Passover in an u. . .
The church of God has long acknowledged the biblical analogy of a harvest representing the gathering and eventual resurrection of the saints. Bill Keesee speculates that we can perhaps expand our understanding of the harvest analogy to include other aspect. . .
Misguided theologians have tried to create a false dichotomy between grace and works. We do works of obedience to build character, not to earn salvation.
Charles Whitaker reiterates that Americans [and all of Israel], living well on credit, and enamored with the apparent blessings of technology , have deceived themselves thinking they have "advanced beyond [the ] consequences" of God's Law. Becaus. . .