Fruitful Faith

After describing three sorts of people who do not respond to the Gospel with saving faith, Jesus finally speaks of those who not only hear the Word of God, but understand it, and then go on to produce a bountiful crop. We learn several vital lessons from the entire parable with its explanation: - Most people who hear the Good News of Christ will not be saved. Either they will not understand, or they will receive the word with joy, but then fall away. - Some, however, will receive the message with true faith, and demonstrate their trust by their changed lives. - From the context, we know that bearing fruit includes perseverance under troubles and even persecution (21; see also 5:11-12; 10:32-39). If someone who claims to believe in Christ turns away from Him in the face of danger, then he is not yet born again. - The true believer will also refuse to become embroiled in “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.” Instead, he will “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (6:33). When he is tempted to “lay up treasures on earth” or to “worry about tomorrow,” he will instead pray, “Your kingdom come; Your will be done; give us this day our daily bread…” (6:10-11). Jesus said of false prophets, “You will know them by their fruits” (7:16). Here He extends that principle to all those who profess to follow Christ: Fruitfulness, which consists in both trust and obedience, will prove the genuineness of faith. How do we measure up to this standard? Is our faith fruitful?