Luke 8:16-18 They Bring Forth Fruit
#1. Let Your Light So Shine (Luke , Matt -16)
#2. Fear Them Not (Luke , Matt -26)
#3. Take Heed How Ye Hear (Luke )
Please open your Bibles to the Gospel according to Luke, chapter (2X). We are here at the tail end of "The Parable of the Sower", which could also be titled "The Parable of the Four Soils". The Lord Jesus told this parable to the crowds that have come to hear Him, and He explained this parable privately to His disciples. In this parable the Lord Jesus teaches us about the fruitfulness of the Gospel, which is sown into the hearts of people. The condition of their heart is compared to the condition of four soils when the Sower sows the seed of the Word of God. I have already preached on this parable in June and July of this year. You can hear it on the cassette tapes. Let us look again at:
Here we have discovered that the fruitfulness of the fourth soil, which represents an honest and good heart, is entirely a gift of God's grace. Only by the grace of God will a hard pathway, or a hard rock, or a thorny ground be transformed into good ground, so that the seed of the Gospel may germinate, and grow, and bear fruit a hundredfold. Only by the grace of God can the ground be so prepared that the seed of the Gospel finds a moist and fertile soil. This fertile soil then, by the grace of God, reproduces the seed a hundredfold, which means that this person in turn becomes a sower and gives out the Word of God many times more than he has received. We read here in Luke 8:15,
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
And bring forth fruit with patience. What does that mean? We need to search this out. Therefore the title of this sermon is: "They Bring Forth Fruit With Patience" (2X).
Then the Lord Jesus told another parable: "The Parable of the Lamp". We read in Luke 8:16,
Luke 8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
These three verses are the backbone of the outline for our sermon today: #1, Let your light so shine. #2, Fear them not. #3, Take heed how ye hear. The first question concerns the context: Why did God place this parable right after the Parable of the Sower? This did not happen just by accident. What is the reason for this? The Lord Jesus said to His disciples: "It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven". YOU have been given light to understand the Gospel. Now YOU have become the light of the world. Now YOU bring that light to others:
#1. Let Your Light So Shine (Luke 8:16, Matt 5:14-16). Do you remember the words?
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven". That is why we now read in Luke 8:16,
Luke 8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. (Put a sticker on this pg.)
Please turn about 110 pages to your left, to the Gospel according to Matthew chapter 5:14 (2X). Nobody, when he has received the light of the Gospel, will try to hide it from other people. That is not the nature of a child of God. In our new nature we eagerly desire to bring that light of the Gospel to other people, so that they too might hear, and if God wills they too might be saved. Paraphrased Jesus said: "No man" who is saved will hide it. In fact, if we do not have this desire to share the Gospel with others, we may be deceiving ourselves. We may not be saved. Let us read now from the Gospel according to Matthew, from the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 5:14,
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
When we have become saved, and we gather in the church, we have become like a city that is set on a hill: It cannot be hidden. This is why Christ purchased the NT church. Collectively we can make a much greater impact on the world than if we try to do it all alone. Jesus said: No man, when he has received a burning candle, will hide it under a bushel. Or the way we read it in Luke: We do not hide it under a pan, or under a bed, but we place the candle on a candlestick. We read in Matt 5:15, "and it giveth light unto all that are in the house". Why would God write that? Why did Jesus not say: "And it gives light to all the world"? Why "the house"? Which house is the Lord Jesus speaking about here in Matt 5:15? Is it not the house of God, the church? God tells us here that if we have received special gifts of understanding the Word of God, we must not hide it, but we are called to edify one another in preaching, or in teaching, or in any other way we are able to edify one another. This is one way in which we can show our love for one another. This is also the way in which we can prepare one another for our witness to others. God left us in this world for one reason: We are left here to be a witness and to proclaim that we are witnesses for Christ. Let your light so shine. What is the purpose of letting our light so shine before men? So that God alone may be glorified when their eyes are opened. But God chooses to work through our actions:
Please turn about 250 pages to your right to the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 26:15 (2X). The Apostle Paul is here retelling the story of his conversion. This is a prime example of the sovereignty of God in salvation, and shows that God works through our actions to accomplish His plan of salvation. Saul of Tarsus, the Pharisee, was with a band of soldiers on the road to Damascus to capture Christians there and bring them bound to Jerusalem. Saul of Tarsus had no intention at all to turn to Jesus, or to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. Saul of Tarsus was the prime enemy of the church in those days. But suddenly a bright light appeared; so bright that it knocked him to the ground. And Saul heard a voice speaking to him saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?"
Acts 26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
Acts 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Acts 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Spiritually Saul of Tarsus was as dead as a doornail. But The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him and blinded him so that he was driven to meditate on his sins. God had chosen this wicked Pharisee to salvation already before the foundation of the world, and now God drew him forcefully to Jesus. There was nothing Saul of Tarsus was doing, or could DO for his salvation. He did not ask Jesus to come into his heart; he did not say the sinner's prayer; he did not even believe on Jesus as we are supposed to. But God saved him, because God wanted to save him. After three days God sent a man named Ananias to him with a message from God, and this was the moment that Saul became saved and he could see again. Could God have saved Saul without sending Ananias to him? Sure! God could have done that, but God chooses to use people as His message bearers to open the eyes of the blind. Could God save the Gentiles without the ministry of Saul, who became the Apostle Paul? Sure! But God chooses to use people as His message bearers. In verse 16 the Lord Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus: "I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness". And in verse 18 Jesus said to him: "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins". God sovereignly saves whom He will, but God uses people to bring His salvation message. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". All descendants of Adam come into this world under the power of Sin and Satan, according to verse 18. Everyone is in need of salvation, but very few actually get saved.
Again, what is the purpose of letting our light so shine? So that God alone may be glorified by:
Please turn about 90 pages to your right to the Epistle to the Philippians, chapter 2:14 (2X). This is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi, as from a loving father to his spiritual children. God, through the pen of the Apostle Paul, wrote to the Church at Philippi, and to us in the 21st century that not only our salvation, but also our sanctification is all a gift from God. He says in verse 13, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure". He continues on sanctificatio
Philippians 2:14 ¶ Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Philippians 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
This is how we must "shine as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of Life". What is the Word of Life? It is the Gospel as found in the Word of God. Sure we witness with our actions, but first and foremost we witness with our words. That is what the heathen need to hear. Only when they hear the true Gospel of the Bible can they be saved. Please turn about 30 pages to your left to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 4:3 (2X). God has given us the Keys of the Kingdom, the Gospel. Shall we not use these Keys? It would be very cruel on our part to keep those Keys to ourselves and let everyone else go to Hell. It is God's command that we share this information with those who are still in bondage to Sin and Satan. We do not know whom God has chosen to save. We read in 2C. 4:3
2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The god of this world, Satan, has blinded the minds of everyone, because everyone came into the world as unbelievers. They are the walking dead, walking on the road to Hell. We must hold forth the Word of Life to show them the way of escape. We must give them the Gospel free of charge, because we also received it freely. So we must preach and teach the Gospel wherever we can. But remember this: We shall face opposition, and we shall face persecution. The second point of this sermon is:
#2. Fear Them Not (Luke 8:17, Matt 10:24-26)
Fear not your persecutors. Where are they? Presently they plot in secret to do you harm. The Lord Jesus said: "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world". Presently you do not know who harbors resentment against you in his heart. Just listen as I read from
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Does this verse speak about persecution? How does this verse fit in its context? The preceding verse speaks about letting your light shine. What is Jesus talking about now? The explanation is in Matthew chapter 10. Please turn about 300 pages to your left to the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 10:24 (2X). As you perhaps know, the entire chapter 10 of Matthew relates to the sending out of the twelve to bear witness of Christ. The entire chapter deals with evangelism. Now, that is also the context where we find Luke 8:17. Then in Matt 10:24 we read,
Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
Here we find almost the same words we have come across in Luke 8:17. The context more abundantly speaks of evangelism, and of persecution when we do evangelize. In that context the Lord Jesus said: "Fear them not therefore"! And then the words: "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known". When shall the secrets of men's hearts be revealed? That will happen on the Last Day, which is Judgment Day. Then shall all the secrets of men's hearts be revealed. Presently you will be gossiped about, and you will be maligned, but all these things are under the control of your Heavenly Father. "Fear them not therefore"! They have called Christ, the Master of the house, Beelzebub, which is the name for the prince of the demons. Therefore, if you find that the world hates you, remember: They hated Me before they hated you.
Please turn about 180 pages to your right to the Gospel according to John, chapter 15:18 (2X). In this chapter 15 of John the Lord Jesus spoke to the 11 disciples, Judas had already left, and Jesus touched on evangelism in a parabolic manner. He spoke of bearing fruit like in the Parable of the Sower. He spoke of those who bear no fruit, and those who bear abundant fruit, like in the Parable of the Sower. Then the Lord Jesus also indicated persecution. He said in John 15:18,
John 15:18 ¶ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
John 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
In other words, if you were still of the world, which means that you are still unsaved, then you would not face persecution, because the world would love his own. But since I have chosen you out of the world, you are no longer one of them, you no longer fit in, and therefore the world hates you. Why do they hate you? Because hate is the characteristic of the kingdom of Satan, whereas love is the characteristic of the Kingdom of Christ. They perceive that the child of God is a weirdo, a killjoy, or a spoiler of their fun. They rather have some fun than engage in some serious talk about the Bible.
Think of the reasons why the Apostle Paul was persecuted. He was persecuted primarily because they did not like his doctrine. The legalistic Jews and the unbelieving Gentiles were ganging up on Paul. They wanted him dead, because he would turn their world upside down. Likewise today, people from all walks of life call themselves Christians. Arminians are calling themselves Christians, and even the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are calling themselves Christians. And when we point out to them, or to others, that they are bearing the Name of the Lord in vain, we are getting a great deal of opposition. Where does that come from? They don't like our doctrine. They think it is too restrictive. They think we are too elite. They think we are stuck up, with our noses in the wind. They have no good words for us. That hurts! We had no intention of doing that at all. We only wanted to be faithful according to what the Bible teaches us. And if someone would point out where we have gone wrong, then we would change our doctrine. But prove it with the Bible.
To our consolation we remember that the Lord Jesus said: "If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also". In other words, if they have been faithful to the Bible, then they will appreciate our doctrine also. Therefore we must remember to bring forth fruit with patience. Patience on our part, because we might be talking to those who are spiritually dead, unable to hear our words. Patience to wait on God's providence. Remember the title of this sermon is: They Bring Forth Fruit With Patience.
And so, we don't have to judge those who persecute us, because God will judge:
Please turn about 100 pages to your right to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 4:3 (2X). When we have become saved our heart's intent is to do good only, God knows. That is our heart's intent, because it has become our second nature. It is ironic that those who in God's sight are doing good, are persecuted and killed as if they were wicked criminals. Think of the Lord Jesus Christ, or think of the Apostle Paul. On the other end, those with wicked intent, and those who are bringing false gospels are well received and honored and praised. This is how it has been throughout the centuries. Why is it that mankind makes such big mistakes in judgments? It is because man is inclined to evil. Inclined means we are leaning towards evil, which means that we like evil and we shun what is good for us. Some in the Corinthian church were judging the Apostle Paul. He said, in I Cor 4:3,
1 Corinthians 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
1 Corinthians 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then
shall every man have praise of God.
Judge nothing before the end of time, and then shall God reveal every man's heart. It does not mean that we may not judge anything. We cannot go through life without making a proper judgment every hour. But we may not judge another person's intent, because we cannot look into their hearts. God only knows the hearts of man. In Jer 17:9 God says that the human heart "is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked". It means that we cannot trust our feelings about another man's heart, and we cannot trust even our own heart, or our own feelings. Desperately wicked! But this is how we all came into this world. We too were once among those called Desperately wicked! Therefore, how shall we not have compassion on those who are still in this stage of being Desperately wicked? And this also explains why the false gospels dominate the religions of this world.
The way verse 5 ends is a little awkward. No, not every man shall be praised by God. The Bible says that only God's elect will receive praise from Him, and every one of God's elect will receive His praise. The Greek text literally says: "Then shall every one have THE praise from God". The KJV left out the definite article THE. The ending of verse 5 means: then will not be praise from the Corinthians on their favorite teachers, but THE praise from God will be upon everyone who is a child of God.
Since the false gospels dominate the religious affairs of this world, the third point of this sermon is:
#3. Take Heed How Ye Hear (Luke 8:18)
Please turn again to the Gospel according to Luke, and I will read again the third verse of our text:
Luke 8:18, Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
Therefore, in the face of the command to Let Your Light So Shine, and in the face of opposition and persecution promised by the Lord, the Lord Jesus says in Luke 8:18, "Take heed how ye hear". In other words, there is a certain attitude expected from us when we hear the Gospel. We must hear it with humility, and with a sense of awe for the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Lord Jesus is not your buddy that you should chummy up to Him. Sure He is our friend, but He is also the mighty Maker of this almost infinite universe. He made us and He also designed for us a Gospel that is so incomprehensible from the human perspective that we cannot believe what our ears hear and what our eyes read in the Bible. It is awesome that God chose to take some of His creatures and raise them up to be as princes standing before and beside His throne. It is awesome that God chose us from before the foundation of the world, and that He carved out a path in history through which He would reach us by sending a preacher who told us the true Gospel. It is awesome that God Himself, as the second person of the triune Godhead, was sent to this earth to take on a human body and thereby change the nature of His being for all eternity future, just for our benefit. It is awesome that the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Judge of all mankind, would step down and take our place before God's judgment throne, to be our sin bearer at Calvary, and willingly paid the price that had to be paid, which is the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. It is awesome that the Lord Jesus Christ paid that price only for His those whom the Father had chosen from before the foundation of the world, and that no one else would receive the grace to believe on Him. It is awesome that God irresistibly draws those whom He intended to save; by creating in their lives such circumstances that they are forced to look to Jesus as their only hope. It is awesome that God creates a new soul within us, in which He personally dwells in a special way. It is awesome that this salvation, which is a free gift from God, is given us in this life and shall never be taken away because God's seal rests upon us.
Just like in the case of Saul of Tarsus, God knows who are His', and God will irresistibly draw them to Christ, so that they will give God all the credit and all the glory for their salvation, and for their sanctification, and for their future resurrection to the state of glory. Yes, we are called to Let our Light So Shine, but we do not convert anyone. God does the saving, from beginning to end. This alone will give God all the glory. And does this verse not begin with a warning? "Take heed therefore how ye hear". There are dreadful consequences if we do not pay attention to how we hear. But we must give God the credit if we do hear, because we can only hear if God gives us the spiritual ears to hear.
Please turn now about 50 pages to your left, to the Gospel according to Mark, chapter 4:23 (2X), where we see the same event as we have seen in Luke, chapter 8, and here we read:
Not only must we have the proper attitude when we hear the Gospel preached, but we also must pay attention to the content of the Gospel we are hearing. Is that what we are hearing in agreement with the whole Bible, from cover to cover? That is the warning in this passage of Scripture. We read:
Mark 4:23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. (Did you receive spiritual ears to hear?)
Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
Mark 4:25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
What is the content of the Gospel that we are hearing from pulpits these days? Does it contain the true Gospel like the one you have heard a few minutes ago? The Lord Jesus anticipated the proliferation of false gospels. These false gospels already popped up in the first century AD, and they are still with us today, in much greater abundance. Jesus said: "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you". In other words, if you bring a gospel of works, then know for sure that God will judge you by your works. And what is the outcome? To Hell you go! If you bring a gospel where you must burn in Purgatory to pay for your sins, then God will say: "Have it your way!" To Purgatory you go, but it will take a whole lot longer than you thought; in fact, there will be no end to it. Why would a good God give such stiff penalties? God will say: "I am a righteous Judge. Look at my Son. Even He had to endure the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, and should you go free? You shall not go free! And besides, I have warned you time and again in the Bible that "you shall not add to the words of the prophecy of this Book". I gave you the last warning in Rev 22:18-19, so you have no excuse".
That is what it means to "take heed what you hear". Now I want to explain briefly what verse 25 means. Paraphrased, this is what we should read: "For he that has Christ, to him shall be given in abundance: and he that has not Christ, from him shall be taken even all which he hath enjoyed on the earth". Therefore, in the face of all these warnings we do well to listen to the words of Heb 2:1,
Hebrews 2:1 ¶ Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Please turn about 230 pages to your right, to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 3:18 (2X). We may never credit ourselves with how we hear and what we hear. All the glory and all the credit must go to God, "For it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure". God has revealed things to us to which we must faithfully adhere. But there are many things, which God did not reveal unto us. God knew that there would rise up among us people who will be wise in their own conceits. For example they will claim to know when the Lord's return is going to take place. Or they will claim that after the Lord's return there will be a glorious 1000 years here on this sin cursed earth. Or they will claim that they received a message from God in a dream, or in a vision, or in an angel visitation, or in a tongue. All these claims are nothing but DUNG. Yes, that is a very Biblical word. It is better that we know nothing and that we become fools for Christ. We read in I Cor 3
1 Corinthians 3:18 ¶ Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
1 Corinthians 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
God says these words in the context of church building. If any man seems wise in matters concerning education within the church, check him out. Do not take his word for granted, even if he is a great Bible teacher or a preacher. This is not to say that we must have a distrustful eye on every Bible teacher. But we must know where the teacher stands concerning important doctrines. We must make a judgment concerning his teaching. And how can we know? We can only know if we ourselves have studied the Bible. Of course, if we truly have been saved we love to study the Bible, because there we read that "Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it". Christ is the Bridegroom and we are the Bride of Christ. When we read the Bible we are hearing the voice of our Bridegroom. How can we know if we truly have been saved? Do we enjoy listening to the voice of our Bridegroom? That is certainly one of the signs that indicate if we truly have been saved. Only then will we have the discernment to check out these wise men. Amen.