Oct 29, 2008

Allusions to the Parable in the Epistles

The teachings of Christ are evident in the epistles. In fact, it can be argued that the teachings in the epistles are but elaborations and enlargements of the teachings of Christ, with very little in the way of substantially new revelation.

For instance, what Christ taught about his second coming, particularly in the Olivet Discourse, is reflected in the epistles where the second coming is discussed.

It is also true that the Parable of the Sower and Seed is enlarged upon and alluded to in the epistles. Here are some examples where the parable is alluded to, in my opinion. I believe this list can be added to, but it is a good sampling.

"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does." (James 1: 21-25 NIV)

"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain." (I Corinthians 15: 1, 2 NIV)

"They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had (really) belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them (really)belonged to us." (I John 2: 19 NIV)

"Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (I Corinthians 10: 11, 12 KJV)

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17: 11 KJV)

"We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain." (II Corinthians 6: 1 KJV)

"And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost." (I Thessalonians 1: 6 KJV)

"For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." (I Thessalonians 2: 13 KJV)

"...they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (II Thessalonians 2: 10 KJV)

"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." (Hebrews 10: 26 KJV)

"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." (Revelation 3: 3 KJV)

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (Romans 10: 17 NIV)

In these passages, one sees a reference to how one "hears" the gospel, or "receives" the "seed," and how various disciples fit into one of the four categories given by Christ in the parable.

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