Jesus stated this in John 12:24…”verily, verily, I say to you, if the grain of the wheat, having fallen to the earth, may not die, itself remaineth alone; and if it may die, it doth bear much fruit;”(YLT)
In nature, a seed has to germinate, in other words die, before it can produce any fruit. In this germination, the seed’s outer shell must break open after it’s been planted in ground, After this happens, it begins to grow upwards, and it’s roots start growing outward and downward, firmly placing itself in the ground. It has to have a solid foundation for any growth to take place. It also has to be fertilized, weeded, and watered to help it grow. As Apostle Paul so poignantly stated…”I planted, Apollos watered, but God was giving growth; so that neither is he who is planting anything, nor he who is watering, but He who is giving growth — God.”(1 Cor. 3:6,7 YLT)
Now, you may think that this is the most obvious of titles I could use, but I want to make this a personal matter. I know, and so do you, dear reader, that the grain of wheat Jesus was speaking about was concerning Himelf, and His resurrection that was to follow three days after His death on the cross. You can read verses such as….”and we also are found false witnesses of God, because we did testify of God that He raised up the Christ, whom He did not raise if then dead persons do not rise;”(1 Cor. 15:15 YLT), and, “and if Christ hath not risen, vain is your faith, ye are yet in your sins;”(1 Cor. 15-17 YLT). If Christ was still buried, we would still be without hope in this world. Yet, Christ overcame the world, and satan also, when He sprung forth from the grave. We are victorious because He is victorious and fought and won the battle for us…a battle we could not win versus satan on our own.
Now on to what I am hoping to convey to you. I had a ‘head knowledge’ of Jesus Christ pretty much all my life. I was raised in a non-christian home, but we were ‘taught’ about God, and what Jesus did. We were raised to be respectful of others, and especially christians. If we would have mocked a christian, dad would have ‘dusted’ our britches pretty good, and deservedly so. But this ‘head knowledge’ wasn’t profittable to me whatsoever. This knowledge is carnal, and the carnal minded is at enmity with God, and is not subject unto His laws, and neither indeed can be.(Romans 8:7) The flesh, the natural man, does not receive the things of the Spirit because they are foolishness to him, and he can not know them because they are Spiritually discerned(1 Cor. 2:14) It takes something much deeper than that to truly realize the work that Christ did, in which this power saves sinners. You have to truly realize that Christ died for you, and this must first be sown in the heart of a sinner, in what is called regeneration. When God began drawing me, I truly realized that God sent His Son to die for some wretch such as I, one who was self-loving, wanted nothing to do with Him, ran the bars, chased the women, &c. I ‘knew’ with my cranium that Jesus died for me, yet it hadn’t been truly sown in the heart. It was when I came to this realization, His Seed had already been sown in my heart, this seed died, germinated, took root and raised in my heart. It then began producing the fruits of the Spirit such as faith and repentance.
Jesus spoke in Matthew 13 about the sower and the seed, the seed being the words of the gospel, even able to save the soul. In four places the seed was sown, yet in only one place did it bring forth fruit. It was the soil that had been toiled and became good ground. The seed was just as good in the wayside, the stony ground, and the thorns, yet those grounds would not allow it to take root and produce fruit. It takes God to plow through a sinner’s stony heart, to ‘turn the soil’, and then, and only then, can that seed take root and produce fruit.(Matthew 13:1-23) John also wrote in John 1….”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; this one was in the beginning with God; all things through him did happen, and without him happened not even one thing that hath happened.”(vss 1-3 YLT) Jesus was, and is, the Word that was made flesh and dwelled amongst us.(John 1:14) He was made of the seed of Abraham.(Hebrews 2:16) This Seed died a little over 2,000 years ago, yet He must die, germinate, in your heart personally, take up root and spring forth, which will bring forth fruit worthy of repentance.(Matthew 3:8 & Luke 3:8)
Now to back up some in Matthew 13 before closing. Jesus stated something after He had told them the parable…YLT uses the word ‘simile’…and before He explained that parable/simile to His disciples, He stated thusly…He who is having ears to hear — let him hear. Now, why did He said this? It’s easy. He had sheep there, and they were the ones He would reveal His parables/similies to. It was they who had ears to hear with, the others were tone deaf to the voice of God. Any sinner who comes to God, biblically speaking that is, they must have eyes to see with, ears to hear with, a heart that has received the seed, to be truly able to come to God in faith and repentance. This Seed, Christ, must die, germinate, take root, and raise in their heart to be saved.
I will leave with with this….”Be not led astray, my brethren beloved; every good giving, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, with whom is no variation, or shadow of turning; having counselled, He did beget us with a word of truth, for our being a certain first-fruit of His creatures. So then, my brethren beloved, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the wrath of a man the righteousness of God doth not work; wherefore having put aside all filthiness and superabundance of evil, in meekness be receiving the engrafted word, that is able to save your souls; and become ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves, because, if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one hath been like to a man viewing his natural face in a mirror, for he did view himself, and hath gone away, and immediately he did forget of what kind he was; and he who did look into the perfect law — that of liberty, and did continue there, this one — not a forgetful hearer becoming, but a doer of work — this one shall be happy in his doing.”(James 1:16-25 YLT)
Faith and repentance are gifts of God, as I already posted from James 1. Also, these gifts are without repentance…in other words, we’re not able to turn them down. All this starts in a sinner’s life after that Seed dies, germinates, takes root and raises in their heart.
Willis Fletcher, Jr.