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Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter – an excellent home, Satan’s attack upon it.

RUTH-4-180504
length: 63:58 - taught on May, 4 2018
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Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - an excellent home, Satan’s attack upon it.

 

Some insight into the means that Satan uses to deceive believers into blindness concerning their current home with Christ comes from the parable of the sower.

 

MAR 4:10 And as soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.

 

MAR 4:11 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables,

 

MAR 4:12 in order that while seeing, they may see and not perceive; and while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return [turn towards Christ] and be forgiven." 

 

MAR 4:13 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables?

 

MAR 4:14 "The sower sows the word.

 

MAR 4:15 "And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.

 

Satan uses lies and deception to attack the gospel. The Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning it. He convicts the world concerning their sin of unbelief. Yet still some fail to understand and so do not believe.

 

LUK 8:12

then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved.

 

MAT 13:19

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.

 

The lack of understanding is stated as separate from the act of Satan snatching the gospel away. In Luke’s account, the devil’s snatching away results in them not believing in Christ leading to salvation.

 

The understanding would therefore have to be tied to the individual’s choice. Each person is surrounded by lies concerning their worldview.

 

A worldview has within it: 1) origin, 2) meaning, 3) morality, 4) destiny. Where have we come from, what has meaning, what is good and evil, and what is our end.

 

Think of the plethora of lies that exist concerning all four. I think of those people in Athens when Paul mentioned the resurrection. They were already convinced that resurrection was impossible. Five hundred years before Paul stated it, the tragedian Aeschylus wrote of the god Apollo saying: “When the dust has soaked up a man’s blood, Once he is death, there is no resurrection.”

 

In application to the parable of the sower, due to their rejection of resurrection, when told that the God of the universe resurrected, they did not understand, nor did they care to. Yet some in the audience of Paul did come to believe, and they were Athenians who were brought up with the same lie concerning resurrection.

 

The Spirit is not mentioned in this parable, but one would have to conclude that the Spirit’s ministry is aimed at this understanding, for without it the momentum runs quickly to unbelief. What is amazing and tragic is that man can resist even the Holy Spirit.

 

We are sure to understand that Satan’s attack on the gospel is not limited to the unbeliever, but also the believer feels the same attacks. The believer understands the things of the kingdom of God, but sometimes sight overwhelms faith and we doubt or we go spiritually blind for a while.

 

Fighting to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus will strengthen and confirm our faith.

 

1PE 5:10

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

 

This suffering is the same as described by Paul in 2Co 12 as coming from Satan, external pressure and persecution that causes weakness and anguish. Satan is not a myth or a fairytale. He is real and actively opposing your vision and hearing and thinking.

 

1PE 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

 

1PE 5:7 casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.

 

Anxiety or worry remove our eyes from our home in Christ. Throw them upon Him and believe that He will bear that burden.

 

1PE 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

 

1PE 5:9 But resist him, firm [solid or rigid] in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

 

“firm” - stereos = solid, firm, rigid, or strong.

 

Fighting to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus will strengthen and confirm our faith.

 

1PE 5:10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

 

1PE 5:11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

Each believer is called to believe things that eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has entered into the mind of men. Firm in your faith means unmoving or unbending. We are called to believe that which is exceeding abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think.

 

MAR 4:14 "The sower sows the word.

 

MAR 4:15 "And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.

 

MAR 4:16 "And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;

 

MAR 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

 

Matthew’s account is the same, yet in Luke’s we get a little more.

 

LUK 8:13

“And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.”

 

Some would say that this second group are believers who fall away to carnality and others would say they are only professing believers who never did believe in Christ as their Savior. Notice that Jesus doesn’t reveal if they are His saints or not, and so, that is not a question that we ask in this parable. What we focus on is the temptation that results in falling away.

 

We can imagine an unbeliever dwelling on the gospel for a while without rejecting it but also not believing it and then at some point rejecting it. My focus in this study is the attacks of Satan upon the believer in which his goal is to get our eyes off of our Lord.

 

Mark and Matthew have affliction and persecution and Luke has temptation.

 

MAR 4:18 "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word,

 

MAR 4:19 and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

 

Again, Matthew’s account is pretty much the same, whereas Luke adds a bit more.

 

LUK 8:14

“And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity [mature fruit].”

 

We cannot conclude that Jesus is referring to spiritual maturity but that fruit grew to maturity or total ripeness.

 

Again, those who focus on determining whether category three refers to believer or unbeliever would use the mention of mature fruit. Some would say that no mature fruit means no fruit and that they are unbelievers, while others would conclude that it simply means immature fruit and that they are immature believers. Jesus doesn’t make it certain and so we should leave that question alone when learning the parable of the sower.

 

The attack of Satan upon the believer, in this case is worry and lust for riches and pleasure, are designed to halt fruit production. Being at home with Christ and the Father, the Christian produces much fruit because he is faithful, courageous, and loving.

 

What we are to consider in the parable is who we are to be. We are to be a home in security, in power, and bearing fruit in a world that has been organized by its prince, Satan, to oppose the gospel and the truth. Believers are under full attack to be timid, afraid, worried, and not at peace or filled with joy.

 

Satan discredits the gospel and the truth. He brings persecution and affliction. He dangles the carrot of riches and other lusts. He spreads news designed to cause worry.

 

If we revisit worldview, life must have meaning. What is our meaning in a world that holds nothing for us? The world is dark, it is filled to the brim with ignorance, and the judgments coming upon it, which none of them know, are awful.

 

The believer’s meaning is to think and walk as Christ in the midst of darkness and opposition. You and I must find meaning in this alone, and when we do, our joy will be made full.

 

It doesn’t matter that anyone sees it. We are not to perform our righteousness in order to be seen by men. You and I must find meaning in this alone, and when we do, our joy will be made full.

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