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Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 30) - Luk 8:11-15

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For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse.

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace

29. Luk 8:11-15
A. "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12) Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13) They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 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." (Luk 8:11-15)
B. Does the parable of the sower teach that men can believe to get eternal life, or that a man can have eternal life for a season and then lose it when he falls away due to temptation or because of the cares and pleasures of life?
C. Luke's account states that those in each of the four groups heard the word of God (Luk 8:11-15).
i. Neither Mark's nor Luke's account make any mention of any of the groups understanding the word.
ii. Matthew's account states that the first group did not understand the word (Mat 13:19).
iii. Matthew's account only specifically states that the fourth group understood the word (Mat 13:23), which, at the least, implies that groups two and three did not understand it.
iv. Not understanding the word of God is indicative of reprobation (spiritual death) (Rom 3:11).
v. Therefore, there is good indication that the first three groups are not children of God.
D. From a cursory reading of it, Luke's account at first appears to imply that those in the first group could believe and be saved (Luk 8:12).
i. Matthew's account states that those in this group don't understand the word (Mat 13:19) which means they are not able to believe, in that one must have understanding to believe the gospel (1Jo 5:20).
ii. The devil snatches up the word to ensure that they are prevented (lest) from believing it and being saved (does Satan believe in Arminianism?) (Luk 8:12).
iii. Belief is the evidence of eternal life, not the cause of it (See Joh 5:24 - Section III), and therefore even if they could believe, they would be obtaining a temporal salvation by it, not eternal salvation (see Section II,7,B on Temporal Salvation).
E. Those in the second group are said to have no root and receive the word with joy, but quickly fall away when persecution comes (Luk 8:13).
i. These are those who, having no root, and therefore no fruit, will be plucked up and cast away (Jud 1:12).
ii. In order for branches to bear holy fruit, the root must be holy (Rom 11:16); but if they have no root, they can bear no fruit.
iii. Christians are rooted in Christ (Col 2:6-7).
iv. Being rooted enables understanding and stability (Eph 3:16-19).
v. Therefore, this group shows no evidence of being in Christ.
vi. Even if this group were understood to be children of God who fell away in time of persecution, they could never fall away eternally and lose their eternal life (Joh 10:28-29).
F. Those in the third group have the word choked by the cares, pleasures, riches, and lusts of life and they bring forth no fruit (Luk 8:14; Mar 4:7,19).
i. No fruit is an evidence of reprobation (Jud 1:12).
ii. Jesus cursed a fig tree that bore no fruit (Mat 21:19).
iii. Bearing no fruit is not a guarantee of reprobation, but it is an evidence of it (See Luk 3:9 - Section III).
G. Those in groups two and three appear to experience a conversion for a time before falling away.
i. Group two is even said to believe the word for a while (Luk 8:13).
ii. Jesus went on to teach just a few verses later that there are those who will have what they seem to have taken away from them (Luk 8:18).
iii. Groups two and three seemed to have a conversion, but what they seemed to have was taken away when the going got tough.
iv. The Bible elsewhere shows that ground that doesn't produce fruit is rejected (Heb 6:7-9).
v. There are those who tag along for a while, but were never with the program (1Jo 2:19).
vi. There are children of the devil who creep into the church from time to time (Jud 1:4).
vii. There are false converts who profess to know and believe in Christ, but He never knew them (Mat 7:21-23; Tit 1:16; 2Ti 3:5).
H. Those in group four are the only ones said to have a good and honest heart (Luk 8:15), which strongly suggests that they are the only group who are regenerate children of God (Jer 17:9 c/w Eze 36:26-27).
i. Those in this group are the only ones said to understand the word (Mat 13:23), which also suggests that they are the only group who are children of God (Rom 3:11).
ii. This is the only group said to bring forth fruit -- some more than others, but they all brought forth fruit.
iii. Bringing forth fruit is evidence of eternal life (Gal 5:22-23; Mat 12:35).
iv. This is the only group said to keep the word (Luk 8:15), which shows that they love Jesus and God loves them (Joh 14:21 c/w 1Jo 4:19), and that their faith is not dead (Jam 2:20).
I. Understanding the parable of the sower as teaching that the first three groups are not children of God, and that only those in the last group are, is in keeping with the big picture of the salvation of men; that being that many are on the road that leads to destruction and few are on the road that leads to life (Luk 13:23-24 c/w Mat 7:13-14).

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace