Meditations: SOTM8 Matt 5:3 (5)
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Lord spends so much time teaching the gospel of the Kingdom, it is vital that we meditate on the fact that it is a KINGDOM we enter when we believe in Him. In light of the importance to the Lord of establishing His Kingdom, and the great lack in the Body of revelation that we are priests in that Kingdom, we will spend some time meditating on Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom in Mat 13.
Mat 13:3-9; 18-23… And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.” … “Hear then the parable of the sower: 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. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
The very first “parable of the Kingdom” recorded is of the 4 soils. It teaches us how the Kingdom grows – by the spreading of the Word of God as seed which grows and bares fruit. Father desires that all believe, repent and be saved (1 Tim 2:4), yet not all will. What then is the distinction between those who do and those who do not?
“He who has ears, let him hear.”
It is the ears of hearing, which this parable tells us is the heart which has the capacity to receive the truth; and it is the poor in Spirit who hear.
Different people have different capacity to receive the truth of the Kingdom of God because it is difficult, costly, self-effacing, nevertheless true. Some have none at all (the first soil) – they cannot accept the truth that they are sinners who will be justly condemned to hell apart from the mercy of God, provided by the One Way of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and eternal reign; some have a little but not enough to live the truth through hardship (the second soil) or to live the truth at the cost of life’s pleasures and comforts and grand pursuits (the third soil). These accept they are not perfect and it is nice to have a Saviour who would die for our sins, so they will become “christians”. They will go to church, drink less, swear little, and do more good; but they will not have Him as King. They will not bring their entire lives under the reign of the loving, dying Saviour Who is also the Eternal King of the Universe, and so they will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Why not? They have too much to live for and they are not such bad people. They sin for sure, but they are not so bad that they need to give every decision into His hands and trust His reign in their hearts for right living. They are not thoroughly rotten to the core; only a little imperfect some times. They have not been crushed by the revelation of their filth under the righteous requirements of a perfectly Holy and just God and their own inability to simply live out that path which is the path of joy and fulfilment and the just requirement of the Almighty and their Saviour: perfect love for God and others. Simply: they are not broken, contrite, poor in Spirit. They have not come to a place where their whole life is utterly worthless without the reign of the King, because of their own corruption and brokenness, and so there is nothing to lose by giving up living for self and by self and giving everything to the King. So they refuse to submit to the King and live to bare the beautiful fruit the King calls us to bare. His one purpose in the earth today is not our comfort and pleasure, but Kingdom fruit in a war for souls. If we will not live for His purpose of the fruit of souls won to the Kingdom and matured in Christ, we rebel against His Kingly reign, because that is His commission to His servants. It is to come under His righteous reign and so bare the fruit of souls won to the Kingdom that we were called and only those who come under His reign willing to live to bare Kingdom fruit will enter the Kingdom (Mat 13:23).
Why “fruit”? It is more of the same. Seed bares fruit, which bares seed which bares fruit, which bares seed which bars fruit. So then that which bares fruit is that which produces seed and puts it in good soil so that it will bare fruit. Those who bare fruit are those who’s own lives are animated by the Word of God in their hearts, and who therefore share the Word of God under the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that more of that same fruit is born (other people are born into the Kingdom through the Word of faith in their heart, and then mature in the Word and themselves bare more fruit).
As we will see in the many parables of the Kingdom, we are saved by grace through faith and we are judged by works that bare fruit, which is the evidence of being saved by grace through faith. The Lord’s teachings leave no room for any to enter His Kingdom who have the opportunity to bare good fruit and do not.
What about the man on the cross beside Jesus, and all those who receive salvation in the last moments with no chance to bare fruit? Well of course the Lord alone is the judge of the heart. He judges whether a man is truly saved based on the state of their heart, whether His Spirit has truly entered their heart, made them new creatures in Christ. But we are told how He will judge those who live long enough to bare fruit – by whether or not there is fruit.
Praise God, this does not put any pressure on us whatsoever, who are born into the Kingdom under the reign of the King. Because if we come under His righteous reign, He has all grace for us to bare fruit. It is as natural as seed planted in good soil.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Eph 2:8-10 (ESV) [emphasis added]
He chose before the foundation of the world the works we should walk in; He knit us together in our mother’s womb, formed us in her inward parts exactly as we should be for those works; He equipped us through our upbringing, experiences, education, etc; and most importantly He granted us new hearts and renewed minds and the Great Holy Spirit’s mighty empowerment and leadership so that as we abide in Christ, the automatic result of that fellowship with Him will be fruit.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:1-11 (ESV)
The Kingdom of Christ is a Kingdom that is growing day to day by the fruit born from good soil – hearts knit together in intimacy with the King, and so from love and adoration for the King committed to serve the King in His mission of bringing the mercy of His Kingdom into this world.
The Lord calls us to test ourselves, whether we be in the faith. Are we living for the King? Is our whole life – all motives, thoughts, desires, plans and actions – bent on this one purpose of fellowship with the King in which we are both His beloved – His prize and treasure for His own enjoyment – and also His instruments to bare fruit and enlarge the territory of His Kingdom? Are we baring the fruit of the Kingdom? “He who has ears, let him hear.”
Original date of work: 24 Jan 2011
By: J Goldberg