Vol.XX No.IV Pg.5
June 1983

Use Your Bible

Dan S. Shipley

The Honest And Good Heart


1. The popular parable of the sower (Lk. 8:4-15) depicts different attitudes men manifest toward the word of God. While the parable deals with four kinds of "soil", in reality there are only two; the kind that will not receive the word (effectively) and the kind that will, the honest and good heart. Note some characteristics of such a heart....

I. AN ATTENTIVE HEART ("having heard the word..")

A. Even the powerful gospel cannot influence those who do not hear (Rom. 10) 1. Those who will not hear God's truth (all of it) will forever be making wrong and prejudiced decisions in spiritual matters

B. When God speaks, men need to hearken 1. Jer .6:19 "they have not hearkened unto my words..." 2. 1 Sam. 15:22 "..to hearken (better) than fat of rams" 3. Lk. 10:16 To hear apostles is to hear Father and Son

II. A DISCERNING HEART (recognize and value Divine truth)

A. As the Bereans (Acts 17:11) determined "whether these things were so" 1. Encouraged in Philippians (Phil. 1:10), see footnote in ASV 2. Commended in the Thessalonians (1 Thss. 2:13) 3. Source test always important ("from heaven or men?", Matt. 21:25)

B. "Prove all things" (1 Thss. 5:21) 1. Without proving, cannot know or hold fast to that which is good

III. A FAITHFUL HEART ("holds fast the word")

A. Ultimate purpose of Truth realized in this quality 1. From "KATECHO", "to hold firmly, to keep firm possession of", i.e., allowing Truth to influence disposition and deportment continually. 2. Note the condition of faithfulness in 1 Cor. 15:1,2 ("if ye hold fast..") 3. Encouraged, 2 Thess. 2:15

B. Implications of holding fast the word 1. Allowing it to completely control our lives, refusing to compromise it for peace, favor or gain 2. Hold it fast when tempted, tried, discouraged, "in season and out" 3. Lest we drift (Heb. 2:1)

IV. A FRUITFUL HEART ("bring forth fruit..")

A. Fruitfulness always in connection with the word (i.e., doing Truth) 1. Herein is God glorified (Jn. 15:8) 2. This is His word working in His people (1 Thss. 2:13) 3. The fulfillment of Paul's prayer (Col. 1:10) 4. May we all cultivate such a heart....