July 1, 2012 – Pastor Tim – “Planting of the Seed” – Click to download
1 Corinthians 3:6 and 9 (GNT), “I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God who made the plant grow…9 For we are partners working together for God, and you are God’s field.
Don’t we all wonder how to get God’s promises fulfilled? Everyone on earth has been “bought with a price” to be the Lord’s garden in which His “imperishable seed” is to grow and be cultivated and produce its wonders. Real Christians are God’s “farm” — His “husbandry” — His “field” — His “garden.” A “field” belongs to its owner. So Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” God holds the title deed. We are absolutely His. We belong to Him by right of creation and by right of preservation. But the greatest fact is that we belong to Him by right of redemption—because He “bought” us with an infinite price, to be His field.
Paul said to the Corinthians, “I planted the seed.” In the parable of the sower, Jesus said, “The seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11) Peter said in 1 Peter 1:23, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” God brings about His wonderful harvests in the same way a farmer does. In Luke 8:5 Jesus said, “A sower went out to sow his seed.” It is God’s word or seed that lets us know what to trust Him for. Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
It is God’s will for us to understand and know that His Word (the seed) can accomplish sign, wonders and miracles in our lives, God wants all His “seed” planted. God’s purpose in creating seed was that it might be planted in “good ground” where it could germinate and “grow” and “bring forth fruit.” So Paul said, “I planted the seed.” The seed is powerless until it is planted. The infinite price God paid for the “field” reveals the importance of planting the “imperishable seed.” All of God’s wonderful works are potentially in the “seed.”
David said in Psalm 111:7-9,
“The works of His hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established forever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for His people;
He ordained His covenant forever—
holy and awesome is His name.” God’s work is done in faithfulness to His promises. God’s works are prevented until the seed is in “good ground.” The devil wins when the seed is not planted, watered and allowed to grow. God’s design for us all is that we spend our lives making possible the germination and growth of the “imperishable seed.” Nothing can take the place of the seed, not even prayer. Prayer is not the seed; the Word of God is the seed. The only purpose of God’s promises is their fulfillment. They are all a revelation of what He is eager to do for us.
Peter, with the help of the Holy Spirit, describes it this way in 2 Peter 1:3-4, “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The greatness of these “exceedingly great and precious promises” or seeds are seen in their ability to meet all our needs and to fill all our capabilities. These absolute “exceedingly great and precious promises” remove all reason for doubt and gives us perfect reasons upon which to base our expectations. As “seed,” they cannot be changed. They therefore accomplish their wonderful results at any time and in any garden in which they are planted.
It is the business of Christians to prove to the world by actual demonstration that the promises of God are as true today as they were two thousand years ago. They were given to be known, and recognized, claimed, and pleaded in prayer.
In Romans 4:12, God speaks of Christians as those “who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham” meaning that we should all treat every promise God has made to us exactly as Abraham treated God’s promise to him. Can it be that God is less real to men of this Holy Spirit dispensation than He was to those who lived in the shadows of “better things”? Hebrews 8:6, “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Jesus said to some of the Jews in His day in John 8:37, “My word hath no place in you.” What place should the Word of God have in us? It ought to obtain and retain an inside place in our thoughts, our memory, our conscience, and our affections. It ought to obtain and retain in us a place of honor, reverence, faith, love, and obedience. It ought to obtain and retain in us a place of authority.
Millions of people have sung the hymn, “Standing on the Promises of God,” while the fact is that most of God’s promises are never claimed by most church members today. Standing on the promises of God means to get them fulfilled; it means to appropriate the blessing that each promise reveals; it means to pray “the prayer of faith” for their fulfillment. Neglecting them is equivalent to undoing what their fulfillment would mean if it were already accomplished. Their preciousness should determine our love and esteem of them. Paul was glad to say, “I planted the seed.” If all farmers treated their seed as millions of church members today treat God’s “imperishable seed,” the world would starve to death.
In the seed there are infinite possibilities. Matthew 13:23, “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” This is why it should be said of everyone. As it was at the beginning of the church, “They gladly received the Word.” Acts 2:41, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
In the plainest Bible text there is a world of blessing, just as in a little seed there is a potential tree a million times bigger than the seed. One verse of Scripture allowed to germinate in a human heart may grow into a harvest of thousands of conversions and the “eternal glory” which follows. One kernel of wheat can, in time, cover a continent and feed nations; and the result of cultivating the “imperishable seed” are as much greater and more desirable than the harvests of material seed as the heavens are higher than the earth. Only the “imperishable seed” can bring about imperishable results. The Bible says, “Every seed bringeth forth after its kind.” Each promise, by the blessing promised, reveals the nature of the harvest of promises fulfilled. Next week we will talk about watering.
Scripture verses are quoted in New King James Version unless other wise noted