Are You Fruitful ?

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Are You Fruitful?

Luke 13:6-9 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that[a] you can cut it down.’”

In Luke 13:6-9 we read of the parable of the fig tree. Jesus often used parables,which were usually stories containing analogies between things of an earthly nature and things of a spiritual nature, to teach certain lessons. By doing this, Jesus taught moral or spiritual lessons by relating them to things that people already understood. That is certainly the case with this parable. An important lesson can be learned from this parable for the modern-day Christian about the seriousness of being fruitful in our spiritual lives. The importance of this lesson cannot be overstated because every Christian, at some point in their spiritual life, has become content with the progress he/she has made. As a result, this leads to spiritual laziness, which is something that is not acceptable in our service to the God of Heaven.

A similar lesson is also taught in John 15:1-8. In this parable, the vineyard mentioned represents the church of our Lord. The fig tree planted in the vineyard, represents a single Christian working within the vineyard. Jesus says that the fig tree is not fruitful; therefore, it should be cast down because it is useless. Christ even says “why cumbereth it the ground?” meaning there’s no reason for the church to be burdened down and hindered because its members are rendered unfruitful. It is pointless for the ground to bear a tree that is dead and unproductive. So is the case with the church. There are far too many members who burden and hinder the efforts of the church because they are content with their spiritual positions. They have become complacent and therefore, unfruitful. They are useless! Not because they do not have the ability to be useful, but because they are not developing their abilities to better serve God. There is no room for this in the church!

The point that needs to be made is that it is the job of every Christian throughout our life to grow to our full spiritual potential. In order to do so, we cannot afford to waste time. There is no room in our lives for complacency. It is a constant process of growth all throughout life. If you are not taking steps forward everyday, then you are taking steps backward. There is no neutrality in the Christian growth process. For this reason, we must strive to grow daily! We must be consistent! No, it is not a process that happens overnight, but taking steps forward day after day can help us reach our full spiritual potential at the end of our lives. If we become unfruitful, we will reap the same fate as the unfruitful fig tree. We will be cast down and removed from God in the last day.

Colby Culbertson

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Here’s Your Sign

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Here’s Your Sign

​ Before idea of astrology even originated, signs were used to symbolize covenants between God and man. A covenant is a binding agreement between two individuals. God does not easily forget His covenants (promises), but man does. Deuteronomy 4:23 says, “So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you.” Because man is so apt to forget, God would often times use human methods or signs to help man remember divine covenants such as is referenced to in Deut. 4. In the Old Testament (OT) there were three particular signs mentioned in scripture.

​ The first sign between God and man was a rainbow. Moses records in Gen. 9:13, “I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Every time a rainbow appears in the sky, man is reminded of this covenant between God and man from thousands of years ago. Because the rainbow exists, man can be confident the covenant exists.

Following are the three other covenantal signs listed in the Bible. The covenant God made with Abram in Gen. 12 was given the sign of circumcision. God made a covenant with the children of Israel in Moses’ day on Mt. Sinai. In Exodus 31:13, Moses reveals that the Sabbath day was a sign of that covenant on Mt. Sinai. Last of all, the Lord Jesus instituted the New Covenant while on earth and said in Luke 22:20, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood…”

All four signs –the rainbow, circumcision, the Sabbath, and the cup- were made as a proof and reminder. Thus, whenever one of those signs cease to exist, man can know for sure that the covenant has been dissolved altogether. This is an important detail to keep in mind when discussing the fulfillment of the OT. Because the Sabbath is nowhere required in the New Testament (NT) scriptures, man can be confident that the OT has been done away with as the Hebrew writer directly states in Hebrews 8:13. To require the Sabbath or any other law today would be wrong because the law, as well as the sign, has disappeared from the NT law. Consider this whenever discussing the contrast between the OT and NT.

Aaron Battey