THE BIBLE + GOOD SOIL → ?
If you buried a sunflower seed in the garden, what would spring up (assuming the soil is good for growing plants)? If you planted a tomato seed, you know what plant will grow. To rework a point Jesus made in Matthew 7, are grapevines grown from pumpkin seeds, or oranges from apple seeds?
In Luke 8 Jesus told a parable in which “the seed is the word of God” which is sown in different soils, yielding different results. But different soils did not change what sprouted; they only changed how well it grew and bore fruit. The seed still produced the same kind of plant.
Now think about it: if the pure seed of God’s word — without adding any human doctrines and traditions — is sown in good soil (what Christ called “a noble and good heart” in Luke 8:15), what would result? Would it produce a Catholic? A JW? A Baptist? These and a host of other religions are unheard of in the scriptures! So what would the Bible on its own produce in a person with a noble and good heart, someone who just wants to obey the truth? The scriptures themselves answer that question for us…
And the word of God kept spreading, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem was increasing greatly, and a large number of priests began obeying the faith.
Acts 6:7 LEB
And it came about that for a whole year they assembled with the church and instructed many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Acts 11:26 EMTV
Then those who gladly received his word were baptised; and that day about three thousand souls were added. And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:41-42 EMTV
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women. . . . Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God… Acts 8:12,14 EMTV
There’s the answer: the word of God with no additives, sown in noble and good hearts, produces disciples of Christ — simply Christians. Isn’t that better than being anything else? From our experience, it is! Just taking the Bible as our sole authority in the faith is a daily adventure in faith, relying not on human doctrines and institutions, but living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Somebody put it this way:
“The Bible only makes Christians only.”
Now the parable means this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they won’t believe and be saved.
Those on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.
And the ones which fell among the thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
But those on the good soil, these are those who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold on to it, and bear fruit with perseverance.