Number 31 December 24, 2002
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
The Implanted Word
By Jack Northart
Biblical study requires the highest degree of humility and meekness from the very start. A true student of the Bible must approach the Holy Scriptures without preconceived notions and ideas rather than seeking to substantiate his theology. We cannot study from the point of view of finding scripture verses which will give credence to our belief, but we must let the Word of God speak for itself. The Word of God means what it says and says what it means. Truth can never be held on any other tenet than it is the truth. Truth is unchangeable and unalterable; facts are momentary. Facts change, they come and go, but truth lives and abides forever, even as the combination of H2O will always produce water.
…but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith [Gr. pistis, believing] in them that heard it.
Anyone can sit in a chair or pew and call themselves a Christian. But the one feature that sets all true Christians apart from the rest of the world, is that they believe God's Word.
But without faith [pistis, believing] it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The soil of the heart must be receptive to the seed of the Word. This would not be the case in a heart that is wild and untamed - haughty and self-willed.
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness [wickedness], and receive with meekness the engrafted [implanted] word, which is able to save your souls.
When we receive the implanted Word of God with meekness, it gets into our heart and changes us on the inside. It becomes part of us. James declares that this implanted Word of God is able to save our souls. It has the power or ability to save a man's soul but must be received with meekness in order to do so. The Greek word for "meekness" in this verse means "gentleness" or "mildness" as opposed to harshness or severity. This word was used in secular literature of animals that were tame and not wild. Today the English word "meek" is used for someone who is shy and timid, but originally it was used of someone "free from haughtiness and self-will." This is its meaning here. A man who is haughty or self-willed cannot receive the "engrafted word." Consider the truth of what Jesus taught his disciples when he taught the parable of the sower and the seed.
Matthew 13: 3-9
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
In this story there were various types of soil into which the seed fell. Some seed fell on ground that was too hard. The seed could not penetrate the soil and so the birds came and ate the seed. Other seed fell upon ground that was rocky. Although the seed was able to get into the ground, the stones in the soil did not allow the young plant to grow roots sufficient to supply the plant with the necessary nutrition. Thus the heat of the sun caused the plant to wither. Still other seed fell into soil that was mixed with the seeds of thorns. Although the seed grew and was able to put down roots, the thorns grew up with it and the plant was choked. In only one type of soil was planting of the seed successful. The soil that was softened by plowing, cleared of stones and free from thorns allowed the seed to become fruitful. Christ then explained the point of his parable.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the wayside. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The seed the sower planted is the Word of God. The soil is the human heart. Those who lack understanding, those easily offended when pressures arise for the sake of the Word, and those who allow the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches to choke the Word, never produce mature fruit. Only those who sufficiently prepare their hearts will bring forth an abundance of fruit. We are responsible for the condition of our hearts. We should be careful that our hearts are sufficiently softened and cleared of "rocks" and "thorns" so that we can receive with meekness the implanted Word. It is only the implanted Word of God that can really give us wholeness in our lives. It makes us complete people living fulfilled lives.