Brought Forth by the Word of Truth
It is God’s will for His elect, redeemed people to receive Christ (Jn 1:12–13). Jesus Christ is the Word of God, incarnate (Jn 1:1, 14). He was enfleshed to become like us, yet without sin (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15). Because Jesus is God’s only begotten Son (Jn 3:16), when He spoke, men heard the voice of God (Jn 10:27).
When Jesus created all things (Col 1:16), He merely spoke them into existence (Gen 1:1, 3), “Then God said…” We learn the same about our salvation from the Apostle James, “In the exercise of His will, He brought us forth by the Word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures (Jas 1:18).”
What is able to save your soul? It is the seed of the Word implanted in your heart (Jas 1:21). It is the Spirit-filled preacher who is the seed planter. He preaches the Word, in season and out of season (2 Tim 4:2) that the Word would fall on good soil, even if most of what is said falls elsewhere (Mt 13:1–9). This seed is the Word of life. It gives life to whom the Father intends. This life is in God’s Son, and whoever has God’s Son has eternal life (Jn 3:36; 1 Jn 5:12).
The Bible, God’s Word, was written so that we would know we have eternal life (1 Jn 5:13). Jesus, the Word, claimed He was the life (Jn 14:6). The life of God in the soul of man is the Spirit of Christ, who moved men along to write the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20–21). Where the Holy Spirit is abounding, so is the Word of God (Jn 16:13; 17:17).
In the matter of man-centered theology, does the soil make the free will choice to be good soil, as opposed to rocky? Of course not, God prepared some soil for farming (Iowa) and other soils for other purposes (Arizona). He has done the same with human vessels (Rom 9:22–23).
If one is known by his fruit (Mt 7:16, 20; 12:33), whether it be good or bad, then it is a result of the soil and the seed. God’s Word is good, and the good soil is cultivated and nurtured by Him to be what He intends it to be.
When God implants His Word of life in His chosen vessel (Jas 1:21), it is a work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit nurtures the Word in the soul of God’s regenerate people. He plants it, and it grows to maturity. It produces good fruit that remains (Jn 15:16). This is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22–23), so that Christians are known by their fruit (e. g. love; peace; patience; etc.).
The bringing forth of a Christian is not just a beginning, but it is a life — the life of God growing tall, strong, and productive where the Word of truth was planted. The believer (good soil) ever remains the good soil because God has promised to maintain His field of productivity until the end (Phil 1:6). The believer is the house where the Word of God dwells. The Spirit lives there, too (1 Cor 6:19). This is what makes a Christian what he is in contrast with the unbeliever, void of the Spirit and the Word.
The concept of first fruits is important. At the beginning of the harvest season, the first ripened is called “the first fruits.” The rest of the harvest is known for its quality, by the quality of the first fruits. Thus, regarding time, it is first, and regarding quality, it is first of its kind.
Just as Jesus was the first fruits of the resurrection (1 Cor 15:20), we know something of our glorified bodies in the future resurrection from the dead (Jn 5:25–29; 1 Cor 15). So it is with the regeneration of every believer (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). The born again are representative of the future harvest, of more and more believers of a certain kind.
A fruit inspector knows the kind and quality of a certain harvest produce. There are many features and qualities to an adopted child of God (Rom 8:15, 23), growing in grace and knowledge (2 Pet 3:18). Foremost is the evidence of the Spirit, who planted the Word and causes it to grow (1 Cor 3:7). The soil loves the fact that it has become a place of productivity. When one surveys an orchard with its rows of trees, some very old and some newly planted, it is obvious there was an original design, a planted seed, a tree, and now, fruit in maturity.
From the fruit come even more seeds, which will follow the first fruits. The day of harvest is appointed in season. This is the Day of the Lord, when Jesus Christ returns (Mt 24–25; Mk 13; Lk 21). The wheat and the tares will be gathered and then separated in the judgment (Mt 13:30).
It is not the will of the soil, or even a branch grafted into the Vine (Jn 15), to choose to be what it is in God’s designed orchard. It is the will of God to choose, cultivate, and plant wherever He may. Just as the Potter has power over the clay to do with it as He pleases (Jer 18; Rom 9:21), so the Farmer or the Vinedresser has the power to plant what He wishes, wherever He wishes.
The believer rejoices in this view of our sovereign God because that is what he was made to do, by God. The unbeliever finds no value in the Word of truth because God has not brought him forth to be anything other than a vessel of wrath prepared for destruction (Rom 9:22). The wicked were made by God for the day of evil (Prv 16:4). They do not belong to Christ (Jn 10:26).
Christian, you have been and you are now being brought forth by God’s Word of truth. The spiritual seed of that Word is producing all kinds of fruit. This is the evidence of who you are, and it is the testimony of why you do what you do, to the glory of God.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 8, 2022