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What Kind of Dirt are You? The Parable of the Sower in Bible. Sermon Outline

Updated on July 20, 2016

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What Kind of Dirt Are You

Matthew 13:3 “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Isa. 55:8-11; Mk. 4:3; Mk. 4:14 Lk. 8:5

We are born again by the Seed of the Gospel of God’s Word.

God says that the Seed here is the Word of God. God says that the seed falls on different kinds of soil. Now, every preacher teaches this parable in relation to salvation. Indeed, it does relate to salvation. The seed is the Gospel that God sends for the salvation of all men. But this passage also has application to the Christian’s heart.

Even after a person has been converted by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God, God’s Word comes to our hearts. If we have not prepared our hearts for the seed of God’s Word, that passage will not take root in that area of our life. The passage of love (I Cor. 13:) can bring the fruit of love into our lives if we let that passage take root. The seed of humility (Phil. 2:) can bring forth the fruit of humility if we allow that passage to take root in our hearts. The same with the fruit of victory over sin (Rom. 6) or the fruit of faith (Heb. 11)

There are two Interpretations of this passage.

• 4 kinds of Hearers This is the soul winning Gospel spreading Interpretation. This is the Primary interpretation. The Gospel is effective in the hearts of some people because of how they receive it.

• 4 soils in our heart This is a secondary interpretation that is applicable to all Christians even after salvation. God still brings seeds of His Word to us. If we receive them, we yield fruit in our lives. If not, well. . . No Fruit.

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Point 1 of 4

I. The Dead Ground (the wayside) Matthew 13:18 “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one 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 way side.”

The dead ground is when our heart is cold and hard. Jesus calls this ground the “wayside.” We are dead in our hearts before we are born again. Ephesians 2:1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” Before salvation, we were dead without Christ. That is why God regenerates us. He does not take our dead, broken spirit and fixes it. He recreates a new spirit in us at the moment of salvation. But this cannot happen unless the Gospel has a place to grow, take root, and be fruitful.

     A. Seed cannot Remain: Nothing grows there

Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men.” In that day, salt was distilled from sea water and such sources. It would have many minerals in it beside what we call salt (sodium). They would keep the box of “salt” outside. If the rain washed out the sodium, the salt loses its saltiness and it is cast out. So, when the sodium is gone, they would take what was left over and throw it beside the roadside. It would compact and make a hard place, similar to our asphalt. But those minerals would make it so that nothing could grow on the road because the soil would be sealed off by these minerals.

In the same way, our hearts are closed to the influence of God and His Word. The seed cannot take root because it cannot get to a tender place in the soil. We have a stony heart. That is why God says that He wants to take away our stone heart and give us a new heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19 “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh:” (Ezekiel 36:26)

If we do not allow God to give us that fresh heart, Satan will come along and snatch away the seed before it can grow. We need the Spirit of God to break our hearts in order for His Word to find soft ground for it to grow.

     B. Stone heart Ezekiel 36:25 “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].”

This is a picture of the man that actually hardens his heart by sin and by overuse (like peoples’ trampling of the roads). This man cannot receive God’s Word because he covers his heart with a shell of guilt and greed.

The “fowls of the air” in Matthew 13:4 are the messengers of Satan. This is the first messenger of Satan in this passage. There are actually three types of satanic messengers here and they each interact with a failure in the human heart to produce fruitlessness. These messengers of Satan are demonic tempters that come and steal away the message of the Lord before it can work in the heard heart.

If, however, we as men will allow God’s word to take root, then the birds will not be able to steal away the seed.

     C. Shallow, Fallow Ground Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.

Ground becomes fallow when it is plowed, planted, and harvested each year over a long period of time. What happens is that the plow only digs down to the same level year after year. The ground underneath that become compacted and hard. This is called a “plow pan.” Then the water does not drain like it should. So, the crops do not grow properly and the ground does not produce. So, periodically, the farmer has to dig down deeper than the usual plowing and break up the plow pan.

As believers, Hosea’s call still echoes to us today. Sometimes, the regular practice and religion of a believer becomes a “plow pan” in the soul. Life becomes fruitless and frustrating. Jewish believers back then needed to repent so that the Word of God could grow in their souls. So, we as Christian believers can get to a place where we do not allow God’s Word to work in our minds and souls. As farmers sometimes need to, we need to dig down deep and break up the fallow ground of Christian Complacency so that the Word of God can take root and spring up unto eternal reward.


Point 2 of 4

I. The Distressed Ground (the Stony) Matthew 13:20 “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 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.”

This is the ground that does not have the hard crust. It has good dirt, but there are stones in the ground. These are the people that hear the Gospel and it begins to grow. But there is no room in the dirt for the roots to grow. So, the Word of God cannot continue.

This is a picture of a life where a man has not prepared his heart. He has is not necessarily the obscene sinner that covers his life with the horrors of sin and guilt. But he has not gotten the rocks out from beneath the surface.

This type of ground has a satanic messenger just like the birds in the last verse. This messenger is the Adversary of the sun. He beats down upon the tender plants and causes them to die before they can be established. These are the people that run into hardship or trial and the love of God’s Word is forgotten. The seedling dies before it can continue. These are the people that have not prepared the heart for God’s Word. There are things that will stunt the growth in our lives if we do not take the plow to the ground. When trials come the growth fails because we were not prepared.

     A. The seed Remains: Things can grow.

     B. There are no Roots: Things can’t stay

Unlike the Dead Ground, things can grow in this ground. The problem is that because there are not roots, they cannot stay.


Point 3 of 4

III. The Distracted Ground (the Thorny) Matthew 13:22 “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.”

This is the ground that is good ground and the roots can grow down. The problem is that on this ground, there are weeds. We all know what happens when there are weeds in the garden.

The weeds steal the beauty away from the garden. Weeds choke out the light so that the crop cannot flourish. Weeds also make it hard to access the plants. And like Jesus says, the weeds can make is so the crop cannot produce the fruit.

     A. The seed Remains: Things can grow in this ground.

     B. There are Roots: Things can stay in this ground.

     C. There is no Room: Too many things are growing on this ground.

This is the person that allows the cares of this world to choke out any fruit. They have “received” the Gospel in a sense, but that gospel cannot bear fruit. The reason is there are too many distractions.

The “thorns” here or weeds are the messengers of Satan for this group of people. These messengers, in some ways, are the most subtle and deceptive of all. These are most devious. These “cares of the world” cause people fail while they look like a success. The “plants” here look like they are successes. They are so close to being effective, but they never really accomplish anything. II Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

It is time to weed out your garden, the garden of your life. Bring forth fruit to repentance and prove to yourself that you really are a child of God. You can spend your whole life trying to convince yourself and others that you really are disciples of God without bringing any fruit. You think you can show me your faith without your fruits? I will show my faith by my fruits. If God’s Word really gets into your heart, it will bring forth fruit. There will be changes. There will be works for God’s glory.



Point 4 of 4 and Conclusion

IV. The Desirable Ground (the Good) Matthew 13:23 “But he that received seed into the 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.”

This is the ground where things can grow. They can remain because they have roots. They have room to bloom and bring forth fruit because the cares of this world are cut away enough for God to make something happen in your life. By your Fruits, ye will know them.

We are born again by this incorruptible seed. If we allow it take root in our lives, it will bring forth the fruit of salvation.

     A. The seed Remains: Things can grow

     B. There are Roots: Things can stay

     C. There is Room: Thorns cut away.

     D. There is Resulting Fruit

Matthew 7:16 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” The only way for you to prove to yourself or others that you are a Saint of God is to bring forth fruit of the Gospel, fruit of Repentance. You do not get saved by doing good works, but if you really get saved you will have some works to show it.

Take a look at what the Bible says here in Isaiah 55:8. “For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.”

Here we have the passage that might be the Old Testament foundation for Jesus teaching on the Parable of the Sower. While at first glance, it may not seem to be related, take a look again. We have here the seed and it is called God’s Word. Then we have the Sower, the same as in the Parable. We even have the harvest here too as expressed in the phrase, “bread to the eater.”

You may say, “Well, that is great. So what?”

The Isaiah passage is a “fruitful” one to look at with the Parable of the Sower. This is because of what God says to Isaiah. His Word will not return void. We see so much waste in the Parable of the Sower. There are so many seeds that do not bear fruit. Yet, that is not the way that God sees it. The way He sees the seed of the Gospel is fruitful.

As soul winners, we often see our efforts as having no fruit, frustrating, futile. But God will make all efforts done for Him as bountifully fruitful as all of His holy works.

Where is your spirituality, my friend? God wants it to prosper. It will if you allow the seed of His Word. Let God’s Word take root, endure trials, cut away the distractions. Bear fruit unto godliness my friends.

Would you like to Receive Christ for your Savior?

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


Dear Heavenly Father,

I know that I am a sinner and have disobeyed your laws. But I know that you love me and that Jesus died for me. Now, I ask you to come into my life and save me. Please, forgive me of all my sin. Please be the Lord of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday Night Sermon Outline 1-17-10


Wisdom’s Warning

Pro. 9:13 “A foolish woman [is] clamorous: [she is] simple, and knoweth nothing. 14  For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15  To call passengers who go right on their ways: 16  Whoso [is] simple, let him turn in hither: and [as for] him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 17  Stolen waters are sweet, and bread [eaten] in secret is pleasant. 18  But he knoweth not that the dead [are] there; [and that] her guests [are] in the depths of hell.”


I.                  Foolish vs. Fruitful Attraction. Proverbs 31:10  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.

     A.              Importunate: Clamorous Proverbs 11:22 As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, [so is] a fair woman which is without discretion.

     B.               Immature: Simple

     C.               Ignorant: Knows nothing Pro. 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness.

II.               Foolish vs. Faith-filled Action I Pet. 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6   Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

     A.              Idleness: Sit in door of the house Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

     B.               Idolatry: Sit in high places of city                        

     C.               Instigation: To meddle with people Proverbs 26:17 He that passeth by, [and] meddleth with strife [belonging] not to him, [is like] one that taketh a dog by the ears.

III.           Foolish vs. Faithful Attributes I Pet. 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear. 3   Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.    

     A.              Unprotected: simple - go in Pro. 9:16

     B.               Unwise: Lacks understanding - hears lies

     C.               Unsafe: Dead are there. may without the word be wonJanuary 16, 2010sn


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