The parable uses the natural to reveal the spiritual

Gal 2:20; Matt 11:25-30; Matt 13:1-3, 13:10-18, 13:24

ROMANS-61-100203 - length: 59:45 - taught on Feb, 3 2010

Class Outline:

John Farley
February 3, 2010

The parable uses the natural to reveal the spiritual

2TI 1:9
who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

God’s plan throughout all the ages is that He might be glorified by the grace that He dispenses to undeserving creatures.

a. Any recognition of human guilt.
b. Any recognition of human obligation.
c. Any recognition of human merit.

Men are either utterly condemned under the universal decree of the judgment of God or they are perfectly saved and safe in the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

The divine objective in reducing humanity to the lowest level conceivable before God is not merely an expression of His hatred of evil; it is the expression of His infinite goodness and love for only in that way could the riches of His grace be extended to them.

DEU 23:5
but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you.

Grace is all that God can do for the sinner in time or eternity.

The objects of that grace are lifted from the lowest level of human standing before God to the highest peak of heavenly glory.

The change from a spiritually dead sinner headed for the Lake of Fire to a son of God and a partaker of the eternal glory is a demonstration of the surpassing riches of His grace.

So, God has disposed of the three grace-opposing principles, human sin, human obligation, and human merit and in the same absolute sense, He is now free to lavish His undiminished grace upon whomsoever He will.

JOH 1:16
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

The supreme divine objective is that infinite love may manifest itself in super-abounding grace.

When man hit rock bottom, God hit His stride, and reached the top of His game.

Doesn’t it follow that God will provide very intense demonstrations of the extent of His grace in these last days of the Church Age?

We need to understand how our Father treats us in grace and we need to understand how we should treat others.
This is what we call grace orientation.

Our Lord Jesus Christ revolutionized man’s understanding of the omnipotent God when He called God His “Father”.

Each culture carries its own set of assumptions about what a father is like.

But what did Jesus mean by the word “father” when He used it to describe His Father in heaven?
He answered that question by telling us a story.

Parable comes from the Greek word paraballo = “to throw beside.”

Para - primary Greek preposition = “near, beside or in the vicinity of.”
Ballo - verb = “to throw.”

Paraballo = to place one thing beside another for the sake of comparison.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus frequently employed parables as a teaching tool.

“A parable is a story that places one thing beside another for the purpose of teaching.”
“It puts the known next to the unknown so that we may learn.”

In particular, in the Bible, a parable is a comparison between a familiar fact and a spiritual truth.

A parable is:
A story ( narrative).
True to nature: the events must be possible or even likely to have occurred. Those that hear must believe that the event could have happened.
Containing encoded spiritual truth.

Usually Jesus drew the material for His parable stories from nature (mustard seeds, fig trees, leaven, lost sheep) or from everyday human situations (like judges and widows, laborers being hired for the day, weddings, virgins and so forth).

His initial explanation for using parables is two-fold and literally black and white:
to reveal Divine Truth, and to conceal Divine Truth

The leaders made it clear they were rejecting Christ; in fact, some had claimed that His miracles were done by the power of Satan.

There were some who had believed His word and accepted Him as Messiah and Lord. These needed to be taught the mysteries of the kingdom of God.

The multitude consisted of both believers and unbelievers.

Instead, He constructed His teaching in such a way that those who had believed would understand, and those who had rejected, even though they heard, would not understand.

To properly interpret a parable, it is necessary to study the historical context in which the parable was spoken.

Look for an introduction (in verses BEFORE the parable) or an application (in verses AFTER the parable) that may give insight.

In interpreting a parable, it is necessary to consider the question or problem that our Lord was dealing with.

Often the key to seeing the question or problem is to identify our Lord’s audience to whom He spoke the parable.

If the truth gleaned from the interpretation does not answer the question or problem, it is a false interpretation.

Only the interpretation which answers the question or problem can be accepted.

The parables were designed to teach truth concerning the kingdom program.

Two extremes to avoid:
- Seeking to find some spiritual truth in every little detail
- Saying that there is only ONE spiritual truth in each parable

Look for the CENTRAL truth of the parable, making sure that any other truths gleaned from the parable are in harmony with it.

Don’t use the parables to formulate new doctrine.

Since parables can conceal as well as reveal, certain elements may throw off those who have not trained their spiritual senses to the required level of discernment, HEB 5:14.

Don’t ever try to build or destroy a case for a doctrine solely on the evidence found in a parable.