Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 10) - Mat 13:11-15 (Part A)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 10. Mat 13:11-15 A. "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." (Mat 13:11-15) B. The parallel texts for these verses are found in Mar 4:11-12 and Luk 8:10. i. Are these verses teaching that having one's sins forgiven is conditioned upon seeing, hearing, understanding, and being converted to the gospel? ii. If so, why was Jesus trying to prevent it (lest)? iii. Lest - Used as a negative particle of intention or purpose, introducing a clause expressive of something to be prevented or guarded against; C. Of whom was Jesus speaking in these verses? i. Jesus had just finished speaking to a great multitude of Israelites by way of a parable (Mar 4:1). a. Jesus was sent to preach primarily to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 15:24; Mat 10:5-6). b. Jews were present (Mar 4:10) and it was not lawful for Jews to keep company with Gentiles (Act 10:28; Joh 4:9). c. Therefore the entire audience were Jews. ii. There were two groups of Jews in the crowd: a. The first group were Jesus’ disciples to whom He said “Unto YOU it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God” (Mar 4:11). b. The second group were “THEM (unbelieving Jews) that are without”. c. “Them that are without” denotes unbelievers who are outside the faith (1Co 5:13; Col 4:5). d. Therefore Jesus was speaking of unbelieving Jews. D. The divisions of Israel. i. The Bible makes it clear that there are two Israels (Rom 9:6). a. There is natural Israel, Israel after the flesh (1Co 10:18; Rom 9:8), the natural seed of Abraham (Rom 9:7). b. There also is the spiritual Israel of God (Gal 6:16), the spiritual seed of Abraham, who are the children of the promise (Rom 9:8). ii. Not all of natural Israel are God’s Israel. a. Isaac was, but Ishmael wasn’t (Rom 9:7-9; Gal 4:28-30). b. Jacob was, but Esau wasn’t (Rom 9:10-13). iii. Counted in spiritual Israel are the elect Gentiles as well as elect Jews (Gal 3:7-9 c/w Gal 3:16 c/w Gal 3:29; Gal 4:28; Phi 3:3; Rom 2:28-29). iv. The natural-only Jew is cast off forever (Rom 11:1-2 c/w 11:7-10). v. Alway - 1. All along, all the time, perpetually, throughout all time. vi. Among spiritual Israel, the remnant (Rom 9:27), the foreknown (Rom 11:2), the election (Rom 11:5-7), there is a division as well. a. Remnant - 1. a. With the. That which remains or is left of a thing or things after the removal of a portion; the remainder, rest, residue. Now applied only to a small remaining part. b. Some of them were believers like Paul (Rom 11:1) and thousands of other Jews (Act 21:20). c. But some of them were unbelieving enemies of the gospel, yet were elect and beloved of God Who covenanted to take away their sins (Rom 11:25-29). For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace