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Cultivating Kingdom Soil

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Understanding the importance of humility over pride in the process of sanctification.

Text: Luke 9:46-48
Date: 03/19/2023, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 99

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As the apostles make their way back to Capernaum from the Mount of Transfiguration, an argument erupts between them as to who will be the greatest in the coming Kingdom of God. Upon discerning their thoughts, Jesus brings a child into their midst as a poignant illustration of the essential Kingdom character trait of humility. But the true example of Kingdom humility is Jesus Himself, who now stands in stark contrast to the potentially crippling pride that plagues the disciples. We will analyze the crucial lesson, both for the apostles and the church they will establish, that even a Christian virtue, when "planted" in the soil of self-centered pride, will produce "poisoned fruit". While the same virtue, planted in the good soil of a humble heart, will produce rich and nourishing fruit for the Kingdom. We will learn that "the soil determines the fruit", and that a crucial part of our sanctification is moving from pride to humility, and thereby cultivating both in ourselves and in our churches-- the Christ-like soil of the Kingdom.

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I. Introduction
A. The Bikini Atoll.
B. Soils of sanctification.
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 9:46-48.
A. Context
1. The slow development of the apostles.
a. A state of confusion.
b. A worldly perspective, Matt. 16:23.
c. Blinded to the truth.
2. A stark comparison, Luke 9:44.
B. The lesson on Kingdom Humility.
1. Setting the scene, Mark 9:33-34.
2. The poisoned fruit of pride, vs. 46.
a. The prideful argument.
b. The discussion of greatness.
i. Colliding ideas of greatness.
ii. Counter-intuitive greatness.
c. Comparing the fruits.
d. Fruits of disunity.
3. The example of a child, vs. 47.
a. Discerning the apostles' thoughts, John 2:24-25, Matt. 24:36.
b. Purifying the soil.
c .What the child represents.
i. A picture of humility.
ii A picture of dependance and trust.
iii. A picture of the marginalized.
d. The representation of "Kingdom soil".
4. The fruit of Kingdom soil, vs. 48.
a. Receiving the humble heart.
i. Clarifying Luke's perspective, Matt. 10:40.
ii. The heart of unity, Psa. 51:17, Isa. 57:15, 66:2, Prov. 8:13, Amos 6:8.
b. The "upside-down" Kingdom, Luke 6:27, 2Cor. 12:10.
III. Application
A. The dangers of poisoned fruit, Luke 6:20.
B. Examples of poisoned fruit.
1. Receiving the marginalized, James 2:1-4.
2. Christian service and leadership, Num. 12:3.
3. Christian stewardship and benevolence, Acts 4:34-35, 5:3.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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