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Like Ezekiel's River

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning as both disciples and churches, to grow in Christ like Ezekiel's river.

Text: Luke 8:16-18
Date: 10/23/2022, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 79

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As we return to the Gospel of Luke, we pick up Jesus' teaching directly after the parable of the Sower and the soils. Luke expertly weaves together three seemingly disconnected proverbs (of sorts) as an in-depth commentary on the parable and particularly on the growth of seeds that fall in the good soil. Luke will mix metaphors, adding the idea of Light in a dark room to illustrate the spread of the Gospel in a dark world as well as the day of judgment when all will become clear. We will grapple with the "upside-down" nature of the Kingdom of God, where spiritual gifts and blessings are taken away from those who will not use them and given to those who will. Bringing all this together, we will add our own metaphor to the mix, using Ezekiel's magnificent prophecy of a river that flows from the Temple in Jerusalem, growing ever stronger until it brings life and healing to all that is in its path. We will see this as an illustration of the way both disciples and churches should be growing ever deeper, stronger and more impactful to the dark world around us-- just like Ezekiel's river.

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I. Introduction, Ezek. 47:1-12.
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 8:16-18.
A. Context
1. Luke's ordering.
2. Expanding the parable of the Sower.
B. Growing like seeds of Light.
1. Let your Light shine, vs. 16.
a. Mixing metaphors, Matt. 24:14.
b. Explaining the metaphor.
i. The image of the lamp.
1) The literal image.
2) The figurative image.
ii. The images of covering.
1) The earthen vessel, 2Cor. 4:7.
2) The mattress, Matt. 9:6.
c. Interpreting the metaphor.
i. The literal conclusion.
ii. The figurative conclusion.
1) The Light that IS Christ, John 1:9, Eph. 5:8, 2Cor. 4:6.
2) The objective of the Sower.
d. Luke's addition, Luke 8:10.
2. The Light that cannot be extinguished, vs. 17.
a. How the Light is hidden.
i. The Light shines in the darkness, Rom. 3:11-12.
ii. The nature of the parable, John 1:5, 3:19.
b. The day of judgment.
i. The positive side of judgment, Phil 2:10-11.
ii. The negative side of judgment, Psa. 139:7.
3. The importance of hearing, vs. 18, Luke 8:8,10.
a. The Gospel call to "hear", vs. 18a.
i. THAT disciples should hear,
ii. What disciples should hear, Mark 4:24.
iii. How disciples should hear, Titus 3:9, Luke 11:34.
b. The "upside-down" Kingdom, vs. 18b.
i. What Jesus does not mean.
1) Nothing to do with physical wealth.
2) Nothing to do with salvation.
ii. What Jesus does mean.
1) The nature of spiritual growth.
a) Human responsibility.
b) God's sovereignty.
2) Gifts designed to be used.
3) A battle plan implies a war, Eph. 6:11-12, Heb.11:37-38.
III. Application
A. Use your gifts and count your blessings!
B. Deepening your gifts and blessings.
IV. Conclusion: Like Ezekiel's river.

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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