Jon Gary Williams
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The Church - Lesson 5

The Church in 25 Lessons

Jon Gary Williams

Lesson 5 - The Church: A Vineyard

In Matthew 13 Jesus gave the parable of the sower. In verses 3-9 he relates the parable and in verse 18-23 he explains the parable. This parable foreshadowed what would be the work of the coming church - the sowing of God's word. The word "vineyard" is a unique way of describing the Lord's church. Several things are implied in this term.

I. Sowing of the seed
A. The church is God's sowing agency. (Php. 1:3-6; 2:16; I Thess. 1:8; I Tim. 3:15)
B. The seed is the gospel. (Lk. 8:11) (cf. Rom. 1:16; 10:17)

C. The seed must remain pure and not be corrupted. (Mt. 15:9; Col. 2:20-23)
II. The place of labor - the vineyard, the church

A. Wisdom is made known through the church. (Eph. 3:10)
B. We are to glorify God in the church. (Eph. 3:21)
III. Laborers in the vineyard (Mt. 21:28-30)
A. What was the Divine call? _____________________________

B. What was the relationship? _____________________________

C. What was the time? ____________________________________

D. What was the place? __________________________________
IV. Fruit of the labor
A. Fruit is to be borne. (Jn. 15:8; Rom. 7:4)

B. The curse of being unfruitful. (Jn. 15:2,6)
V. Of what does this fruit consist?
A. Spreading the gospel. (Mt. 28:18,19) (cf. Rom. 1:3)
  1. There are different kinds of "soil." (Mt. 13:3-8)
  2. What do these different "soils" represent? (Mt. 13:18-23)  ______________________________________________________
B. Caring for those in need. (Rom. 15:26-28) 

C. Growing. I Pet. 2:1,2

D. Bearing the "fruits" of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16, 22,23) (cf. II Cor. 9:10)
E. Abiding in Christ. (Jn. 15:5)
F. Faithful worship. (Heb. 10:25)

G. Every good work. (Col. 1:10)
VI. The reward of labor (II Tim. 4:6-8; I Pet. 1:3-5; Rev. 2:10)