One of Jesus’ favorite ways of teaching was to use agricultural illustrations. He spoke of sowing seed, grains springing forth, harvest time, laborers in the vineyard, different kinds of soils, tares being mixed with wheat, and so on. The inspired writers of the New Testament certainly seem to have picked up on the theme as well (Galatians 6:7-8; 1 Peter 1:22-23).
The point is a simple one. Every Christian in the New Testament was a result of spiritual seed having been sown in a good and honest heart, which in turn produced a belief-based response (John 20:30-31). Churches were planted in the first century when the seed of the kingdom was sown and people responded to the call of the gospel. The New Testament contains a beautiful picture of simple, pure, unadulterated Christianity.
And so why is there so much religious division and confusion today? What has changed? How is twenty-first century “Christianity” different than that simple, pure, unadulterated New Testament pattern? Most importantly, can anything be done to bring us closer in our conformity to the original?
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