- Sermon Notes
The Reality of Sowing and Reaping
Intro: Personal Produce.
This morning we open to Galatians chapter 6, which of course, comes after Galatians chapter 5. Last week we studied the end of Galatians chapter 5, where the writer, Paul contrasts the deeds of the flesh versus the fruit of the spirit. It is there that he expressed the importance of walking in the Sprit so that the desire of the flesh would not be carried out.
In chapter 6:7-10, which is what we will spend the bulk of our time on today, Paul sets our focus on sowing and reaping in the world physically, in our lives spiritually, and gives an encouragement associated with this principle and how we are to live considering that reality.
I. Whatever You Sow, You Will Grow
Galatians 6:7, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap.
- What a person sows, they grow, Paul says do not be deceived.
- To be deceived it to be led astray, to be led down the wrong path, away from the right way.
- Certainly, those Paul was writing to were surround by people who were attempting to lead them astray by pointing them down the wrong path.
- Do not be deceived, do not be tricked, don’t be led down the wrong path, Paul says.
- The reality is that we can easily be led down the wrong path by others into living a life that is incongruent with the life we are to live in Christ.
1 John 1:8-10, If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
- Paul says do not be deceived, and then, God is not mocked.
- The Greek word for mocked literally means to “turn up the nose at,” or “to sneer at. “It means to not take something seriously, that is, in fact, a serious matter.
- So, don’t be led astray or deceived, take God seriously, because “whatever a person sows, that they will also reap.”
- We are pointed to the law of sowing and reaping, the principle of the harvest.
- You can expect that whatever has been sown, is what will be grown.
- With that said, we understand that the sowing comes first, then the reaping. You have to sow before you can reap.
- You don’t get the harvest before you plant. Planting comes first. Sowing comes before the growing.
- It’s through planting that you will get the harvest, but it’s the harvest that will reveal what was planted.
- In other words, if you know what you want to get, you need to know what to plant. Because what you plant will determine what you get.
- And I would imagine that I find myself speaking to a people who understand what it is like to want something, but plant something else.
- To desire the harvest in your life to look a certain way, but plant the seeds that don’t look the same as the harvest you are hoping for.
- The reality of it all goes back to the creation of the world.
- God made the seeds to produce of the same kind. So, it must be of the same nature in order to get the result of the seed.
- In Galatians 6, then, Paul gives a comprehensive principle from nature, and then he is going to spiritualize it.
- The introduction to the principle given, comes with a specific word, “whatever.”
- In other words, you can bank on the principle, and the principle is cross categorical. It covers any category.
- Whatever you sow, you will grow.
Hosea 8:7, They sow the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind.
Job 4:8, As I have observed, those who plow evil
and those who sow trouble reap it.
- Paul continues by underscoring “whatever,” and setting our sight on the application of it all spiritually.
Galatians 6:8, For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
- Sow to the Spirit and Reap Life
- In verse 8, we are told again of the flesh and spirit. When sowing in this life, we are sowing to one of the two.
- It seems a picture of two fields or two locations. And for the Christian, there are only two “fields” one can sow to.
- The field of the flesh and the field of the Spirit.
- These are two very real field you can sow in and if you sow to the flesh, you will reap corruption, and if you sow to Spirit, you will reap eternal life.
- Let’s look for a moment at the flesh and the Spirit.
- In Scripture, we are often made aware of the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit.
- Last week we looked at the deeds of the flesh versus the fruit of Spirit.
- We looked at the reality of the Spirit alive in us, and also the reality of our sin nature.
- The flesh refers to our uncleansed humanness which is awaiting the day of glorification (Romans 8:23), In the meantime, there are fleshly desires we are faced with that are contrary to Gods will and standards.
- When a believer accepts Christ, the power of the flesh and sin nature is cut off, however, it is still persistent and insistent on us choosing the flesh over the Spirit.
Illus. Power off.
Galatians 5:16-19, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident…
- Notice that Paul says in verse 16 of chapter 5 that if you walk by the Spirit, you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
- Notice he did not say, if you walk by the Spirit you will not have or experience desires of the flesh, but he did say if you walk by the Spirit you will not carry out, or other translations say “fulfill” the desires of the flesh.
- Meaning, the desires are still there, but you have been given the power to walk by the Spirit and when you do, those desires will not be carried out.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58, Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Illus. New Game?
- What is being suggested then is that either the flesh, or the Spirit is being fed in our lives. And they can both increase in our lives.
- When you sow to the flesh, plant in it, or feed it; you reap corruption.
Galatians 5:19-21, immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
- Rather than inheriting the kingdom of God, the one who sows there, reaps corruption, which refers to degeneration, going from better to worse. It is a term applied to decaying food, turning that which is beneficial into that which is harmful.
- But when you sow to the Spirt, will reap eternal life.
- The one who is preoccupied with the things of God, rather than the deeds of the flesh and the fleshly things of the world, the fruit of the Spirit is produced.
Galatians 5:22-23 love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…
- When you sow to the Spirit, you sow to the things of the Spirit and reap the fruit and blessing of the Spirit in your life.
- To sow to the Spirit is inclusive of:
- Walking by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), being led by the Spirit (5:18), and filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
- Abiding in Christ and ensuring that His words are abiding and remaining in you (John 15:7).
- Walking in Christ just as you have received Him (Col. 2:6) and setting your mind on the things above, not the things that are on earth (Col. 3:2).
- Walking according to God will, not your own desires or understanding.
Romans 12:2, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
- The product of sowing to the Spirit Paul says, is eternal life!
- Interestingly, the words “eternal life” are not only indicative of going to heaven and the quantity of years, “eternal life” in Scripture also refers to the quality of life.
John 3:36, Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life…
John 17:3, And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
- While the believer in Christ has eternal life, eternally, there is a quality of eternal life we can walk in, in this life currently.
- The question is, with the reality of sowing and reaping in mind: what type of life do you want to live?
- If you have received Jesus, you are saved, you are going to heaven, praise God for that!
- And in your life, you are not going to lose the Spirit, but you will not experience the fruit of the Spirit if you are sowing to the flesh, and not to the Spirit.
- This means there is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control available and accessible to you, but your sowing is what determines whether that is present and growing in your life.
- After sowing to his flesh, and sinning horribly…David prayed to the Lord…
Psalm 51:12, Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
- Notice he did not pray, “restore my salvation,” but “restore to me the joy of my salvation.” His salvation was not in question, but he was not experiencing the fullness of what God had for him and he knew it.
- Perhaps you have sown the wrong seed and into the wrong field. Would you begin sowing to the Spirit?
Romans 8:5-6, For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are in accord with the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
- The mind that is set on the flesh is in accord with the flesh, thinking about the flesh, focused on the flesh, wanting to feed the desires of the flesh.
- But the mind that is set on the Spirit is thinking about the Spirit, focused on the things of the Spirit, and wanting to feed the desires of the Spirit.
- From Romans 8, we know that life and peace come setting one’s mind on the Spirt.
- And in Galatians 6 regarding the Spirit, he takes it a step further, don’t set it and forget it, respond to and actively sow to it.
Illus. Sound the alarm!
James 1:22-24, But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
- Trust what God Will do in “Due Time”
- Perhaps today you feel as though you have been sowing for a season, or for some time, but don’t feel like you are yet reaping.
- In addition to the realities of sowing and reaping we have already addressed; we also know that reaping most often comes in a different season.
Galatians 6:9, Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
- The terms “lose heart” and “grow weary” both carry the ideas of becoming exhausted and giving up due to exhaustion.
- This is the opposite of being steadfast, immovable, excelling in the work of the Lord, know your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58).
- Paul says do not lose heart in doing good. The blessing is coming, in due time you will reap. It is a promise.
- Keep going, run with endurance, look to Jesus!
Illus. Keep sowing, keep going!
- Some give up in well doing because they believe their time has passed, they are already reaping the result of another season.
- But Paul gives us a reason to get back to doing good again, that reason is, you will reap what you sow. Do not be deceived into the thinking you cannot reap good things in the next season and should just go your own way.
- While you sow, while you wait for the next season or reaping, you may wonder, what do I do in the meantime? Keep sowing, and do good!
Galatians 6:10, So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
- The opportunity Paul speaks of refers to the opportunity a person has in their present earthly experience.
- In due time, is the time of the arrival of what you will reap, and I encourage you to live the life God has defined, and trust that He will bring about His promise of eternal life, in due time!
1 Peter 5:6, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.