- Sermon Notes
There’s Still Time to Sow a New Seed
Illus. Personal Produce.
It is at the end of Galatians 5 that Paul directs the church to the contrast between the fruit of the Spirit and the deeds of the flesh. His encouragement to the church was and is to walk by the Spirit so that the deeds of the flesh would not be carried out. We studied Galatians 5:16-25 last week in the sermon “How to Walk the Walk.”
What we saw was here seemed to be a battle going on in the church, there seemed to be some division about how to walk out and live life as a Christ follower. There were some saying “walk this way” on one side and others on the other side saying “walk this other way.” With some many different voices encouraging people to walk in different ways, it would have left the people thinking, which way is the way?
It is such questions that lead us to Galatians chapter 5 and 6, and there it seems that Paul is setting things straight. We looked last week about how some in the church were pointing people toward religion and law keeping; so Paul made sure that all understood the freedom, grace and mercy that are a part of coming to Christ, not religion or law keeping. But then in Galatians 5:13 Paul addresses the other side of things, where people may begin to believe that it didn’t matter how they lived, and there we read these words in verse 13, “You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh…”
In verse 16, through the rest of that chapter, Paul then contrasts the deeds of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit, and gives the charge to the church to walk by the Spirit and the deeds of the flesh would not be carried out.
From there into the beginning of chapter six, Paul continues to write about this contrast and what it looks like practically to be one who is living as a new creation in Christ and walking according to the Sprit. Paul circles the heart of restoration God’s people are to have towards a sinning believer who is caught in a sin. He wrote that those who are spiritual, are to come alongside them and help them. God’s people know what it is like to be tangled up, and they also know how to be set free.
In verse six, he told the church that they are to highly value spiritual input. The one who teaches you the word…He says to highly value, and he is speaking not only of financially, but in all ways. Highly value, share all good things with that one. Why? Because regarding sowing and reaping, that one teaching the word will be the one to help guide you away from reaping the things of the flesh in your life, and toward the Spirit…To point you to salvation and living your life in Christ.
In chapter 6 verse 7, Paul circles the principle, the law, the reality of sowing and reaping that is seen in the world physically, but is a reality in our lives spiritually. And what I want to center our focus on this morning is not just the reality and truth of sowing and reaping, but to the truth for me and you that no matter what is true of your present reality…There is still time to sow new seed.
- Whatever You Sow 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 surrounded 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.
- 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.
- And he wrote, “don’t be deceived, God is not mocked.” This could also be translated, “you cannot fool God.”
- 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.
Illus. Natural law turned spiritual.
- 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.
- The foundation of it all goes back to the creation of the world.
Genesis 1:11-12, Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit according to their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. The earth produced vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, according to their kind; and God saw that it was good.
- God made the seeds to produce of the same kind. So, it must be of the same nature to get the result of the seed.
- In Galatians 6, then, Paul gives a comprehensive principle from nature, and then Spiritualizes 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.
Proverbs 22:8, One who sows injustice reaps disaster…
Job 4:8, As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.
- 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.
- 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.
Matthew 6:19-21, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, what you see in the physical world is as it is in the Spiritual world…what a person sows, they will grow.
- 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 reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.
- Seize Your Opportunity to Sow to the Spirit
- To seize something is to take a hold of it, and as Paul is writing about sowing to the flesh or the Spirit, what I want to set our focus on is not the present reality we might be experiencing that is due to what you have sown previously, but rather, your present opportunity to begin sowing into what you desire to see.
- In verse 8, Paul looks back to what he introduced at the end of Galatians 5, the contrast between the flesh and spirit.
- He is making the case that 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 fields you can sow to and if you sow to the flesh, you will reap corruption, and if you sow to Spirit, you will reap eternal life.
- Last we studied the deeds of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit in depth.
- In Scripture, we are often made aware of the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. In Galatians 5, Paul centers the conflict and clash within us around their competing desires.
Galatians 5:16-17, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want.
- Paul wrote that the flesh has a desire, and the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit is against the flesh.
- The key difference has to do with desire…The flesh desires to please self independently of God, and the Spirit is there to tell us the truth and help us live the life God desires us to live.
- The flesh, refers to the part of a person that desires to satisfy self apart from God, our sin nature.
- In effect then, the desires of the flesh, lead us away from Christ. The desire of the flesh is to call up the deeds we once put to death and bring them back to life.
- The Greek word for “flesh” is translated elsewhere as “self-indulgence.”
- It is defined as “human nature,” our fleshly, or “sinful nature.”
- Paul spelled out the deeds of the flesh, and here in Galatians 6, Paul says if we sow to the flesh, if we feed the desires of the flesh, the flesh will grow, our lives will be full of the deeds of the flesh, and we will reap destruction from the flesh.
- Paul writes, Galatians 6:8, when a person sows to the flesh, they will from the flesh, reap destruction.
- What he is referring to is a destructive corruption, it pictures something that is perishing. Something going from better to worse. It is a term applied to decaying food, turning something that was good into something that is not good, it has been corrupted.
Illus. Sowing Seeds.
- God, however, has given you an opportunity presently, to begin sowing to the Spirit, and it is important to know that when we do, we will begin reaping new things. When you sow to the Spirt, you will reap eternal life.
- Paul wrote in verse 16 of chapter 5 that if you walk by the Spirit, you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
- And the Spirit, refers to the Holy Spirit in us that desires us to live according to the way truth as given by God in His Word.
John 16:13, When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth…
John 14:16-17, I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you.
- 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.
Illus. What is Growing?
- 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.
- 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’s 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.
- 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.
- In God’s mercy, He gives you the opportunity to sow new seeds, and look toward the reality that you will reap new things.
Ephesians 2:4-5, But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
- The term mercy means to give compassion or forgiveness to a person who deserves otherwise.
Lamentations 3:19-24, Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall. My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope in Him!” (NKJV)
III. Trust That God Can Still Grow Whatever You Sow
Galatians 6:9, Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary.
- Verse 9, points us to the importance of trusting God and His process.
- The terms “discouraged” and “grow weary” both carry the ideas of becoming exhausted and giving up on something 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.
- Some give up in well doing because they believe their time has passed, they are already reaping the result of another season.
- When Paul wrote, “in due time,” it is two words put together, one is “the right time,” and the other is “unknown.” Put together it means that if you don’t grow weary in doing good, you will reap a harvest at the time God says is the “right time” but a time that “unknown” to you.
- This dynamic requires us to trust God.
- But not only this, the promise still applies that “you will reap” and what you sow, you will grow.
- That said, this tells me that there is still opportunity to believe that if I begin sowing the things of Spirit presently, that I will reap the goodness of God, at the right time.
1 Peter 5:6, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time.
Psalm 27:13-14, I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! (NKJV)
Illus. Where does that go?
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary.
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