Friday, April 07, 2006

You Reap What You Sow

posted by Paul

Galatians 6:7-10


I. The principle: a man reaps what he sows.

a. Do not be fooled. Here is the principle behind Paul’s encouragement to share in the good and in the Bad with one another. Do not fool yourself by sowing little and expecting much. This is a principle that has always been true. We can go all the way back to Deuteronomy 28 to see this principle. Dt 28 lays out for us a list of blessings and curses which are dependent upon our actions. But this list should not be seen as God zapping everyone who makes a mistake. The list should show us that there are consequences to what we do. If we disobey God’s Word then we are doing things in a way that God would not do it. And frankly that can only lead to bad consequences. There is a direct correlation between sowing and reaping that has been established by God. We cannot just ignore the cause-and-effect relationships of this world. Studentds, do you realize that what you are sowing in your lives now as students you will reap your entire lives as adults? Do not think that you will grow up and then take things seriously. If you do not start now, you may never start. Guys if you have a problem with lust now you better nip it in the bud because it will not go away when you get older. And do not think that you can be a Christian and you can sin without any consequences. As I see it there are two problems with that. First, even as believers there are bad consequences for sin. There may not be eternal punishment for them, but there will be consequences for them. Second, remember what Jude says in verse four of his epistle. Things being what they are, the consequences will be what they will be.

b. God is not mocked. Why are there bad consequences for bad actions? Because God is the perfect and just judge of all the World. As we will see in the following verses one cannot expect to sow to the flesh and then reap eternal life, and so mock the justice of God, for God is not mocked. This phrase here literally means to turn your nose up at God. Those who claim to be Christians with their mouth, but deny him with their life cannot expect to sneak past God in the final judgment of the World. True conversion to Christ is not a mere human act of giving lip-service to Christ. Genuine conversion is a divine act by which the Spirit of Christ is made to dwell in our hearts giving us the ability to struggle with the flesh. There are attitudes that cannot coexist with true saving faith in Christ Jesus. This is why Jesus said that “many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord... but I will say depart from me. I never knew you (Matt 7:22-23).” In this passage Christ is not saying that they needed to be saved by what they did, instead he is saying that what they did (or did not do) proved that they did not believe. Some will look at this passage as a salvation by works passage; however that just does not “work.” Look at what their basis for Christ acceptance was: “did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” It never occurred to these men that their only basis for merit before the perfect and just judge of the world was Christ Jesus.


II. The application of the principle.

a. If you sow unto the flesh you will reap corruption. Having stated the general principle Paul now divides it into parts. Here we see the application of: “whatever a man sows he will also reap.” If you sow unto the flesh you will reap corruption. What is sowing unto the flesh? I think that sowing unto the flesh carries with it the idea of looking forward to the wants of this present life, without any regard to a future life. It is to be so entirely devoted to the flesh, as to direct all our thoughts to its interests or convenience. And when you sow unto the convenience of your own flesh you will reap corruption. Here Paul is alluding back to the end of chapter 5 and the works of the flesh. When we sow unto the flesh, it is clear that we will reap corruption outside of the kingdom of God.

b. If you sow unto the Spirit you will reap life. From two different fields one reaps a harvest that corresponds to the nature of the fields themselves: either corruption from the flesh, or eternal life from the Spirit. If you sow to the Spirit you will reap eternal life. To sow to the Spirit is have one’s views directed more to heaven than to earth, and to have one’s life regulated by the desire to reach the kingdom of God. From these spiritual seeds come incorruptible fruit. Here is a question that John Piper asks: “Do you get up in the morning and feel a need for the power of the Spirit in your life and so you seek his filling in the word (Bible) and prayer? Or when you get up do you feel like there is no time o seek his fullness and besides, this is a pretty normal day and I don’t need much help. A prayer on the stairs will do!” Every day I struggle to be the first one. Where are you? Do not forget, if you sow to the Spirit you will reap eternal life. Romans 6:20-23.


III. Do not grow weary in doing good.

a. We will reap in due time. Remember we are not to be fooled, God is not mocked and He will prevail. In due time we will reap the fruit of true labor. There are numerous biblical examples that we can look at and see how in due time they reaped the reward of Godly service. Think of Abraham. Look at the life of David. Even we do not see the fruit of our labors in this lifetime, as Paul said in the previous verse, we will have eternity to see the fruit. Missionary.

b. We will reap if we do not grow weary. We will reap in due time, and we will reap if we do not grow weary in reaping. Probably the worst enemy of enthusiasm is time. Human beings have a remarkable and sad capacity for getting tired of wonderful things. Vacation. Toys. Christians get tired of doing good. At first the excitement of teaching a Sunday school class was strong, but now you have grown weary of well-doing. The inner power and joy that comes from this well-doing slips away and it becomes a chore. You have lost heart. It is tiring to, and expensive to make an investment into the kingdom of God, but oh what a pay off.

IV. Work hard as doing good.

a. Now that you have opportunity. All that being said, now that we have the opportunity let us work hard at well-doing. When you get your paycheck (or just some money) look to see how to turn that money into the best advantage for God’s kingdom. Invest your time into where the Spirit aims to produce fruit for the glory of God. Just as there is a season for farming we have a season for well-doing. It is our whole life. God has set apart the whole of the present life for plowing and sowing. He has left us here to be salt and light. He has left us here so that we might bring Him glory in this earth. No that we have the time, in other words while we are alive, let us sow to the Spirit working hard to do good to all men.

b. To all, especially members of the divine household. We must work to do good to all men, but especially to those who are of the same house as we are. To those who are our brothers and sisters through Christ Jesus. There are duties which we owe to all men, but he tie of a more sacred relationship established by God himself, binds us to believers. What Paul is saying is that if you have limited resources then they should first go to the believers. If we as a church give all our money to the homeless people who come to the door how would we be able to do the things we need to do as a church?


originally posted on June 9th, 2005

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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13/4/06 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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13/4/06 10:27 PM  

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