Lord that’s our prayer let it be Jesus we can get so caught up in so many things in life and we can get distracted but I pray the desire of our heart is Jesus everything is Jesus Lord I just pray that you’ve been honored by the praise of our lips our worship as we continue now in our time of worship in the reading of your word proclaiming of your word I just pray Lord that you would probably just give me the words to say that your spirit could take and use and apply to each of our hearts and minds here today right where we’re at I just pray those things in Jesus name Amen well it’s good to see everyone here it was a little unusual last weekend some of you couldn’t make it out with the ice and the storm so this week we’re going to drown in the flood I guess but it’s good to see you here we’re going to conclude our survey of Galatians today we’re going to we’re going to be in Galatians chapter 6 we’re going to pick up in verse 6 in our study so far we’ve seen the importance of believing and sharing the gospel of grace the need to use our freedom in Christ to walk in love and war against our flesh and the responsibilities we each have in burden bearing both for ourselves and our spiritual family and this builds the foundation for what we will consider today and that is the principle of sowing and reaping we’re going to be in the middle of the week in Galatians 6 verse 6 let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches do not be deceived God is not mocked for whatever one sows that will he 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 and let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not give up so then as we have opportunity let us do good to everyone and especially to those who are the household of faith

we’ve just started a brand new year and this time of year probably before this time of year many people have made what we generally call new year’s resolutions maybe you do that or maybe you did that this year and I think generally new year’s resolutions fall into two categories and that’s the first one and the first is we need to stop something so a common one a common resolution people make is to stop eating too much unhealthy food and why is that common well our clothes tell us they no longer fit well but it may be that you went to the doctor got some blood work done and he came in and said alright Chris you’ve got to make some changes it’s time to change some things in your life the other category is to start doing something the first one is stop the other one is to start and a common one that’s usually related to stop eating unhealthy is to start exercising consistently because we all know eating healthy and exercising regularly are two important things that maintain a healthy body if we think about it new year’s resolutions really fall down to the principle or boil down to the principle of sowing and reaping we either need to stop something because the results in our life are undesirable or we need to stop something or we need to start something because the results in our life are undesirable often the resolutions go hand in hand stop bad habits start good ones the principle of sowing and reaping is one that is understood by all people regardless of whether they have a biblical worldview or not why is that it’s because the God who speaks in the Bible also spoke creation into existence and the principle of sowing and reaping is woven into the fabric of creation we hear those who aren’t believers say things like you reap what you sow or what goes around comes around in other words they understand what you put into something influences the outcome this principle also applies in our spiritual life and Paul will show us that today in our passage let’s first see the principle of sowing and reaping that he lays out in verses 6 through 8 verse 6 first let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches I think verse 6 might be understood properly as a transition verse as Paul is laying out his thoughts in this letter if you think about it when you write a letter you have some transition points and I think this is a transition point from what we talked about last week which is bearing burdens and in verse 5 Paul says each will have to bear his own load and when we get to 6 we see Paul talks about the one who teaches and so there’s a special sense a true sense in which those who stand before you to preach and teach bear the burden of rightly handling the word of truth 2 Timothy 2.15 tells us that because we who teach will be judged with greater strictness James 3.1 those who preach and teach bear the special burden of feeding the sheep the whole counsel of God’s word and I think this can be considered part of the load they must bear it’s a burden that must not be taken lightly and I think it’s a labor of love it’s love for our triune God it’s love for his word and it’s love for those who will hear what is spoken and we’re blessed to have a pastor who loves us and labors to help us in our Christian walk his desire is to see us grow into deeper obedience to our Lord and his word and that’s also the desire of Elder Chase and myself too but we can also see this verse relate to the principle of sowing reaping that Paul would talk about in verses 7 and 8 here in verse 6 there’s two people mentioned there’s the one who was taught the word of God and there’s the one who teaches and in the middle Paul says they share something that word translated share is the Greek word koinonia we’ve heard koinonia probably if you’ve been in church any amount of time and that word can also be translated fellowship or partnership the one who is taught shares with the one who teaches in a partnership with each other as the teacher shares the good things of God’s word their hearers should reciprocate by sharing all good things with the one who teaches that’s what Paul says here

it’s very probable at this time that Paul’s writing this letter as we’ve seen in Elder Chase’s sermons that the pastor teachers in the churches of Galatia were being neglected because there was a false gospel being preached so it’s quite possible that those false teachers were encouraging the Galatians to slack off from the support of the ones who were faithfully teaching the true gospel and Calvin’s commentary he says something I thought was good it gets to the heart of the point I think he, who is Paul saw that the ministers of the word were neglected because the word itself was despised for if the word be truly esteemed its ministers will always receive kind and honorable treatment it is one of the tricks of Satan to defraud godly ministers of support that the church may be deprived of such ministers an earnest desire to preserve gospel ministry led to Paul’s recommendation that proper attention should be paid to good and faithful pastors I think what Calvin highlights here is a progression he’s saying first the word itself is despised so it’s not truly esteemed it’s not highly regarded it’s not highly respected and that leads to dishonoring of those who try to teach you the truth of God’s word who try to faithfully teach it Calvin says it’s a trick of Satan and it’s one that he still uses in our day unfortunately God’s word is constantly under attack even by those who claim to be inside the household of faith it seems that God’s word has always been under attack since the garden of Eden a dishonoring of God’s word can lead to a dishonoring of those who faithfully proclaim it that’s essentially what Calvin is saying the opposite should also be true a high regard for the word of God should naturally lead us to want to support those who faithfully teach it to us as they feed our souls because for believers it’s the word of God alone that is the nourishment our souls need Paul himself as a church planter did not receive regular support for his ministry or his ministry didn’t receive support from the churches he planted and he primarily used his tent making skills to support his ministry however for all the churches he planted his command was for the church to provide material support for the pastor teachers in their midst and he tells us that in 1 Corinthians 9 verse 11 Paul says if we have sown spiritual things among you is it too much if we reap material from you if others share the rightful claim on you do we not even more if we have sown spiritual things among you nevertheless we have not made use of this right but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ do you not know that those who are employed in the temple temple service get their food from the temple and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings in the same way the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel Paul says here in Corinthians we sow spiritual things and we could request material support but we don’t do that because we don’t want to give ammunition to our critics who say that we’re just outselling the gospel but for those who are in your churches faithfully proclaiming the gospel and all of God’s word they should get their material needs met and the example he gives is the priest in the Old Testament if you remember Old Testament the priest would get a portion of the sacrifices as part of their food they were in the temple serving and so they got their needs met through the sacrificial system

Paul’s main desire was for faithful gospel proclamation to continue and the sheep to be fed a pastor who does not have his material needs met must take time away from those most important ministry responsibilities to provide for his family preaching I’m sorry pastoring and teaching done properly is time consuming so if the needs of his family are not met he is distracted from his important calling and his time is spent on other things makes sense the teaching of scripture is to give from our church sorry mouth’s getting dry

the teaching of scripture is to give to our church from the blessings God has bestowed on us to support not only all the ministries of the church but also the pastor who’s faithfully teaching us I think we should not view this so much as wages as in any other job like you get for your job but rather back to that word koinonia we should see it as a partnership in the care of our very souls we should view this as very important Paul goes on in verse 7 to give a warning do not be deceived God is not mocked for whatever one sows that will he also reap Paul says do not be deceived that word could also be translated misled in other words do not be misled by anyone any false teacher whoever from following a proper belief or a proper course of action in what I’ve just said here in verse 6 be careful and make sure you are not self-deceived by whatever excuses you think you can come up with for not obeying this teaching why does Paul say that? he answers that in the next phrase God is not mocked the word for mocked means to sneer it means to turn up your nose with contempt but wait Paul I would never mock God I would never turn up my nose with contempt with him how is not following this principle mocking God and I think Paul’s main point is that we should view this sharing of all good things this koinonia as ultimate a transaction between God and me it is a transaction between the church and me and the pastor in me in a sense but ultimately it’s a transaction between God and me

obedience to any teaching of scripture is ultimately obedience to God himself he is the one who gave the command so we obey because he said to do it and really that should be enough we should obey because he said do it our obedience may necessarily involve interaction with others in our spiritual family because we live the Christian life among each other so my obedience may be portrayed in the way I relate to you as my spiritual family but ultimately our obedience is to God we may deceive ourselves and if we’re honest we’re really good at that we’re really good at justifying our own behavior sometimes we say yeah God but you know this and this and this and this and so if we’re honest we can be good at justifying our behavior and we can deceive other people but God cannot be deceived he is omniscient and he rightly knows all things as they truly are not as we might want to betray them to be but as they truly are so Paul says to be stingy in our giving in this manner is like trying to mock God

Paul goes on in verse 7 but God is not mocked for whatever one sows that will he also reap Paul illustrates his teaching here by using an example that would be familiar to everyone as I mentioned earlier this principle is clearly understood in creation we talked about that at the beginning in nature we understand there’s a time to sow seeds there’s a time to cultivate seeds whether that’s fertilizing watering if you don’t get the range you need pulling weeds keeping pests away if you got plants or you got your garden you understand that too and there’s a time to reap if we plant rose seeds we expect to see beautiful roses one day if we plant corn seeds we expect to harvest corn if I tell you I planted corn and roses grew instead you would think I lost it and you wouldn’t have to go look because you would not expect that at all because you wouldn’t have to go look because you know we reap what we sow we see that in creation we see that in nature we see that principle played out corn seeds do not produce roses we know that if we sow seed in good ground we expect to reap a good harvest we know that if we sow bountifully we expect to reap bountifully we know that if we sow sparingly we should expect to reap sparingly and if we sow nothing we can reap nothing can never expect to reap anything. And I think we should also understand that to sow any seed, we have to let something go. I think of the farmer. He goes and buys his seeds and they’re in his possession. But if he holds on to those seeds, he’s just going to have a bunch of seeds. It’s not until he plants them that he has the hope of a harvest. So they’re no longer in his possession and seemingly they may be lost to him for a while because they’re in the ground. But he expects that if he cultivates them properly, they will be restored to him one day in a better way. That corn seed will produce many delicious seeds of corn that he can enjoy or he can sell to provide for his family. So we reap what we sow, but we also have to sow. So to reap anything. Paul’s going to use this principle in verse 8 to illustrate the heart of this point. 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. In this verse, Paul presents two fields. One is the flesh, the other is the Spirit. There are two fields. But it’s only the believer. It’s only those who have been redeemed by Christ who can choose the field they use. An unbeliever can never sow to the Spirit. In Romans 8, 7 and 8 tell us this plainly. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God. For it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. So unbelievers cannot please God. And in fact, they don’t have any real desire to do so because they are in the flesh. They’re devoted to their flesh, so they will sow to their sin nature in this present life, indulge their flesh in its passions with no real thought and no real regard for eternity. The mind that is fleshly focuses on the here and now, I think. And Paul says they will reap corruption. And the sense here is decomposition. Think of it like a nasty decaying corpse.

Nasty. So while they may seem to have many blessings in this life, ultimately, they will reap everlasting destruction in the life to come. And I want to be clear here. Some misunderstand this. This is not oblivion. It’s not annihilation. Some want to believe when you die, you just cease to exist. That’s it. That’s not the teaching of Scripture. Scripture tells us all people will live eternally in one of two places, heaven or hell. Hell is real and it’s eternal for those who have not turned to Christ for salvation.

But believers, those who have been saved by the gospel of grace, who are not in the flesh or in Christ, who have been set free from the flesh, who have the power of the Spirit working in them, can choose the field they sow in. We’ve talked about those who sow to the Spirit in the last couple of weeks. Those who walk in the Spirit, who are led by the Spirit, who desire the fruits of the Spirit to be evident in their life. This person has an eye focused not on the present life, as we can be tempted to do, but the eternal life to come. Paul describes their mentality, I think, or what their mentality should be in Colossians 3, 1 and 2. If then you have been raised with Christ, those are believers, seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. Paul tells us there that believers, those who are in Christ, who’ve been raised with Christ, must seek and set their minds on the things above. And I think of it this way, if we think about where Christ is, we think about looking up. And when we’re looking up, that’s our focus. It’s when our eyes are down here and we’re looking around that we get distracted from that, what our focus should be, which Paul says is to seek and set our minds on things that are above. So those who are spiritual look not so much to reap temporal or earthly blessings in this present life, although there are some, God’s gracious to us. Rather, they’re focused on eternity and the blessings of Jesus Christ. associated with the eternal life to come. Those rewards we receive for our works that are not consumed by fire when we stand before our Lord in judgment. And we have to say, this is all to the glory of God alone that we could even have works that would not burn up. We cheerfully acknowledge with Paul and the teaching of the whole Bible that it’s only his marvelous grace that allows us to even be able to sow to the Spirit at all. Whatever crowns we might obtain, we must only lay them back at his feet, at the feet of Jesus. And I think if we consider the principle of sowing and reaping, we need to consider what Paul said in 6, and that’s the immediate context. It’s what Paul said about supporting pastors. So I think to sow to the Spirit means to consistently use the money God has given us to support his work and his faithful servants who carry that out. For the local church, that is to financially support our pastor teacher so he can focus on the ministry God has given him. I believe to be faithful to do so results in rewards, I think both in this present life and in the life to come, both for me and both for the pastor as well. We see it as a partnership, that koinonia, and the care of our souls. Now let’s see the admonition to persevere in sowing. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up. The time between sowing and reaping is often a long time. Think back to that farmer. Think about him going and planting all those seeds, and then he becomes weary in cultivating. He might think there’s little progress. They lie on the ground, or they start growing, but they’re tiny, they’re not growing. They’re not growing. They’re not growing. They’re not growing. They’re not growing. They’re not growing very fast. So if he gets tired and gives up doing all those necessary things that lead to a good harvest, the crop may give a small yield, or it may be lost completely. The farmer doesn’t plant, and they just go wait in his house for the harvest. There’s persevering work to be done. And I think in a similar way, Paul would encourage us to persevere, to keep doing those good things, all those things commanded of believers in Scripture. Those that lead to an increase of the fruits of the Spirit in our life. Those that would benefit us, our family, our neighbor, and our church family.

As Christians, we can become easily discouraged. I’ve been sharing the gospel with unsaved friends, family, or in the park, but I’m not seeing any results. Why do I continue to be discouraged? I’m not seeing any results. I’m not seeing any results. Why do I continue to do this? It doesn’t seem to make any impact. I’ve been trying to show kindness to my difficult neighbor, but it doesn’t seem to have any impact. He still has that old sour attitude. Why do I even keep trying? When I see him, I’ll just go back in the house. When our efforts are perceived to be continually met in a negative way, or with a coldness, or a lack of thankfulness, or an outright rejection of God, I’m not seeing any results. I’m not seeing any results. I’m not seeing any results. I’m not seeing any results. I’m not seeing When we don’t think we’re seeing the right results, we can become weary, and we’re tempted to just stop. But Paul’s encouragement is to, we might say, keep on keeping on. Persevere, even though it seems hard. Keep sowing. Keep cultivating. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged. Keep doing those things that Scripture tells us to do. And I think we shouldn’t miss out on that. We shouldn’t miss what Paul says. He says, we reap in due season. Paul here is promising we’ll reap a harvest. But it may not be in our timing, and it may not be in the manner we expect. But we can rest assured that it’s in God’s perfect timing, and precisely in the manner He has determined Himself. In due season, the harvest is sure, though we may never see that in this present life. We may share the gospel and think we didn’t get through, and we may find in the life to come that the person ended up being saved. As we talked about with verse 8, Paul is primarily talking about eternal life. So therefore, we persevere in sowing good while trusting completely that the harvest will be seen, if not in this life, in the life to come. And really, shouldn’t we willingly persevere? Simply because it’s God’s desire for us to do so. It pleases Him when we do. So friends, is that not reason enough to persevere? Just to be obedient? Is that not reason for us to do what’s commanded in Scripture?

Yes, we all know that gets hard. And sometimes we want to stop. And I think that’s why we have a spiritual family. That’s why we need to be among each other. When I’m tempted to stop, when I’m tempted to give up in something, I can get encouragement from you guys that will encourage me to keep on. So we should desire to persevere, to be obedient. But I think we need each other to do that effectively.

And so lastly, in verse 10, let’s see the need to prioritize sowing good. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good. Good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Paul starts out, so then. So he’s going to be summarizing some of his teaching here in verse 10. He says, so then, as we have opportunity. And I think this means we should prioritize looking for opportunities, because some opportunities do not last forever. Think back to that farmer. There’s a certain time to sow. He’s got to do it in that time to sow, or he’s not going to get the harvest he expects. So we need to be looking for opportunities and seize them when they appear. Then Paul says, let’s do good to everyone, especially to those of the household of faith. So Paul is really identifying two groups of people here.

The believers, those who would be of the household of faith, and unbelievers who are not. So let’s think first about unbelievers. How do we sow good to unbelievers? We have to say the most important thing is that we sow good to unbelievers. The most important way is sharing with them the gospel of grace. The best way to truly love your unbelieving family member, your co-worker, your friend, your neighbor, even stranger, is by sharing the good news of John 14, 6, that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. And there’s no other way, zero other chances, that you will get to the Father apart from Christ’s work. So we have to think about that. We have to ask ourselves, I had to ask myself, friends, do we really believe that this is the most loving thing we can do for unbelievers? Because we don’t want to have those awkward conversations sometimes and, you know, hard conversations you might want to have. But I think if we truly believe this is the most loving thing we’ll do, that we can do, we will have that awkward conversation and we’ll make it a priority and we’ll persevere in doing it, even when it’s difficult, even when they don’t receive it. Even when they don’t seem receptive, we will sow and trust the reaping to the Holy Spirit. And yes, I think Paul also means we sow to unbelievers whatever other good we can. And I think we show them the fruits of the Spirit, love and patience and goodness and gentleness and so on. And we live a Christ-honoring life before them. We’re not a different person when we’re around our unbelieving friends than we are when we’re around our believing friends. And we’re always looking to do good to them and for them. But. Whatever other good things we might sow to them in this life, all those things pale in comparison to the eternally important message of the gospel.

When it comes to sowing good, Paul says we show preference to believers. He says especially to those who are of the household of faith. I think he’s saying we show preference. So in the immediate context, we would understand that in what we saw in verse 6. And that’s our duty to share all good things with those who think. And to give towards providing for their material needs. This is a way we sow good to our pastor and his family within our church. So we have to ask ourselves, are we being obedient and giving?

We also remember what we talked about last week and the obligation we have to bear one another’s burdens. We are a spiritual family, so we prioritize sowing good things to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Just like with unbelievers, though. So we show each other the fruits of the Spirit as well. Love and patience and goodness and gentleness. And we live the Christ-honoring life before each other. We consistently pray for one another and carry each other’s needs before the throne of grace. We view each other as important and look for ways to help each other with sin struggles and other burdens in this life.

But to do any of this effectively, we must be growing spiritually ourselves. This means we must be sowing spiritual things into our own life before we can hope to sow spiritual things into a life of another. You can’t sow spiritual things into your children if you’re not sowing them to yourself first. You can’t teach someone something you don’t know, right? At least not effectively. I mean, you could say here it is, but the best teachers are ones who experientially know what he’s talking about.

So friends, we have to ask ourselves, are we daily? Are we daily practicing the spiritual disciplines that make us more cross-like? Are we actively warring against our flesh? Or have we put our life on cruise control? We just float along. We’re secure in Jesus.

Yeah, I kind of know I need to grow, but I don’t want to spend my time in God’s Word. I don’t want to spend my time studying. I don’t want to spend time praying. I don’t want to spend my time praying. We don’t do those things that would lead us to be more spiritual. If we continue to sow to our flesh, we cannot expect to sow spiritual things because we reap what we sow. I think that’s been clear in what Paul said. Likewise, if we expect to reap anything at all, we must be sowing. If you want to harvest, if you want to reap something, you’ve got to sow something. We have to be constantly sowing good things to everyone, but especially to those of the household of faith.

So in closing, I want us to consider one more thing. And especially as we’re about to take communion in a few minutes. It’s true that we reap what we sow. But I think there’s one time this principle does not apply. And that’s salvation. As unbelievers, we’re living in the flesh. Our lives sow seeds that we’re leading to destruction. From the pages of Scripture, we see that, that Jesus, in His incarnation, in the life that He lived here, He always sowed to the Spirit. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father that we could not. And I think at the cross, we see this great exchange. Christ reaped the rewards of our sinful life. And He willingly bore the punishment for our sins in His death. And by faith in His finished work on the cross, in His death, His burial and resurrection, we get to reap the rewards of His righteous life. And we get eternity with Him in heaven.

Praise God that in Christ, we do not get, we do not reap what we sow. We do not get what we deserve. So friends, as we turn our minds toward communion, I think this truth should give us comfort and hope and peace. And it should make us humble. And make us have truly thankful hearts. And it should spur us on to a more obedient life, one that pleases our Savior.

So friends, I guess my encouragement, just to close here, is that let it be said of providence that we’re faithful sowers. That we’re faithful sowers. Let’s pray.

Let’s pray.

Father, we thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth of Your Word that Your Spirit has given to us through Your Apostle Paul. So I think back in our study in Galatians, You’ve taught us, showed us many things, reminded us of many things. Lord, as we get here to the close, this survey, we think about sowing and reaping.

Lord, convict us of any place in our life that we’re on cruise control, any area in our life that we’re just happy with the way it is. When we know in our heart of hearts that we’re not being obedient to the teaching of Your Word. So Father, I just pray that You would convict us of that. And that we would truly repent. And we would truly turn from that sin in our life.

Father, we need Your help. We need to be growing spiritually. We know we can only do that through the power of Your Spirit working in us. But it takes time. We need to sit with Your Word. We need to spend time in praying. So I pray, Lord, that we’d be faithful to do that. Faithful to sow into our own lives that which we want to sow into others. And that’s all the goodness and all the grace and all the mercy that we find in Christ through that death and burial and resurrection. And that’s all the goodness and all the grace and all the mercy that we find in Christ. We know our Lord willingly gave His life for us. Not something He had to do, but He willingly did it because it pleased His Father to do so.

So, Fathers, we turn our time to communion. Lord, I just pray that You would speak to our hearts and our minds. Convict us of what needs to change. Anything that we need to stop doing, help us to stop doing. Anything we need to start doing, help us to stop doing it.

So we’re going to take communion now.

Preacher: Chris Price

Passage: Galatians 6:6-10