"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" We Reap What We Sow (6:7-9) INTRODUCTION 1. While encouraging Christians to share and do good, Paul reminds them of the principle of sowing and reaping... - Ga 6:7-9 2. Related to sowing and reaping, Madame Chiang Kai-shek once wrote: "If the past has taught us anything it is that every cause brings its effect, every action has a consequence. We Chinese have a saying: "If a man plants melons he will reap melons; if he sows beans, he will reap beans." And this is true of everyone's life; good begets good, and evil leads to evil. True enough, the sun shines on the saint and the sinner alike, and too often it seems that the wicked prosper. But we can say with certainty that, with the individual as with the nation, the flourishing of the wicked is an illusion, for, unceasingly, life keeps books on us all. In the end, we are all the sum total of our actions. Character cannot be counterfeited, nor can it put on and cast off as if it were a garment to meet the whim of the moment. Like the markings on wood which are ingrained in the very heart of the tree, character requires time and nurturing for growth and development. Thus also, day by day, we write our own destiny; for inexorably...we become what we do." [The implications of this principle (we reap what we sow) are important, worthy of our consideration...] I. IMPLICATIONS OF THE PRINCIPLE A. WHAT WE ARE TODAY, IS DUE TO WHAT WE DID YESTERDAY... 1. Our position, attitude, character, etc., is the result of our actions in the past 2. We cannot lay blame on heredity, environment, parents, society, etc. 3. Such things influenced us only to the degree that we let them 4. We must accept responsibility for our actions, for God will demand it of us one day! - cf. 2Co 5:10 -- Truly, the present reveals much about our past! B. WHAT WE ARE TOMORROW, WILL BE DUE TO WHAT WE DO TODAY... 1. We can change, if we do not like what we are today!
- cf. 2 Co 5:17 2. But such change comes slowly, not overnight - cf. Ro 12:1-2; 1Pe 2:1-2 3. We must begin sowing today, if we want to reap tomorrow! 4. While true of everyone, especially true for the young a. They are making choices which will affect the rest of their lives! b. They cannot "sow wild oats" and not "reap the harvest"! -- Just as true, the present portends much about our future! [And so, "we become what we do." Now let's consider the principle as applied by Paul in our text...] II. APPLICATIONS OF THE PRINCIPLE A. WE ARE GIVEN TWO OPTIONS... 1. Either we sow to the flesh - Ga 6:8a a. This entails the works of the flesh described earlier - cf. Ga 5:19-21 b. Those who sow to the flesh reap corruption (sorrow, disease, damnation) c. They will not inherit the kingdom of God! - Ga 5:21 d. They will instead experience the wrath of God! - Ep 5:5-7 2. Or we sow to the Spirit - Ga 6:8b a. This entails walking in the Spirit (see more below) - Ga 5: 16-18 b. Those who sow to the Spirit reap everlasting life (abundant life, salvation) c. They will also reap the fruit of the Spirit - cf. Ga 5:22-23 -- We can't do both (cf. Ga 5:16-17); so which will it be? B. WE SHOULD SOW TO THE SPIRIT... 1. By doing good to all, especially brethren - cf. Ga 6:10 a. This is the context of Paul's remarks on sowing and reaping - cf. also 2Co 9:6-7 b. Paul writes of reaping everlasting life - Ga 6:8 c. Elsewhere he makes a similar connection - cf. 1Ti 6:17-19 d. Jesus makes a similar connection on several occasions 1) In the sermon on the Mount - cf. Lk 6:35 2) To His disciples, following a parable on covetousness - cf. Lk 12:15,33-34 3) To the rich young ruler, who lacked one thing
- cf. Lk 18:22 2. By sharing in the good things taught in the Word - cf. Ga 6:6 a. As some understand Paul's comments in verse 6 b. Even if not Paul's original intent, the principle certainly remains true c. We can so share in two ways: 1) Obedience to the gospel, of course - cf. He 5:9; Mk 16:16 2) Growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ
- cf. 2 Pe 3:18 d. Doing so will one day reap a wonderful harvest!
- cf. 2 Pe 1:5-11 -- We sow to the Spirit (and lay up treasure in heaven) as we do good to all! C. WE SHOULD NOT GROW WEARY... 1. There is the need for patience and perseverance - Ga 6:9 2. The labor is not in vain - 1Co 15:58 3. The reaping will come at the proper time (the coming of the Lord) - cf. Jm 5:7 4. We shall reap if we don't lose heart and give up -- Learn from the farmer...have faith like a farmer! CONCLUSION 1. Our character today may not be what it should be, but it can change 2. We have but two choices, which shall it be... a. Sow to the Spirit, and reap eternal life? b. Sow to the flesh, and reap corruption? Eternal life awaits those who are willing to sow to the Spirit by patiently doing good... - cf. Ro 2:7