Summary: Exposition of Galatians 6:7-10 about sowing and reaping and staying faithful

Text: Galatians 6:7-10, Title: Are you mocking God? Date/Place: NRBC, 8/12/07, PM

A. Opening illustration: survey of potential adultery under the promise that no one would find out…

B. Background to passage: Paul has just instructed them about their responsibility to other church members and to themselves, and then he proceeds to warn them in his bodily absence against the thoughts in their minds that “what Paul doesn’t know…” As Christians we all face decisions of character that expose our inner beings as to whether or not we will be true to Christian truth and practice when nobody is watching.

C. Main thought: In this text we will see two truths about Christian duty.

A. Divine law (v. 7-8)

1. The areas of math, chemistry, etc are governed by consistent laws of nature. So also it is with agriculture. Maybe a little less predictable, but just ask the farmers in the room. You will eventually reap what you plant. So it is also true in the spiritual realm. So Paul warns these believers that they are being deceived if they think that God will not make all things right one day. He tells them that God is not mocked. The translation of this word means to thumb your nose at God with contempt. So this is not only sinning in ignorance, this is willful, rebellious, presumptuous sin. And to live in opposite of what one knows is God’s truth on something, is in effect mocking God, as if they were daring Him to do something about their behavior. But Paul says that if sow to the flesh (even if it is moralistic legalism) you will reap corruption. This word corruption was used of a putrid, decaying body. The implications are eternal destruction. And this was what was going on in the hearts of the people of Galatia. But Paul somehow links their eternity to this concept; indicating a quality to experience, and an evidence to be given.

2. Job 4:8, Pro 1:31-33, Hos 8:7, Ex 20:5, Rom 8:13,

3. Illustration: MacArthur told about a time that he and his family came back from vacation to find a large giant sunflower plant growing right in the middle of their garden, but he said they never even had the thought, that it came from any other seed than a giant sunflower seed, "You sow a thought and you reap a deed. You sow a deed and you reap a habit. You sow a habit and you reap a character. You sow a character and you reap a destiny." “Every time we allow our mind to harbor a grudge, nurse a grievance, entertain an impure fancy, wallow in self-pity, we are sowing to the flesh. Every time we linger in bad company whose insidious influence we know we cannot resist, every time we lie in bed when we ought to be up and praying, every time we read pornographic literature, every time we take a risk that strains our self-control, we are sowing, sowing, sowing to the flesh.” –Stott,

4. How do we mock God? Whenever we know to do something and don’t: such as coming to church, tithing, witnessing, prayer, bible study, etc. This is why it is more dangerous to hear and not do, than to never hear at all. When you hear that self-centeredness or anger are sinful, and yet you continue to sow seeds of them, don’t be deceived, God will not be mocked. This applies to churches, families too. If you as a church have sown seeds of gossip, divorce, anger, factions, etc, this is what you will reap. If you as a husband or a wife do not get control of you faults and vices, you will see the same things popping up in your children, and their children. As a believer in Christ we will never see the ultimate consequences to our sin, for Christ has quenched that for us, but we can and will experience the consequences of our own actions So, sow in the Spirit, which is the same as walking by the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, and being filled wit the Spirit. It means to do the good things that Paul has previously outlined in his letter

B. Divine encouragement (v. 9-10)

1. Then Paul gives them one of the most often quoted verses in Galatians. He says don’t grow weary and lose heart because you don’t see the fruit of your labor, but continue to do good even though it seems to be of no avail. The word he uses means active, diligence labor or work. Again summing up all that he has told them to this point in the letter, he urges them to continue being faithful in his absence. He promises the that God will bring about the harvest in “due season” which means at the appointed time. And then he tells them keep on seizing the day, taking the opportunity (our lifetimes) to do good to those around you and especially to the brethren.

2. 1 Cor 15:58, 2 Chron 15:7, Heb 6:10, 12:1-3,

3. Illustration: “…the wise farmer can usually depend on expected timetables of seedtime and harvest. Not so in the spiritual life. One of the greatest frustrations in the Christian ministry, and principal cause for ‘weariness in well doing’ is the inability to calculate the spiritual outcome of faithful labors in the work of the Lord.” –Timothy George, “Vacationers get tired of sunsets, millionaires get tired of money, kids get tired of toys, and Christians get tired of doing good. At first the excitement of teaching a new SS class was strong, but now you have grown weary of well-doing. The thrill is gone. At first you felt clean and strong when you first drove the van, as you taught the Lao English, let the small group study, visited the newcomers, started reading the bible, worked in the emergency shelter…, but not you have grown weary in well-ding. The inner power and joy have seeped away. It’s a chore. You’ve lost heart.” –Piper, Gabriel frowned and looked rather skeptical. He knew well what poor stuff humans were made of. "Yes," he said, "but what if Peter and James and John grow weary? What if the people who come after them forget? What if way down through the centuries people just don’t tell others about you? Haven’t you made any other plans?" And Jesus answered, "I haven’t made any other plans. I’m counting on them."

Higgins concludes, “twenty-one centuries later He still has no other plan. He’s counting on you and me to continue His work of reconciling the world to Himself, to continue the work so many have faithfully carried out before us. Will we do so well?” Tell about he missionary who worked hard for 20+ years w/o converts, then died, and his replaced so the conversion of many, tell about the testimony of Pastor Jose that told about the Hispanic family that came to his church around Christmas, and has not missed a Sunday since, and told him that they first heard the gospel here at NRBC.

4. Remember that his is coming from a man who is getting beaten, shipwrecked, heckled, jailed, and slandered everywhere he goes. So keep on working. God will bring about the harvest. If you feel like you have grown weary, ask God to renew your strength, He has a promise to do that. Ask God for wisdom and fresh vision, and he will do that. Ask God for renewed passion, and guard yourself from cold, lifeless, exciteless religion. We need van drivers, ESL teachers, follow-up visitation people, worshippers, instrumentalists, committee members, grass mowers, prayer warriors, who have grown weary to fall on their face afresh and ask God for new life! This is what it will take as you who are faithful have sought the Lord for revival at New River. Keep working, praying, seeking, as His faithfulness endures to all generations, and the Lord of the Harvest will produce the fruit with the time is right and His laborers are ready to gather it in. But revival will not come while the laborers are fussing, gossiping, and playing with marbles while 3.3 billion people don’t have access to the gospel, and another 2 billion are lost without Christ. In our encouragement when must develop a kingdom mentality.

A. Closing illustration: Maxcy Filer of Compton, California began taking the California Bar Exam in the mid 1960s. He didn’t pass it the first time or the second time. In fact, he didn’t pass the exam until his forty-eighth try. Before earning a passing grade, he failed forty-seven times over a span of twenty-five years. Sometimes the tests of life seem "unpassable," but "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary"

B. Recap

C. Invitation to commitment