Faithlife Sermons

(Galatians 6:7-10) Plant for an Eternal Harvest

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Farmers possess a skill set that I appreciate,
but I don’t possess.
A farmer knows how to plant seeds and then nourish it into a bountiful harvest.
Farmers are notoriously faithful and patient,
because they plant seeds in the spring so that in summer and fall the can reap a harvest.
Perhaps you grew up on a farm,
or you knew people who owned a farm, and you know what I’m talking about.
Or perhaps your are a gardener. You do not plant to cornfields,
but you are planting and harvesting a family garden.
Or Perhaps you’re like the rest of us who missed the green thumb gene - and appreciate farmers,
but don’t have that aptitude to be a farmer.
Some of us are farmers and some of us are gardeners and some of us are neither.
What we touch dies!
But this morning,
I would like to remind you every one of us are spiritual farmers.
We may not be planting corn, we may have no idea how to plant corn, – but if you’re Christian today, then you are a spiritual farmer.
I recently I was doing some reading, and this text really challenged my heart.
Not a truth I didn’t know, but a truth that needed to be reminded of.
And I hope this text is a good reminder for you as well.
Let’s look at Galatians 6:7 – 10.
Galatians 6:7–10 ESV
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 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. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
According to this passage -

We should live as a blessing to others.

And Paul gives us three truths for why we should live as a blessing.
The first truth -

1) We are spiritual farmers. (Gal 6:7-8)

I don’t say that to be illustrative, but because Paul teaches us that we are Spiritual farmers.
According to this passage.
We are farmers every single day
Every hour, every minute we are planting seeds.
Galatians 6:7–8 ESV
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 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.
What is Paul saying?
We are Spiritual farmers.
You might not be able to even grow a chia pet, but you are planting spiritual seeds everyday.
You are plantings when you are making dinner,
and you are planting when you wake up at 2 AM to help sick child.
You are planting when you call you wife to see how her day is going.
You are always planting.
Paul reminds us that - “for whatever one sows, that will he also reap”
In other words - we are always planting.
There is never a moment we are not planting seeds.
The only choice - is what crop we want to plant.
Our two options -
a) We can plant corruption.
b) We can plant eternal fruit.
The word corruption here has the idea of moral decay, corruption, destruction, and ultimately death.
The word flesh is often described as the source of our physical and moral corruption. Our depravity.
James 1:13–15 ESV
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
And every time we choose selfishness and sin - we are planting seeds of corruption.
Yet, if you are a believer in Christ - you have a choice.
Galatians 4:3–5 ESV
3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Galatians 5:16 ESV
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
If you are a believer - then Christ has bought you a choice.
Rather than corruption -
You can choose to sow in the Spirit.
You can choose to plant eternal fruit.
I realize our text say eternal life.
But - It is not teaching that we earn our way to salvation.
Galatians 3:10–11 ESV
10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
What he is saying
is that if we plant the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) - we are aligned with the eternal life found in Christ.
So we have to choose -
We can plant seeds of sin and corruption.
We can plant seeds of the Spirit and reap the fruit of eternal life.
Through Christ - we have choice.
Let me ask you -
what kind of crop are you planting?
Are you planting seeds of corruption and destruction?
And your field likely is not all one or the other.
Before we check our box off.
and say we have it all together.
you are probably sowing the fruit of the Spirit.
but you are also probably sowing pockets of corruption.
Your mixing a little bit of weeds in with your fruit.
Paul is saying - be careful what kind of crop you are planting.
The second truth about being a blessing -

2) The planting is now and the harvest is latter. (Gal 6:9)

Galatians 6:9 ESV
9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Being a good farmer has a lot to do with knowing the time and seasons.
If you plant too early, the frost can destroy your crop.
If you plan too late, then your crop doesn’t have time to be harvested.
So a farmer plans on planting in the Spring.
He wants to plant seeds when the opportunity is right.
By telling us that we sow now, but reap latter - he is telling us we are in planting season.
The right time to put the seeds in the ground is now.
The harvest is latter,
but the planting season is now.
Take advantage of the planting season - to bear a fruitful crop.
Proverbs 20:4 ESV
4 The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
The point is that a lazy fool misses the seasons.
But a wise person will plant when it is time to plant.
Right now, there is an incredible opportunity to plant a bountiful, eternal harvest,
But this planting season will end one day.
This passage may not seem that challenging yet.
Until you start considering why people don’t plant.
Intertwined in this passage is a reminder why some people stop farming.
Intertwined in this text is Paul’s encouragement to exhausted farmers.
Perhaps you are here today and can say - I am an exhausted farmer.
The third truth about being a blessing -

3) Keeping Planting.

It is so easy to find reasons not to keep planting.
It is so easy to let your heart to take you away from being a Spiritual farmer.
And so Paul addresses this natural tendency - to stop farming.
Consider -
The encouragement of Paul:
The encouragement of Paul:

a) Don’t falsely think you get away with seeds of sin. (Gal 6:7)

Galatians 6:7 ESV
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
That is a powerful expression - do not be deceived.
He is saying - don’t make this mistake. Don’t be a fool.
Many times we believe the lie - Sin doesn’t cost.
We probably wouldn’t say it that way,
but that is how we act.
We ignore the warnings of our conscience.
We harden our heart against convictions.
We avoid the truth as though you can run from God’s Word.
But -
Our sin does cost.
It hurts those around us.
And it brings us under God’s chastening
David describes his guilt this way -
Psalm 38:3–8 ESV
3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. 4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness, 6 I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning. 7 For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. 8 I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
Eventually the sin we reap catches up to us.
David’s sin has caught up with him.
And his life is filled with heartache.
What you sow, is what you reap - so don’t think your sin doesn’t cost.
Certainly, as a believer in Jesus Christ we are saved from our sins.
But at the same time God cannot be outwitted.
He cannot be mocked.
In perfect harmony God shows us grace through cross,
but through chastisement, providence, and the judgement seat of Christ - God also brings justice.
Paul reminds us - that what we plant, is what we harvest.
And if we plant sin
- we will reap corruption and ruin.
Then in v. 9, Paul reminds us -

b) Don’t be discouraged by unfruitfulness. (Gal 6:9)

Galatians 6:9 ESV
9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Why would we be considering giving up?
And I believe what Paul is referring to is the frustration when our seeds don’t bear fruit.
Because we are in the planting season,
many times the fruit of our planting is yet to come.
We are still waiting for the harvest.
It is essentially impatience for the harvest.
Philip Ryken says this -
“But how should you persevere when something you hope will happen just doesn’t? If you’re really spiritual you may be able to be patient for months or years—truly growing in realizing that God is enough for you. But the reality is that we might find the work demanding and grow exhausted. We may look for accolades or simple appreciation and not find them; our work may not produce payback we can see. Alternatives may look more and more attractive, tempting us to think, “Why keep on with this relationship, employer, church, those people?””
In some ways the Christian life, is not about what you can see here and now.
But the eternal reward that we find latter.
In Farming terms.
We should be doing a lot of planting right now,
and you may not ever see the reward.
But if you truly trust God’s wisdom - you keep going because you know the harvest is yet to come.
****** Don’t be discouraged by a lack of fruit. *****
And Finally Paul encourages us to -

c) Seize every opportunity to plant. (Gal 6:10)

Galatians 6:10 ESV
10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
If you truly believe God’s timing is perfect, he posses perfect wisdom, and he is and good and just.
Then you ought to seize every opportunity.
God has promised in this passage that if you plant the fruit of the spirit, then you will reap a wonderful harvest.
“that which we so.....w, we will reap.”
The farmer works hard planting in the spring,
but he is motivated because he knows a bountiful harvest is coming in the Fall.
Paul is saying - be like that.
- This is the time to plant.
- This is the time to put in the extra hours.
Because the hard work now - will be rewarded at harvest time.
Practically - What are the planting opportunities we are talking about?
The seeds we plant: Living out the fruit of the Spirit through acts of goodness and kindness towards others. (Gal 5:22-26, 6:1-6, 6:9)
The Field we plant:
(1) Among the lost.
(2) Among the family of God.
Take every opportunity to love your neighbor.
Take every opportunity to love your brother and sister in Christ.
Grab a hold of every opportunity.
The planting and harvesting theme of this passage would have bee a powerful image in Paul’s day.
In an agricultural society -
A bountiful harvest was an event that was celebrated.
But a failed harvest would have been a terror.
There worst fears realized.
So for Paul to say -
You can plant corruption
You can plant eternal fruit
but one day you will reap what you plant is a powerful image.
An image that would have caught the attention of every person reading this letter.
And it should catch your attention because you will reap the harvest you have sown.
The Great thing about this text is it is not limited to anything.
He literally is telling us to go live out the Christian life.
Some have used this as a text for evangelism. We should evangelize, but it means more than that.
Other have uses this as a text to encourage people to give to the church, but it means more than that.
This means living in the fruit of the spirit and not the flesh.
This means living a life that shows the love of Christ.
This means living a life that blesses others.
We should live lives as a blessing to others.
As Puritan William Perkins said of this passage -
There are two sorts of seeds which men sow in this life, good and evil. Two kinds of sowers, spiritual men, and carnal men. Two sorts of ground, in which this seed is sown; the flesh and the Spirit. Two sorts of harvests, which men are to reap according to the seed; corruption and life. Notice that the sower isn’t in a neutral position. (Puritan William Perkins)
Consider what you are sowing, and what the harvest will look like?
The areas that you are sowing for Christ - don’t give up.
The areas that you are sowing corruption - Acknowledge, repent of, and replace with the fruit of the Spirit.
I challenge us to go live a life that plants for a bountiful harvest.
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