Bible Study Chat Notes
Sowing and Reaping; Conclusion (Galatians 6:7-18)

   
 

These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 9 PM Eastern Time US at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com. You are welcome to join us!

   

I am PLANTED with seeds of knowledge, GROUNDED in my faith, ROOTED in His love, WATERED by His Holy Spirit, FED by His word and I BLOOM with eternal life - Rosie

Dear Lord, we praise you for all of your glorious blessings to us, especially loving families and precious brothers and sisters in Christ! We rejoice most of all in the gift of your Son, the living Word, the precious speaking of your love to us, and for the written Word, your letter of love to your children.

Thank you for what you've taught us and what you're going to teach us tonight. Thank you for freedom to worship you! Holy Spirit, we invite you to be our teachers. Anoint our eyes and hearts that we can see what you would have us to see, and renew our minds to be transformed into Christ's image and likeness.

satan we come against you in the mighty name of Jesus. We bind you and rebuke you and cast you out of this room in Jesus Name! Father we bind satan in the name of Jesus tonight...we kick him out of our room, out of our computers. Thank You Father

Father we pray your anointing on our equipment and the cabling and the telephone lines so that our study will be uninterrupted by mechanical failures. Thank you Jesus! AMEN and AMEN

Last week we talked about bearing each other's burdens and carrying our own load. We stopped with Galatians 6:6.

Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.

This is a great verse and we discussed sharing with James in this ministry. He can use the help! Then Paul goes on to discuss one of the most important Biblical principles: the law of sowing and reaping. Are any of you gardeners in here?

If you are, you know that you put seed in the ground and whatever you plant grows. If you plant corn, you'll get corn; beans grow beans, etc. The more you plant, the more you get. If you planted weeds, you'd get weeds. Of course, you get weeds anyway! Paul says:

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

The principle of sowing seed and reaping a harvest is the same in the spiritual world. If you plant good seed into God's Kingdom, you will reap a good harvest. If you share all good things with your instructor, as in verse 6, you will reap a harvest of knowledge. If you do good things for God, more good things will happen to you. On the other hand, if you plant doubt fear and depression, that's what you'll get back.

Let's back up. In the bible times, people were very familiar with the process of farming. There were farms everywhere. So when Paul started talking about sowing seed and reaping a harvest, people right away knew what he meant. They knew that in the spring you planted seed, watched over the crops, and in the fall you went out and brought the crops in.

Athie - Thank you Father for Good Seed. Help us to keep planting.

Reaping is gathering a harvest, like picking tomatoes or corn. In Bible days, their largest harvest was grain that actually had to be cut down. So they had a tool with a long handle and curved blade called a reaping hook, or scythe, or like a machete. They would cut the stalks of grain and bind them into a bundle called a sheave (like "Bringing in the Sheaves"). Then they would take these sheaves of grain and take them to a special place called a threshing floor. They would have to beat the sheaves to get the grain out. Sometimes they had an ox that would drag a stone over them to get the grain. Then they ground the graininto flour. Aren't you glad you don't have to do that? All that to get a little flour to bake a loaf of bread!

Amasa - sowing is the doing of the thing (planting of seeds)...reaping is the result (harvest) or consequence)

Doing good is like sowing good seeds and will cause you to get a harvest of good things. Doing bad things has the opposite result. And the spiritual world is the same. You plant seeds of kindness, goodness, sharing, faithfulness, etc, and after a while these seeds will grow, and you will receive more goodness, kindness, and etc. back.

What Paul is saying is that everything we do for Jesus is like planting seed. It will grow and be multiplied back to us. We also sow seeds of the Word when we witness to others. And that seed takes root in their heart if they let it and will grow into true faith and we have won someone to the Lord.

The same way if we plant BAD seeds, like doubt, fear, hatred, unbelief, lies, they will also grow a crop! A bad, bad crop! And the evil we do comes back on us, multiplied. Like "what goes around comes around".

So what Paul says is that what you plant, bad or good, is what kind of harvest you get back. And even if we pretend to be a Christian, God knows what kind of seed we've been planting. He is not deceived. He knows what we do.

"A man reaps what he sows" applies positively and negatively - we can plant good or bad, and we can plant a lot of seeds or just a few. Paul says it in another way:

II Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

So we not only need to plant good seeds, but a lot of them. The good news is that even if you've planted bad seed in the past, you can start planting GOOD seed NOW! It's never too late to start planting in God's kingdom! Praise the Lord!

Paul goes on to apply it to our personal salvation:

Galatians 6:8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Athie - Tonight you need to sow seeds of trust and faith.

Start you a good garden of love and understanding by sowing good seeds to please the Spirit. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction. You have a choice - you can live your life satisfying the needs of your flesh - and if you do, that flesh will bring you a harvest of destruction - pain fear anguish and hurt. "Sowing to please his sinful nature" would be doing the works of the flesh that we studied in Galatians 5:19-22. Lets me just list them briefly again.

Galatians 5:19-22 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Doing any of these things is sowing to the flesh. Look at the list and ask God if you need help in any of these areas. If you do, God will help you overcome them. We all have had problems with some of these in the past. But God can and will deliver from all of these if we ask them to help us!

David P - anything that Jesus wouldn't do is sowing to the flesh

Now receiving help overcoming the flesh is a daily thing - we all work on this. We all have an "entangling" or "besetting" sin that we have to work on, a weakness in the flesh. BUT even if we feel like we've failed, the process of dealing with this sin draws us closer to God. It not only involves asking God to remove it, but learning what causes us to fall into it, and replacing it with its opposite. The first step is admitting the problem. The next thing is to look up the scripture that deals with that problem and do what the Word says.

kay - when we compare what we want to the best God wants for us, overcoming the flesh has to be a top goal!

Sometimes it takes a long time if it's something we've been doing for a while. But God still loves you and is pleased that you are trying!

Paul goes on to say: "the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." What do you all think "sowing to the Spirit" involves?

Amasa - If you begin to journal to God about the things you are talking about, you and he will begin working on those things at another level and you will learn about why and he will bring deliverance and healing to you... journalizing is writing what we feel.... in this case, it is another form of talking to God, only the writing brings out stuff in other ways...

Amasa, I was thinking about that today! How important it is to write these things down in some way! Then when God acts upon them, you have a record of your progress. It not only encourages you, but later you can use the same things to help others!

Sowing to the Spirit includes spending time with God in prayer, reading His Word, meditating upon it, DOING WHAT IT SAYS.

kay - We can never forget that there is always a battle between our flesh and our Spirit once we come to Jesus Christ as our savior.

Writing down your problems, the scriptures about them, your feelings your prayers, also helps you focus on SOLUTIONS to them. Notice what you reap from sowing to the Spirit - eternal life!!! What a harvest!

When we sow to the Spirit, it's the same as walking in the Spirit. When we do, the Holy Spirit produces in us the FRUIT of the Spirit. Let's look at those.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

How do you know you're sowing to the Spirit? You will see the fruit of the Spirit more and more in your life. Now if the fruit you are producing is fear, doubt, depression, etc., think about what kinds of seeds you are planting!

Now think about this. The growing process is slow. You don't plant tomato seeds today, and get ripe red tomatoes next week. It takes time. The same in the Spirit, it doesn't happen overnight!

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening. We've planted all these seeds, but where's the harvest? We don't even see a plant yet! Did you ever sprout seeds in science class at school? First the seed swells with dampness, then a tiny sprout comes out. That sprout reaches out and slowly comes to the surface. Then you see a tiny leaf, then another, then a stem. Eventually you get a plant. And then it blooms. And THEN you get a fruit, or a veggie!

It takes PATIENCE to be a gardener. What if you planted seeds today and next week went out and dug them all up to see how they were doing? Sounds silly, but you have to let them grow undisturbed to get a plant to come up.

kay - Also we never know how long it will take some seeds to germinate.

Some seeds of witnessing you might plant could take years to grow fruit. You may not even live to see the results. But have faith that they are their and God will produce a crop in His timing.

Part of being a gardener is pulling up them weeds! And you have to keep the weeds out of your heart too! The devil tries to plant seeds of doubt, envy, all kinds of ugliness. And if they spring up, jerk them out pronto!

And you can also transplant some of your seedlings of joy and cheer to others! Give them your smiles and love! So gardening takes patience with yourself and with others.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Now gardening is tiring - what with the planting, watering, weeding, etc. But you keep on, and if you do not give up AT THE PROPER TIME, we will reap a harvest. There's a time to plant, and a time for harvest, in our lives and in the lives of others.

Sometimes we do plant the wrong kind of seed. But it's never too late to weed that junk out of your heart and begin planting Good Seed. So plant seeds of love and rejoicing and weed out that doubt and fear!

Amasa - Sometimes, however, weeding the junk is a painfully crushing process.... a long walk through a deep valley with Jesus carrying us… because planting the wrong seeds can mean consequences you wish you didn't have to deal with to get rids of those weeds....

Amen Amasa, weeding is hard on the knees and back! And spiritual weeding is sometimes hard on the heart. But what a pretty garden grows when we do!!!

Can you plant TOO many good seeds? I think the problem with most Christians is that we don't plant ENOUGH! Paul goes on to say:

Galatians 6:10:Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

So when you have an opportunity, just plant good seeds! Especially for the family of God. And it is easier than you think. Just do it, and leave the results with God!

Now up to this verse, Paul has had a scribe or a secretary writing the letter for him. As was his custom he finishes the letter with a personal note.

Galatians 6:11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

Now Paul's final thoughts go back to his main concern in writing the Galatians.

Galatians 6:12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.

Remember in the beginning Paul was concerned because some called Judaizers were trying to make the Galatian believers become Jews to be saved? He reminds them here NOT to fall into that trap - that they are only doing it to make themselves look smart and important, and to avoid being persecuted or made fun of for being a Christian.

Paul then points out that these "Judaizers" don't even follow the Jewish law themselves, but here they are trying to make the Galatians get circumcised.

Galatians 6:13 Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.

All the Judaizers want to do is make themselves look good so they can "boast about your flesh" that is brag that they got the Galatians to do things their way.

I guess it comes as no surprise to most of you that not all people who say they are Christians really are! And that some of them try to get you to do things that make them look good, and not Jesus! The only way you can tell if someone is a real Christian or if what they tell you to do is right, is to test it by God's Word.

Don't even accept what OT tells you without testing it by the Word!!!! I mean it! I try very hard to share what God's Word says, but I'm not perfect. You gotta know the Word for yourself! read..study..read and read again.

What should we brag about then? Paul says - he only brags about Jesus and His death on the cross!

Galatians 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Amasa - The Message says it "Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate."

The more you see Jesus on the cross and the more you understand what He did for us by dying there - the less the world means to you! For Paul, the world was as good as dead, the world system died on the cross as far as he was concerned, because the world no longer had any charm for him. And as far as the world was concerned, Paul was dead because he no longer did or thought the things that the world does.

Sometimes we miss what it's all about - the cross! This is where everything we need was obtained by Jesus sacrifice. This bought us eternal life and everything leading up to it. It's something to brag about!

Gannah - so that's why I'm dead to the world but alive in Christ

Right Gannah, but if we get our focus off of the cross of Christ, we can easily forget that!!!! Paul also says in:

I Corinthians 1:31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

I Corinthians 2:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified

Paul was crucified to the world:

James 4:4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Now world here is the evil world system arranged against God and contrary to the Word of God, not the people for whom Christ died.

I John 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

A lot of times we live in defeat as Christians because we "straddle the fence", we try to live by the world's standards and by God's too. That's just not possible to do.

kay - If we keep Christ as our center and focus nothing else matters.

Amasa - we are called to separate ourselves from the world...but to witness to the world that they may know Jesus… but to not live as the world lives....

We should not be friends of the world system, because the way the world thinks is not the way God thinks. This doesn't mean we can't have friends who aren't Christians; we should so we can witness to them.

15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

Amasa - Message again, "It is not what you and I do -- It is what God is doing and he is creating something totally new, a free life. All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God -- his chosen people."

What Paul is saying here is that the conflict the Judaizers were causing was not relevant - it doesn't matter as far as salvation is concerned whether you are circumcised or not! What counts is a NEW CREATION! Praise the Lord! When we are saved, we are made new!

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Now sometimes we don't act like all things are become new, do we? Sometimes we still think the old thoughts, do the old things that do not please God. And we walk in defeat!

kay - when the old man dies sometimes he puts up a strong fight but PTL Jesus has overcome it all!

Sometimes we let the "world squeeze us into its' mold", so to speak, we still try to do what the rest of the world does. What does this cause? Doubt, fear, thoughts of suicide, depression, anger, bitterness!

Amasa - the mold of America -- how to become a part of the successful -- rich, famous, powerful.... Or you are not doing it right... - and it has become a form of idolatry in America -- to worship success, money and materialism...

kay - Christ's love is the only pure love the rest is counterfeit.

But we are a new creation! Hallelujah! We don't have to live by that junk anymore! We are free from all that! We can walk in peace, joy, love, and faith! That's why Paul says in:

Galatians 6:16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.

If we choose to sow good seed, to walk in the Spirit, to be crucified to the world, to boast in the cross of Jesus, to live as a new creation, "this rule", THEN peace and mercy will come to us!

Now the "Israel of God" is another way of saying "Christian", not the old Israel according to the flesh (Jews), but the new creation in the Spirit.

Amasa - part of dying to the flesh -- or the world -- is to make sure we do not put anything higher than obedience to God, including "striving for success" in this world

Then Paul says something that seems odd:

Galatians 6:17 17 Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

What do you think this means? What were the "marks" that Jesus bore in His body? The "print" of the nails in his hands and feet, and the deep scar in the side from the sword at the crucifixion. Perhaps also the scars from His scourging and the crown of thorns. Remember "Doubting Thomas" who wouldn't believe Jesus was resurrected until he thrust his hands into these scars? Jesus still bears these "brands of love" for us today!

And Paul bore in his body scars from his many beatings and stonings for Christ's sake. He's saying, I not only identify with Christ, but I have also been "branded" for Him by my scars. Who are you to give me trouble?

In ancient times the Greek word for "marks" was used of the brand that identified slaves or animals. Paul bore in his body the scars that branded him as a servant of Christ. Sometimes we also bear scars for Christ, not always physically, but sometimes in the heart, brands from old wounds we've suffered for serving Him! And He honors our sacrifices and they remind us that we belong to Him.

Some Christians today have actual scars from being tortured for Christ. We should give these brothers and sisters great honor! And there may come a day, even in this country, where WE are tortured for our faith, and can proclaim with Paul, "We bear on our bodies the marks of Jesus!" God grant that we will endure under persecution as Brother Paul did.

Amasa - I like from the Message too -- " Quite frankly, I don't want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do -- THE SERIOUS LIVING OF THIS FAITH ---- May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes."

Then Paul closes his letter with verse 18:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

Ah, it begins with grace - the grace that brings us to Christ. We are saved by grace through faith, that not of ourselves lest any man should boast. We grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And grace shall bring us home to live with Jesus. Hallelujah!

What greater gift could Paul leave for the suffering, confused Galatians but the grace of God? What better way to end his letter, which started with a strong condemnation of the Judaizers? Paul ended the letter with a final AMEN, so be it Lord!

And so we end our study of Galatians with a final AMEN - so be it Lord! May the Holy Spirit bring all the things we have learned to our remembrance and may we be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves!

Father God, bless the hearers tonight as the Word has gone forth. Implant this good seed deep into their hearts and may it bring forth a harvest of righteousness, to your glory, blessed Father.

Thank you all for your patience and attention during this study. I pray that it has helped you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Father, give us even more holy boldness to be your witnesses. And also to all who are here - be mighty in their lives we pray in Jesus Name! Thank You Lord for Your love for us, Your grace to us. In Jesus name. AMEN

Love to you all!!! God's richest blessings upon you and your households! AMEN.

 

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice!

 

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