Galatians 6:6

Sunday, 10 December 2017

-Today’s teaching will be part three of a series I’ve titled, “Helping the Hurting.” -Here in this chapter, we’ve seen several and specific ways to help those who have fallen by restoring them to a spiritual health. -As such, I would like to very quickly recap what we’ve seen so far, because it will be germane to our understanding of our text.

1. Be gentle to others – (Verse 1) -Here, Paul says if someone is caught in a fault, those who are spiritual mature should gently restore them to spiritual health. -However, he also cautions us to be very careful in doing so, lest we be tempted to think that this could have never been us.

2. Be compassionate toward others – (Verse 2) -Paul is saying that those concerned with the law can fulfill the law of Christ by having compassion and carry other’s burdens.

3. Be humble before others – (Verses 3-5) -Paul very bluntly says that those who think more highly of themselves than they ought have in affect become self deceived.

4. Be generous with others – (Verses 6-8) 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. -In verse six, Paul is basically saying that those who have been taught God’s Word should share with those who taught them. -In verse seven, he then tells them to not be deceived because God cannot be mocked; whatever we sow is what we’ll reap. -In verse eight, he expounds on this saying if we sow to the flesh we reap the flesh, and if we sow to the Spirit we reap the Spirit.

-As a pastor and Bible teacher this is amongst the most uncomfortable passages to teach by virtue of it seeming as self-serving. -This because, Paul is talking about being financially generous with those who teach and instruct God’s people in God’s Word. -Please know that I was more than willing to briefly comment on this and move on were it not for something God showed me.

-I’m hoping you’ll kindly indulge me as I attempt to share what I would argue is one of the most powerful lessons we can learn. -Specifically, that of our generosity in the area of giving financially blessing us as the giver in the principle of sowing and reaping. -However, first, I think it’s incumbent upon me to put to rest the matter of any self-serving motive in what I say from this point on.

To do that, I’ll quote those who say it much better than I can, starting with Martin Luther, “These passages are all meant to benefit us ministers. I must say I do not find much pleasure in explaining these verses. I am made to appear as if I am speaking for my own benefit. …I have often wondered why all the apostles reiterated this request with such embarrassing frequency …we have come to understand why it is so necessary to repeat the admonition of this verse. When Satan cannot suppress the preaching of the Gospel by force, he tries to accomplish his purpose by striking the ministers of the Gospel with poverty.”

Of the apostles reiterating this principle with “embarrassing frequency,” one commentator wrote, “This is a basic, though sometimes neglected spiritual principle. Those who feed and bless you spiritually should be supported by you financially. Paul repeated this principle in several other places. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? (1 Corinthians 9:11). Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14). Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine (1 Timothy 5:17). If you trust them with your spiritual health, you should also trust them to steward the gifts of God’s people (Luke 16:11).

-Here’s the bottom line, whether you’re the pastor in the pulpit or the person in the pew, breaking this principle will break you. -Actually, truth be known, we really can’t break this principle of sowing and reaping, rather, this principle will break us instead. -The reason being is sowing and reaping can be likened unto the law of gravity in the sense that you will harvest what you plant.

2 Corinthians 9:6–11 — 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

-This is interesting for a number of reasons chief of which is Paul’s analogy of a farmer who sows seed sparingly or generously. -Specifically, the farmer who grudgingly sows his seed sparingly, may have more seed initially, but less of a harvest eventually. -Conversely, the farmer who sows generously may have less seed initially, but he will enjoy an abundant harvest eventually.

-There’s something else here I’d like to point out in closing, and it has to do with God’s economy being the antithesis of man’s. -Let me explain, in man’s economy, the more we give away the less we have, whereas in God’s economy it’s the exact opposite. -In God’s economy, the more you give the more you will have.  As one aptly noted, “You cannot out give God.” (Pro 11:24-25.)