The Book of Galatians
James J. Barker
THE PRINCIPLE OF SOWING AND REAPING
- Sowing and
reaping is one of the great themes of the Bible.
- If a man plants
cucumbers, he does not expect to get peas. He cannot plant an apple tree and
expect to get oranges.
- “Sow to
yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground:
for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon
you. Ye have plowed
wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity” (Hosea 10:12,
- Our Lord often
spoke of sowing and reaping (cf. Matt. 13:3-9, 18-30; John 4:36,
- The apostle
Paul often referred to this principle of sowing and reaping (cf. II Cor. 9:6,
- DL Moody used
to preach a message entitled, “Sowing and Reaping.” Moody said, “No other truth in the Bible
is more solemn.”
messages on sowing and reaping were filled with true stories of sowing and
reaping – Marie Antoinette going to the guillotine, and King Henry III of France
getting stabbed to death in the same chamber where he had contrived the cruel
massacre of the Huguenots, etc.
- Moody often
told a sad story about a crook, who came under great conviction at one of
Moody’s meetings and Moody advised the man to go to the authorities and turn
himself in. The man heeded Moody’s
advice and went to prison. The story was a heartbreaking story but it had a
happy ending as the governor eventually granted the man a pardon and he was
released from prison and reunited with his wife and
- Many people
accused Moody of making the story up, and at one particular meeting a man stood
up and defended Moody. It was the governor himself!
YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW WHEN YOU GIVE (6:6, 7,
(6:6) means to share with the teacher material things such as money, food,
housing, transportation, clothing, etc.
- I have heard it
said many times, and I believe it with all my heart: you cannot outgive the Lord
- Hebrews 13:16,
17 says, "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such
sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and
submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give
account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is
unprofitable for you."
- You can tell a
lot about a person's spiritual maturity by how much he or she gives. Our Lord said in Matthew 6:21, "For
where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
- Galatians 6:6
teaches that we have a responsibility to take care of those who teach and preach
the Word of God. Our Lord
said in Luke 10:7, "The labourer is worthy of his
- The apostle Paul referred to this principle several
times (I Cor. 9:11, 14; I Tim. 5:17, 18).
- Galatians 6:6-10 teaches that when we take care of God's
servants we will reap a great spiritual blessing.
- Our Lord said in Matthew 10:41, "He that
receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward;
and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall
receive a righteous man's reward."
- How we sow is
up to us. But once we have sowed,
we cannot change the harvest (6:7, 8).
- If every
Christian understood this principle, and followed it, there would be more
churches built, more missionaries going out, more tracts and Bibles printed and
distributed, more Gospel programs on television and radio, etc. (cf. II Cor.
- H.A. Ironside
said, "He who seeks only to be benefited by others and is not concerned about
sharing with them, will have a Dead Sea kind of a life. It is said that nothing
can live in that body of water because it has no outlet, and though millions of
tons of fresh water pour into it every week, evaporation and mineral deposits
make it so bitter and acrid that it cannot sustain life. He who is more
concerned about giving to others than about receiving for himself will be
constantly fresh and happy in his own experience and will enjoy all the more the
good things ministered to him" (Galatians).
YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW WHEN YOU SIN (6:7,
- Galatians 6:7
says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that
shall he also reap."
- It has been
said, "We shall reap if we sow. Sow a thought and you reap an act. Sow an act
and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and
you reap a destiny."
- Job 4:8 says, “Even as I have seen, they that plow
iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”
- J. Wilbur Chapman was in Scotland, and he preached a
sermon on sowing and reaping.
- In the message, Chapman said, "That sin you committed in
London, that sin you committed in New York, you will reap what have
- After he finished preaching the message, his songleader
Charles Alexander said he went too far afield to say, "that sin committed in New
York," for the people in Scotland had never been in New York.
- But at the close of the service three men came forward,
and one of them said to Chapman, "You have uncovered a sin I have tried to hide
for years. I went to New York for five days, and was so far away from home that
I thought I might give way. I sinned, and I have covered it over all my life. I
thought no one would know it."
YOU REAP MORE THAN YOU SOW
- Hosea 8:7 says,
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the
- Sowing the
wind represents that which lacks substance. It is a picture of sowing to the flesh
(Gal. 6:8). Like all efforts of the flesh, it is futile, worthless, and of no
- Proverbs 11:29
says, "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the
- The “whirlwind”
in Hosea 8:7 reminds us that you reap much more than you
- Reaping the
whirlwind teaches us that sowing to the flesh is
- In nature, you
always sow more than you reap. And
this is true in the spiritual realm as well. The harvest is
always greater than the seed planted.
- This is a great
blessing if we sow to the Spirit, but it is a serious warning if we sow to the
flesh (6:7-9). Consider Proverbs 22:8, 9: "He that soweth iniquity
shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail. He that hath a bountiful eye shall be
blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor."
- He that soweth
iniquity shall reap vanity. The
Hebrew word translated "vanity" means, "trouble, wickedness, and sorrow.
- He that soweth
iniquity shall reap trouble, wickedness, and sorrow.
- But on the other hand, he that is generous, and gives of
his bread to the poor "shall be blessed" (Proverbs 22:8,
- Dr. Howard
Kelly was a distinguished physician who, in 1895, founded the Johns Hopkins
Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Johns Hopkins
- Dr. Kelly was
also a Christian. In seventy-five
percent of his cases, he neither sought nor received a fee for his surgery. Furthermore, he paid the salary for a
nurse to visit and care for those patients who could not otherwise afford such
- Galatians 6:9
says, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in
due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
- If we had more
doctors like Dr. Howard Kelly, we would not need any Medicaid,
Medicare, and Obamacare, etc.
- According to
Dr. Kelly's biographer, Audrey Davis, the doctor was on a walking trip through
Northern Pennsylvania one spring day when he stopped by a farm house for a drink
- A little girl
answered his knock at the door and instead of water, she brought him a glass of
fresh milk. He chatted with her briefly, then went on his way.
- Sometime after
that, that same little girl came to him as a patient and needed surgery.
After the surgery, the bill was brought to her room and on it were the words,
"Paid in full with one glass of milk."
- That young girl
learned the principle of sowing and reaping.