June 20th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
Many of us agricultural metaphors are intelligible yet not relatable. What I mean is that we can understand the concepts that are being expressed but we have very little first-hand experience with the actual phenomena. In our passage for this week Paul uses a common biblical metaphor or reaping what you sow. The modern reader can comprehend what he means. If someone were to plant corn, there is no chance that when harvest time comes, he will get wheat. With our knowledge of genetics and the inner working of DNA, we might even be in a better place to acknowledge the truth that what one sows, they will reap. Nevertheless, very few of us have personal knowledge of raising crops for our livelihood. If we want corn, we don’t have to make plans six months ahead of time. We don’t have to buy the seed, prepare the soil, sow the seed, tend the ground, water, fertilize, and finally harvest. Rather we just go down to the store and buy whatever variety of corn we desire; canned, cream, frozen, on the cob, niblets, yellow, white, or sweet. This relationship with agriculture means that we get the concept behind the metaphor, but we haven’t had the experience undergirding the metaphor.
Paul’s aim in our passage for this Sunday is to encourage the Galatians to persevere in doing good. It is easy to become discouraged in doing good when you don’t see immediate results. You can give up because it seems that there will be no return. However, Paul says that our actions now will result in a harvest later. We are sowing seeds that will germinate and fruit in the future. If we do good, then there will be a harvest of life, yet if we do evil there will be a harvest of destruction. We who are so far removed from the life of agriculture must listen carefully. In the day of harvest, we will not get to pick what we reap. We will reap what we have sown. The day of harvest is not like going to the grocery store and choosing whatever you like. Rather you will receive from what you have done whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Some may argue that this concept communicates a works righteousness system of belief. Has Paul spent five chapters arguing that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone only to undermine his whole argument by insisting on eternal rewards based on good deeds? Not at all. Rather Paul is communicating a spiritual truth, that those who have been accepted as righteous and given the Spirit of Christ must now live by the Spirit. The reward of harvesting eternal life is not earned through good works. Rather good works are a result of God’s grace to us in Christ. The result of that grace in us is the fruit of the Spirit borne through us. We are not saved by good works, but we are saved to good works.
If you desire corn, you must plant corn. If you plant weeds, when the time of harvest comes that is what you are going to get. Therefore, do not grow weary in planting good seed for there will be a day of harvest in which you will reap eternal life. To come prepared for the sermon take time this week to read and to meditate upon Galatians 6:7-10, Psalm 16:11, Hosea 8:7, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Ephesians 2:5-6, and Westminster Confession of Faith 33.1.
As we gather to worship our loving Father this Lord’s Day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “We Come, O Christ, to You” the Acclamation of Praise “Before the Throne of God Above” and the Hymn of Response “How Firm a Foundation” Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!
Text: Galatians 6:7-10
Title: A Good Harvest
- Stop Sowing to the Flesh (vv. 7-8a)
- Continue Sowing to the Spirit (v. 8b)
- Wait for the Time of Harvest (vv. 9-10)