The church in general has always taught about sowing and reaping in reference to your works (actions/self effort) and finances (tithes/offerings). In fact the boom of the mega church has been on the basis of the word of faith and sowing and reaping. When grace (God’s unmerited favor) first entered my life one of the first things that I noticed was discernment, under grace you are led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18). I would immediately disregard things that did not line up with this full knowledge of grace. If what was being taught pointed to my efforts to receive or live correctly I would not receive it. If a praise and worship song had lyrics that pointed to my self efforts instead of Jesus and His finished work I would not sing it. But not in a disrespectful way, we didn’t speak once while in church about this truth of grace. The Spirit wouldn’t let us, God is about building His church and not starting from the ground up over and over. We only spoke about it in private meetings with pastors. We kept the conversations between my wife and I and that’s it, knowing that God’s plan is to advance His grace (2 Timothy 1:9 (AMP)). His timing is perfect. One of the things that I knew wasn’t truth from God was sowing and reaping the way it was taught. How could the gospel of grace (the gospel of God’s unmerited favor towards us) teach something that is based on merit. The church teaches against karma, that there is no such thing but then they teach about sowing and reaping from a “karma” perspective. This is deception from the enemy, hiding the law in a truth of grace. This has kept people in bondage, living in the law, the prison of sin and disobedience. The strength of sin is the law – 1 Corinthians 15:56. But thank God for giving us His grace and truth through the finished work of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
I’ll be completely transparent and show you my life as evidence of what this incorrect law based teaching produces and what the fullness of His grace produces. Last year I was submitting my income tax files for the year and I looked at my income tax history for the last 8-9 years. What I saw was that the year that I made the least amount of money was the year that I gave the most, not percentage wise but total money! That year I was in college, and only my wife was working. Yet we gave more total money then the years that we made six figures in. And during this time we were under this incorrect teaching of sowing and reaping from a works/money perspective. So we were living a mixed covenant life, mixing grace (saved by grace) with law (living by the law). What it produced was disobedience (sin) because the law points to the flesh and the flesh is weak. God’s wisdom is for us to receive the fullness of His Son, His grace upon grace and live a life led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). When grace first entered my life I supernaturally became a different person, the fruits of the Spirit made me walk as the new creation that I became the minute I was saved. Giving was no longer a law to me. Money fell out of my pockets, in the last five months of 2010 when grace entered my life I gave more then I would have tithing all year. And it was effortlessly, it was not a habit, it was Spirit led. And this has not faded, it is not fleshly effort that is temporary, it is not will power that fails. And it’s not something I can boast in, it’s His fruit of the Spirit in my life.
This past week has been an awesome week of letting go no matter what the circumstance and letting Him fill us with His abundance of grace. It’s been a week of peace and joy for my wife and I and I believe also for those close to us, our Bible study group and those as far as Australia but close in Spirit. And God is faithful, He has filled my life with His revelation of His truth. My favorite time of the day is when I have a shower, needless to say my showers are now 30-40 minutes. It is my time of me cultivating the presence of the Lord, there is something about the water and the sound that is quiet and peaceful to me. And it’s a time that my eyes are only on Him. And it’s a time of God speaking into my life. I tell my wife that I wish I could record the things that are said during this time. Hence this blog, 90% of the things that the Lord has revealed to me are from this daily time with Him. And it’s not that He “shows” up during this time, He is always with us and will never forsake us. But it’s a time where I make time for Him, a time of me acknowledging that I receive His abundance of grace and His gift of righteousness. I thank Him because it is an effortless time on my part, after all we all have to shower, He just uses this quiet time to speak to me as I meditate on Him and His word. I find that it’s also a good time to pray in the Spirit. And as He fills me up with His word of truth and righteousness I often speak it out and picture a large mass of people receiving His truth. Well it was during this time last Sunday that I was speaking, telling everybody that I was picturing how every second of their lives they are the righteousness of God in Christ, how it is all about His Son and His unmerited favor. How as believers there is no such thing as merited favor or what the world calls karma and then God filled me with His truth and said “there is no such thing as sowing and reaping works and money.” And just like that He revealed the truth I am about to share.
There are two main sections in the epistles where Paul talks about sowing and reaping. One is in Galatians 6 and the other is in 2 Corinthians 9. The church has grabbed these two passages and taught sowing and reaping from a fleshly perspective. But the time of grace is now and God is revealing His full truth.
In Galatians 6:6-7 Paul says “6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” To understand this we must understand what the Galatians were going through and why Paul was writing this to them. In the previous chapters we learn that there were teachers that had come to the Galatians preaching the law, insisting that they be circumcised in order to be obedient to the ways of the Lord. Paul responds to them with the following “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” – Galatians 5:1-6 Those are pretty direct words, calling the law a yoke of bondage, that Christ becomes of no effect to those under the law. That they have fallen from grace if they are now trying to be justified by the law. He then tells them that the law has been fulfilled in one word “even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”” – Galatians 5-14. Not a fleshly self effort love, but a Spirit led love. Paul then tells them to live led by the Spirit (grace) producing the fruits of the Spirit and not in the flesh (law) producing the works of the flesh.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Then Galatians 6 starts by saying that if any believer falls from grace, back to the law and producing the works of the flesh that those who are under grace and led by the Spirit should restore them using the fruit of gentleness. That they shouldn’t shun that believer and look at themselves as obedient and the fallen believer as disobedient. If they think that way they are deceiving themselves because it’s not the flesh that is obedient it is His grace that produces the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. Therefore restore that believer back under grace.
1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
Then comes the famous passage in Galatians 6:6-7 – 6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. What is being sown? The word of truth and righteousness (the gospel of pure grace). Who is sowing? The teacher. What are “all good things”? They are the fruits of the Spirit. This has nothing to do with money! The next verse says “8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” The church tends to skip this verse. If sowing and reaping were of works and money then grace is out the door. We are telling people that their works and giving of money determines their salvation or going to hell. But that is not what God is saying, we know that our salvation is only by His grace. Jesus bore all sin and judgement on Himself for us, His shed blood was a perfect sacrifice and He rose for our justification. He is saying that the teacher that sows to his flesh (teaching the law/mixed covenants) will reap corruption (people listening will not believe in Jesus and will not be saved). The teacher who teaches the law is boasting in his flesh. Corruption means death (Acts 2:14-36 / Psalm 16:10) – “29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,[e] 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” But those that sow to the Spirit (teaching the pure gospel of grace, His word of truth and righteousness in Jesus Christ) will reap everlasting life (people will be saved). And we see evidence of this today. Famous pastors/teachers who’s teachings are accepted by the world but the world does not believe in Jesus because of their teaching (it is mixed with the law). They can get on secular shows and speak of living a good life and choosing to be good. The message is accepted but nobody listening to this message on these secular shows are saved since it’s not the word of truth and righteousness in the fullness of the Gospel of Grace. The people listening are not pointed to Jesus and His fullness (grace), they do not believe. They simply believe the “good” message that is acceptable to the flesh. It is merely worldly motivational speaking. There is no fruit to reap for this teacher, only corruption (unbelief that leads to death). And if the world accepts your message without being compelled to believe in Jesus then you are not teaching the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the teacher that teaches the word of truth and righteousness (the fullness of Jesus, His grace upon grace) is guaranteed to reap. God will not be mocked, this seed is guaranteed to produce salvation. What the teacher will reap/harvest is the fruits of the Spirit that are produced in people that are saved from this true pure gospel of grace. Ask any teacher of any subject what their ultimate desire as a teacher is, it’s to reap/harvest perfect results in all of their students. They want all of their students to get straight A’s. How much greater the teacher of the word of truth and righteousness. They can reap/harvest the fruits of the Spirit that all of their students produce. A congregation producing love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Not from the flesh by a fruit of the Spirit. And that’s why it is called a fruit, because it can be sown and reaped/harvested. And Paul continues by saying “9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The harvest is guaranteed, let’s not lose heart. The gospel of grace, the gospel of Jesus Christ is guaranteed to produce fruit.
Paul was one of these teachers of His pure grace that desired to reap the fruits of the Spirit in all of the people that he taught. He says this in Romans, the ESV version brings this out the best. Romans 1:13-15 (ESV) 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
The second famous sowing and reaping passage is 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. In this letter Paul is writing to the Corinthians because they had promised to give an offering to assist the saints in need but had yet to collect this offering and follow through. Paul had boasted about their willingness to the Macedonians which compelled the majority of believers who didn’t have much to give beyond their means. But since the Corinthians had yet to gather this offering and give, Paul would be put to shame for boasting about the fruit of the Spirit that was produced in their lives, let alone they would have been put to shame. And Paul could not allow this, the gospel of grace is guaranteed to produce fruit. So is verse 6 talking about their giving of an offering. Far from it. It’s talking about sowing the Word of truth and righteousness in the gospel of grace (the fullness of Jesus). In short what Paul is saying is that the fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of those that continually receive His super abounding grace in the word of truth and righteousness. That he who sows grace, the word of truth and righteousness bountifully will reap the fruits of the Spirit in their lives bountifully. But he who sows grace, the word of truth and righteousness sparingly will reap the fruits of the Spirit sparingly. He is telling them that when they made the decision to give such a generous gift it was because they were sowing this good seed in their lives bountifully but now they are not following through on this generous gift, it is because they have stopped sowing this good seed into their lives. Their heart is not producing the fruits of the Spirit, love, kindness, goodness. Instead under the teaching of the law they are producing the works of the flesh, selfish ambitions and no longer wanting to give with a cheerful heart.
The beauty of this is what Paul says in verse 8. If you tell the world what the fruits of the Spirit are they will say, “you will get pushed around, stepped on and walked all over”, “you will never get anywhere in life with that attitude”. But that is the flesh talking, it knows no better. Verse 8 says “8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” God will not leave you hanging. He will make all grace (unmerited favor) abound toward you as the fruits of the Spirit are produced in you and make you make decisions that don’t seem very smart in the natural (like the Corinthians generous gift). God will make sure that you always have all sufficiency in all things and an abundance for every good work. Not just meet your need but an abundance! What ever desire God has placed in your heart, He has an abundance for you to make sure you complete the desire He has placed in you.
Paul continues in verse 10 of 2 Corinthians 9 by saying 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! These five verses are so full of His truth. God supplies His word of truth and righteousness to the sower (teacher) and bread for food (fullness of Jesus). As this seed is sown God will multiply the seed (knowledge of the word of truth and righteousness / revelation) and increase the fruits of the Spirit (fruits of righteousness). He will then enrich us in everything so that we are free from wanting or needing anything and free to give anything and everything. But please realize that nobody is left out, this teacher doesn’t just have to be the person that gets up on the pulpit, you can be your own teacher as well. Everybody is included in this, you will reap the fruits of the Spirit in your life as well.
It doesn’t end here, let’s have a look at what Jesus had to say about sowing and reaping this seed. Matthew 13:3-9 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Later on in verses 18-23 He explains this parable to His disciples. 18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
The one who receives seed by the wayside is the one who is fully under the law, the seed is unable to penetrate their heart. The one who receives seed on stony places is the one who is under mixed covenants (saved by grace but living by the law), this is evident by Jesus saying “he immediately receives it with joy; yet he as no root in himself” fleshly effort that doesn’t last (it’s never about will power). The one who receives seed among thorns is the one who is under guilt and condemnation. God revealed to me last year that thorns and thistles stands for guilt and condemnation. The cares of this world push against them, the deceiver lies to them reminding them of their failure. This puts them under condemnation that brings them back under the law (merit system), this is the snare to keep them a slave to sin/disobedience and not entering into His rest. The one who receives this on good ground is the one who is receiving His constant grace that rains down on us. This makes his heart fertile ground to receive the seed (the word of truth and righteousness in Jesus Christ). He is guaranteed to produce fruit. Hebrews 6-7-8
I have to say that all of this revelation was effortlessly. As I shared with our Bible study group last night, it’s never about our effort. It is always about us resting in His finished work. I cannot boast, I can only boast in the Lord.
I continued to study and came upon John 4:31-38 31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” And for a moment this confused me. If the teacher reaps and if we reap, why does it say that ‘One sows and another reaps.’ Who is the other reaper? It is Jesus Christ. It says in Revelations 14:14-16 that Jesus will reap at the end of time, reap us into eternal life. 14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. Now that is a beautiful picture, of our Savior reaping us into eternity with Him.
I was still a bit confused about the two reapers, one Jesus and one us. Then minutes before our Bible study last night the Lord said to me “you know that verse that you have had in your head for months, look it up.” I knew what verse it was but not the passage, so I went searching knowing the words of the verse. It is Romans 6:22 and it says ” 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” There are two times for reaping! One is for us reaping here on earth the fruit to holiness, also called the fruit of righteousness, also called the fruit of the Spirit. God calls us holy, we have been set apart in Christ. The fruits of the Spirit is what allows us to live holy, so that our actions match our true nature. And the second is everlasting life, when Jesus reaps those that have called on His name and believed as it says in Revelations 14. And so John 4:31-38 is talking about eternal life. Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” The one sowing is the teacher of His word of truth and righteousness through the pure gospel of grace that leads to people being saved. The one reaping is Jesus Christ. We rejoice together with Him in His finished work. We are the laborers that are called to go out and speak His word of truth into this world that they may believe and call upon His name and be saved.
I pray that you step into this truth and continue to receive His abundance of grace and gift of righteousness and reign in life. The enemy has deceived the church but not any longer, it is time to live by His word of truth and righteousness. Do not let your works or giving (tithes and offerings) put you under the law. You give from what the Lord blesses you, you do not give to receive a blessing. It is not a merit system. Jacob knew this. It says it in Genesis 28-20-22 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go and will give me food to eat and clothing to wear, 21 So that I may come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God; 22 And this stone which I have set up as a pillar (monument) shall be God’s house [a sacred place to me], and of all [the increase of possessions] that You give me I will give the tenth to You. I found that under a mixed covenant the church gets frustrated, they start teaching that ‘the Spirit is not enough, we need to add our self efforts, our human habits and culture’. Because they don’t see results (fruits to reap) they start to look to human effort and eventually start to condemn the people. The reason why believers are not cheerful givers in tithes and offerings is not because they are disobedient. It is because they are being put under the bondage of the law that produces the works of the flesh. It is time to teach them the word of truth and righteousness and reap the fruits of the Spirit and God will super abound His grace to supply us with abounding supplies for all good works. Then the world will see the goodness of God in His holy people. It is time to reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.