Profound and Practical Part 3
Sermon Summary
This message gives seven practical things to do as we seek to walk by The Spirit of God and not by the flesh. There are seven things listed by Paul to help a person live a life that will bring honor and glory to God. They are as follows:
1. Restore the Fallen
2. Render Assistance
3. Rethink Life
4. Reciprocate Good
5. Recognize Deception
6. Replant Crop
7. Reengage the Mission
It is reiterated that a person does not gain his or her salvation by their good works or by following the letter of the law, but by God’s mercy and grace. We then seek to follow the things to do list, not because we have to, but because it is an infinitely better way to live.  This message includes a discussion of the laws of the harvest as they apply to sowing and reaping in our spiritual lives.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Why do you think people so readily accept the laws of the harvest (sowing and reaping) when it comes to farm crops, but seem to reject the idea when it comes to personal behavior?

2. Is it fair for God to be blamed for things that are clearly the result of choices we’ve made? Why do you think some people insist on making it God’s fault?
Gal 6:7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Gal 6:8The 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.
Galatians 6:7-8 (NIV)

3. Have you or someone you’ve known struggled with their faith due to the consequences of earlier behaviors that exhibited themselves after the decision to follow Christ? How much of difference do you think it would have made if they had been fully instructed on what to expect?
Gal 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.

4. How can we as members of the church do a better job of helping restore and render assistance to those who are carrying heavy burdens?
1 Th 5:13  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
1 Th 5:14  And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
1 Th 5:15  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
1 Th 5:16  Be joyful always;
1 Th 5:17  pray continually;
1 Th 5:18  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Th 5:19  Do not put out the Spirit's fire;
1 Th 5:20  do not treat prophecies with contempt.
1 Th 5:21  Test everything. Hold on to the good.
1 Th 5:22  Avoid every kind of evil.
1 Th 5:23  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Profound & Practical
Part 3

 Today we're going to continue our discussion of Paul's letter to the Churches of Galatia.   

 These concepts are profound and yet very practical! I promise I won't get carried away with my recap today.

Let's pray and ask God to teach us things today that will transform our very lives as we seek to live for Him! PRAY!!

First, let me remind you that Paul spent a lot of time dealing with the subject of living under the law.

There were those who believed they could earn a relationship with God by being good enough.

Paul made it clear no one could ever be that good.

He also made it clear we are saved by what God does for us not what we do for Him! God's Mercy and Grace not our work!

And since we are not under the law, but under grace, we have a new freedom in Christ!

However, we are not to use freedom to indulge our sinful nature! Paul then gave us two list.

A things to avoid list and a things to embrace list!

We avoid certain things not in order to be saved, but because those things are harmful!  

We embrace certain things not in order to be saved, but because they are good for us!

Where did Paul get these ideas?
Jesus Himself had taught them!

In fact, Oswald Chambers mentioned Jesus and His teaching on this in his famous devotional ...

 "My Utmost for His Highest."  

20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will

certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:20 (NIV)

 "The characteristic of a disciple is not that he does good things, but that he is good in motive because he…

 has been made good by the supernatural grace of God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right being.

  Jesus Christ came to put into any man who would let Him a new heredity which would exceed the righteousness of  

the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus says--If you are My disciple you must be right not only in your living, but in your

motives, in your dreams, in the recesses of your mind. You must be so pure in your motives that God Almighty can  

see nothing to censure. Who can stand in the Eternal Light of God and have nothing for God censure?  

Only the Son of God, and Jesus Christ claims that by His Redemption He can put into any man His own disposition,  

and make him as unsullied and as simple as a child. The purity which God demands is impossible unless I can be  

remade within, and that is what Jesus has undertaken to do by His Redemption.  

No man can make himself pure by obeying laws. Jesus Christ does not give us rules and regulations;  

His teachings are truths that can only be interpreted by the disposition He puts in. The great marvel of Jesus Christ's

salvation is that He alters heredity. He does not alter human nature; He alters its mainspring."

Oswald Chambers

In other words...

Jesus makes the heart beat with a different motivation. A motivation of the Spirit instead of the flesh!

Paul said it beautifully in Romans chapter 4:5-8...

Romans 4:5-8

5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits

righteousness apart from works:

7“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

Because of God's love for me I'm a blessed man!  

My sin will never be counted against me when it comes to my relationship with God because of Jesus Christ!!

 However, we must never forget, to continue in sin would be both foolish and tragic. Why?

 Because sin has consequences! Paul dealt with this somewhat when he gave us our our things to avoid list!

 He also gave us very practical wisdom when he gave us the list of things to embrace.

 Paul continues his most profound and practical advice by giving us a "Things to do List!"

 It's not a terribly long list and certainly is not an exhaustive list, but it contains 7 items of great importance.
This list is basically an elaboration of what it means to walk in the way of The Spirit!

Remember, the only way to avoid being controlled by the flesh is to be controlled by The Spirit. Paul said...

25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 (NIV)

 Get your pens and pencils out. This is an important list.
Seven things.

 Restore, Render, Rethink, Reciprocate, Recognize, Replant, Reengage!

1. Restore the Fallen

1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
Galatians 6:1 (NIV)

 When you first read this it seems like it's saying, "ah ha, I caught you doing something wrong!"

 A close look at the Greek language sheds important light on this verse.

 The greek word for caught is prolambano - "to overtake, to come upon, to take unawares."

 Sin will sneak upon you and when you least expect it, it can overtake you. It most often takes people unaware.

 Very few people start out flirting with sin thinking “This is probably not going to turn out very good for me.” Most people think: "I can handle this. It won't get me! I'm stronger than others. They’re just weak!”

 The Greek word for sin or fault in this verse is paraptoma - "a fall beside, a false step, a blunder, a failure to achieve."

 This verse is an antithesis to verse 25. Verse 25 talks about walking in the Spirit.

This verse talks about stumbling in the flesh.

Paul tells those who are walking in The Spirit to restore those who have stumbled and to do it gently.

 The picture here would be of a parent lovingly helping their toddler back to their feet after a fall.

 A good parent would never say, "You bumbling idiot, what's your problem? Can't you even walk?"

 Unfortunately there have been times when Christians have not been so gentle with those who have fallen and struggle.

 Paul attaches a warning to this to do item.

 "But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted."

 Don't ever think you are beyond a stumble or a trip or a fall. You could find yourself needing a helping hand

 We are to restore, not condemn! How do we do this?

2. Render Assistance

2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

 You might be tempted here to say, "Look, I've got enough on my plate. I'm not going to condemn anybody for...

 anything, but I just don't have time to get involved with another person's problems."

Most of us wouldn't think of ignoring a person's physical cry for help if we walked by and saw they had fallen...

and broken their leg. We would offer to call 911, or a family member. However, when it comes to a spiritual issue...

it's just easier to look the other way. Besides, spiritual issues can be time consuming and inconvenient.  

Just remember, someone helped you at some point or at some point in life you will need someone's help.  
By the way, when we bear one another's burdens we fulfill the law of Christ. Anyone know what that is?

30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

3. Rethink Life

You might remember the Star War scene where the Jedi night tells the young man at the bar to go home and rethink his life.

 Paul is like a Christian Jedi telling us all to rethink our lives when it comes to pride. Pride comes in many styles.

 Some who are spiritual are prideful of their spirituality and some who are not spiritual are prideful in that they think

they don't need that spiritual stuff. Both are dangerous attitudes. Paul wrote...

3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,

5for each one should carry his own load.
Galatians 6:3-5 (NIV)

 This is not a contradiction of verse two, where we are told to carry one another's burdens.

 Paul is just saying everybody has a load to carry and we don't need to spend time comparing ourselves to others.

 You know, you may look pretty good if you compare yourself to others, but others are not the standard. Jesus is!

And when it comes to Jesus, we all fall short. Good news is, He wants to help us become all we were meant to be.

Believe it or not, when a person refuses to help others, it probably boils down to pride.

"Well, if they had their act together they wouldn't be in this predicament! After all, it's their own fault!"

 Dr. John William MacGorman put it powerfully in his commentary on Galatians...

"Pride exploits the weaknesses of others to its own advantage. Thoughts of restoring the fallen lie...

 outside its strategy. It is smug, being unaware of its own flaws and vainly imagining

 itself incapable of the failures so readily seen in others."

Paul put it this way in his letter to the church at Corinth...

12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV)

Solomon put it this way in Proverbs...

18Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)

 Let me just say this...

 Pride is a load you'll carry on your own. No one can help you carry the burden pride will place on your life!

 Paul then gives a quick bit of practical administrative advice to the churches in Galatia.

4. Reciprocate Good

6Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.

Galatians 6:6 (NIV)

 Even at this early stage of the church, God had called some to devote much of their time to teaching and helping others.

 As these spiritual leaders spent more and more time helping meet the spiritual needs of the people...

 it became apparent there would have to be some way for them to be supported financially.

 I just want to say thank you for the way this church cares for its pastors and staff.

 It allows us to focus on the work of the ministry. We are grateful.

 But I do want to point out a couple of other ways in which you could help your staff.

 Pray for us!
Share with us your victories as well as your struggles!

 Share with us how God is working in your life!

 Ok, back to the list. And these next two points are critical for us to understand.

 Misunderstanding of the following concepts have hurt many people. Especially new believers.

5. Recognize Deception

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

8The 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.
Galatians 6:7-8 (NIV)

 In the Greek, it actually can mean deception from without as well as self-deception.

 Many times, we are self-deceived and this is the hardest deception to recognize.

 If a farmer sows seeds of corn expecting to harvest beans and then goes to the local seed store to register his complaint

 Someone would probably call his family and tell them to take him to the hospital. He's had a heat stroke.

 Every farmer knows you reap what you sow. However, people think in the spiritual realm it doesn't matter what you sow.

 One last quote from Dr. MacGorman...

 "They seem seem so surprised when having sown rebellion against God, they don't reap a peaceful world;

 having sown graft, they do not reap stable government;

having sown dishonesty, they do not reap integrity in the business community;

 having sown prejudice, they do not reap goodwill;

 having sown lust, they do not reap meaningful marriages;

 having sown escape through alcohol and nicotine, they do not have sons and daughters who shun drugs.

 This is mocking God, and to mock God is to assure disaster."

 What is the answer to this dilemma? It is found in our sixth thing to do on our list...

6. Replant Crop

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

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

 Now I need everyone to listen up. Don't miss this truth. Especially if you are a new Christian.

 The church has done a great disservice down through the years to new Christians by not explaining what I'm about to...

 explain. When you come to Christ and confess your sins and ask for forgiveness, you get it right then.

 Forgiveness is instantaneous! Grace and mercy are instantaneous! God's love is instantaneous!   

 As I stated last week, you get a new heart, but your mind, your habits, your attitudes will take some time to change.

And the circumstances in your life will not change instantaneously! You must know this or you will get very

discouraged very quickly. It's the law of the harvest. You've planted some seeds in your life that are not Godly.

If you've asked for forgiveness, you've already been forgiven, but remember, we reap what we sow.

There is still a harvest coming and some of the fruit is going to be bitter. Here's what happens many times...

A person accepts Christ and is forgiven for all the wrongs they have done.

The person is on a spiritual high and should be! It's exciting. However, there's still some bad seed in the ground.

Some very negative consequences may be still to come and we don't warn them.

When the negative consequences of their past behaviors begin to bear their fruit, you'll hear things like...

"But I asked for forgiveness."
"Why is this happening to me now that I've accepted Christ?"

We must do a better job of explaining the law of the harvest, and at the same time letting them know the good ...

 news. The good news is Jesus said,

20... And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20 (NIV)

 We must let people know…

 If you had not accepted Christ, you would have to go through this bad harvest alone. But now you've got Jesus and

 you've got the family of God to walk with you through this valley. We've been there and we want to help you.

 And then we must help them understand what Paul said in verse 9...

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

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Don't become weary! Don't give up. It's the law of the harvest. Start putting different seeds in the ground and ...

you'll get a different harvest! If you give up and go back to the old ways, you'll just be putting more bad seed in the ...

ground and you'll have more bad harvest to come. But if you start following the principles of Christ you'll begin planting

a brand new harvest. A harvest of righteousness! And remember...

We don't avoid, embrace or do certain things in order to earn our way to God!

We are saved by God's mercy and Grace, but we seek to live for Him out of gratitude and because it's just a good thing!

And our last thing on our things to do list is to...

7. Reengage the Mission

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

Galatians 6:10 (NIV)

Our church mission is...

Transforming Worship, People and the World!

We do this by getting people to...

Come, Connect, Commit

Come to our gatherings.
Connect to Christ and His family.

Commit to growing spiritually by serving Christ and others!

How did Paul put it?

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

Galatians 6:10 (NIV)

1. Restore the Fallen
2. Render Assistance
3. Rethink Life
4. Reciprocate Good
5. Recognize Deception
6. Replant Crop
7. Reengage the Mission