The Review and Herald

577/1902

May 5, 1891

“Whatsoever a Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap”

[Sermon preached at Moss, Norway, June 19 [18], 1887.]

EGW

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” RH May 5, 1891, par. 1

We are assured that God is acquainted with all our works. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” Our lives are all open before him with whom we have to do, and “he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.” What is it to sow to the flesh?—It is to follow the desires and inclinations of our own natural hearts. Whatever may be our profession, if we are serving self instead of God, we are sowing to the flesh. The Christian life is a life of self-denial and cross-bearing. We are to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Have we enlisted in the service of the Lord, and are we indeed his soldiers? If we are the soldiers of Christ, it is our business to follow his directions, to obey orders implicitly. We are not our own, and we cannot plan for selfish gratification and pleasure. We cannot inquire, What is for our convenience, but only, What are our orders? No one looks upon the life of a soldier as a life of self-pleasing and gratification. RH May 5, 1891, par. 2

We are on the battle-field today, and two great forces are ever contending for the mastery. The word of God declares, “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.” Ever since his rebellion and expulsion from heaven, Satan has been seeking to wrest souls from Christ. It would be well for every one of us who profess to be children of God, to inquire, In which army am I serving? Am I under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, or under the black banner of the prince of darkness? RH May 5, 1891, par. 3

My text declares that God is not mocked. God understands whether he has the whole heart's service, or whether we are simply professors of religion. The truth of God must be enshrined in the heart, and we must be determined to fight the battles of the Lord, if we would come off conquerors with the final triumph of the truth; for the truth will triumph gloriously. What are you sowing in your daily life? Are you sowing to your flesh? Are you thinking only of your pleasure, your convenience? sowing to pride and vanity and ambition? “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” If you are sowing faith, rendering obedience to Christ, you will reap faith and power for future obedience. If you are seeking to be a blessing to others, God will bless you. We should bring all the good possible into our lives, that we may glorify God, and be a blessing to humanity. The Lord has made it possible for us to have a righteous character in this life, that we may reflect the image of Christ to the world, and bring hope and joy to others. The joy we give to others will be reflected upon us again; for as we sow, we shall reap. But if we educate our souls in the line of doubt, we shall reap doubt at a time when faith and confidence are most essential, and shall be powerless to hope and believe. If we talk doubt, and question the dealings of God, we shall have an abundant harvest of doubt and questioning to reap. We shall be sowing to the flesh, and of the flesh shall reap corruption. RH May 5, 1891, par. 4

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Abundant provision has been made that all who desire to live a godly life may have grace and strength through Jesus, our divine Redeemer. The Christian's life is not to be one of burdens and cares, although the cross must be lifted and the burdens borne; for the servants of God are to draw peace and strength from the Source of their strength, and in so doing they will find life full of happiness and peace. RH May 5, 1891, par. 5

He who seeks to serve God and mammon at the same time, will find only unrest and trouble; for a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. When you have an eye single to the glory of God, it will be easy to serve your Lord, easy to walk in the path to heaven. The whole being must be consecrated to God; for our precious Saviour never shares a divided heart. Our inclinations and desires must be under the control of the Spirit of God, and then we shall be strengthened to fight the good fight of faith. We should daily ask, What are the Captain's orders? RH May 5, 1891, par. 6

We are to be representatives of Jesus in this world. Are we fulfilling this solemn obligation, or are we misrepresenting our precious Lord, because of our unconsecrated lives? It is our privilege and duty to walk even as Christ walked; for “he that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” Jesus said of his people, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” RH May 5, 1891, par. 7

How many instead of glorifying God, instead of influencing others in the path of right, are swayed themselves by the evil influences that surround them. The lack of devotion in others, the pride, the hardness of heart, all lead these half-hearted Christians to take a position of indifference and infidelity, and they fail to realize that they are to be representatives of Christ, that they are to prove to the world by a life of godliness, that they are the true followers of Christ. Those who desire to be the disciples of the Lord must fix their eye upon the Author and Finisher of their faith. They need not be in a state of uncertainty and unhappiness; for if they give themselves wholly to the Lord, they may have confidence in God. The religion of Christ is not a religion of mere emotion. You cannot depend upon your feelings for an evidence of acceptance with God; for feelings are variable. You must plant your feet on the promises of God's word, you must walk after the example of Jesus, and learn to live by faith. Satan may pour in his temptations upon you; but you have the promise of God, that “when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” We should be faithful in the performance of our vows before God. RH May 5, 1891, par. 8

We are to cultivate the loveliness of Christian character, and to seek the inward adorning that we may show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. But how many seem to think only of the outward adorning, and they make it evident that they are not in Christ, by the apparel in which they deck themselves. They live to gratify self, to please the world, and have not an eye single to the glory of God. The Christian is not to live to please the world. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall by my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Shall we not comply with this condition, when it involves so great a blessing and reward? RH May 5, 1891, par. 9

The religion of Christ never degrades the receiver; it ennobles and elevates. Upon certain conditions we are assured that we may become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. Is not this exaltation something worth seeking for? Through faith in Christ, and obedience to the requirements of his law, we are offered a life that shall run parallel with the life of God. And in that immortal life there shall be no sorrow, no sighing, no pain, no sin, no death. O that we might be more heavenly minded, and bring more of heaven into our life and conversation! But with all the rich promises of God, how many seem wholly absorbed in the things of earth. They are all taken up with the thought of what shall we eat, what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed? God would not have us center our minds upon the things of this world. We are not to seek for our selfish gratification, but to center the mind upon Christ. Are you separating yourself from everything that will separate you from God? If you are in close connection with God, you will talk of him, you will have an abundance in your heart of the things of heaven. Shall we not change the order of things, and sow to the Spirit? Why do you not appreciate your Redeemer more? Why do you not think of him, and talk of him to others? The Lord is waiting to do great things for his children who trust in him. Do we expect to dwell with Christ in the eternal world? Then we must dwell with him here, that he may help us in every time of trial and temptation, and make us ready for his coming in the clouds of heaven. He will reward every man according to his works, and every secret thing will be brought into judgment. We shall find then that only those who have lived by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God will be saved. We must plant our feet on the word, the solid rock of truth. We must search carefully throughout the Scriptures to see if we are indeed working the works of God. The beauty and grace of Christ must be woven into our characters. We cannot keep Christ so apart from our lives as we do, and yet be fitted for his companionship in heaven. He is to be the all in all of heaven, and must be our all in all upon earth. RH May 5, 1891, par. 10

If we are acquainted with Christ here, we shall be kind and courteous, tender-hearted, forbearing, patient. I entreat you to sow to the Spirit. Every temptation resisted, will give you power to sow to the Spirit in another time of trial. But I ask, How do your conflicts result now? Are you without a vital connection with Christ? If so, you will be overcome by the flesh, and the warfare between the flesh and the Spirit will terminate in defeat to the Spirit. You will lean to self-indulgence, to self-gratification. O, take hold of Christ's strength, and make peace with him! Then you will be enabled to practice self-denial, and to sow to the Spirit. I point you to the cross of Calvary. The path from the manger to Calvary is marked with the foot-prints of self-denial. Who of you are willing to become partakers with Christ of his sufferings? “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.” “For your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” We should be just as willing to bear shame, reproach, and suffering for the Majesty of heaven, as he was to endure the cross for us. RH May 5, 1891, par. 11

Christ says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” O, remove everything that obstructs the entrance to your heart, and let the Saviour in. Humble your hearts before God, that he may give you his Holy Spirit. Christ has said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” You cannot follow Christ unless you are willing to bear the cross at every step. “The friendship of the world is enmity with God.” We must take our journey through the world as pilgrims and strangers, clinging by living faith to the cross of Calvary. The blessing of God will rest upon every soul that makes a full consecration to him. When we seek for God with all the heart, we shall find him. God is in earnest with us, and he wants us to make thorough work for eternity. He has poured out all heaven in one gift, and there is no reason why we should doubt his love. Look to Calvary. Christ died for you, and what greater evidence of God's love could you ask than that which has been given in the life and death and intercession of Jesus? RH May 5, 1891, par. 12

God asks you to give him your heart. Your powers, your talents, your affections, should all be surrendered to him, that he may work in you to will and to do of his good pleasure, and fit you for eternal life. Accept the invitation of Christ. He bids you, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” O that we might press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus! What more can God do than he has done? Let us empty our souls of all enmity, all foolishness, and by living faith connect with Jesus. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Christ will pardon your transgressions, and receive you graciously. RH May 5, 1891, par. 13

—There is just as much self-denial required today as there was in the starting of the message. RH May 5, 1891, par. 14

Mrs. E. G. White