Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Galatians 6: 6 – 9

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S – 6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

O – Paul is coming to the climax of his writings. He has written about freedom, about the Judiaizer false teachers, of relationships, but NOW he is calling for a decision point. There is no fooling around here – we can’t be deceived into thinking that we can ignore this point – “Whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” After listing and explaining the difference between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit, Paul says – “You get what you cultivate.” If we give in to the works of the flesh, if we “cultivate” them, we will reap that in our lives – in and out. BUT if we “sow to the Spirit”, cultivating the fruit of the spirit, we will reap eternal life. We can’t ignore this! Just as when we plant seeds, we get the plants that we sow, we will also have the end result of that which we cultivate in our inner life!

Our destiny is determined by our decision: shall we sow to the sinful nature or to the Spirit? The old proverb is true: “Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

Those who are sowing to please the sinful nature are destroying relationships with others: they are biting, devouring, provoking and envying others (5:15, 26). In their arrogance they are seeking to pressure everyone to conform to the same ethnic customs and traditions. Churches are being torn apart and destroyed by ethnic rivalries and social competition. Sowing to please the sinful nature will always result in a harvest of destruction, a destruction of relationships with others and with God.

Sowing to please the Spirit means “serving one another in love” (5:13), restoring one who has been caught in sin (6:1), carrying the burdens of others (6:2), giving generously to those who teach in the church (6:6) and doing good to all (6:9). … The harvest of sowing to the Spirit is eternal life. The meaning of eternal life must be understood within the “already-not yet” structure of Paul’s thought in this letter. From Paul’s perspective, Christians have already been delivered from the present evil age (1:4) and are already in the new creation (6:15). But the battle between the Spirit and the sinful nature is not yet over (5:17). In Christ we already have new relationships with God and with one another: we now relate not as slaves but as children who call God Father (4:6-7); and we relate to one another not as people divided by racial, social and gender barriers but as people united in Christ (3:28). But since the battle between the Spirit and the sinful nature continues, we do not yet experience total harmony in these relationships. Those who continue to grow in these relationships by the power of the Spirit will ultimately experience the fullness of eternal life—perfect harmony in relationship with God and others. (IVP NT Commentary –

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.8 For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8 – AMP)

A – How many times have I planted a seed of the flesh, and expected to get different results? I KNOW that what I sow, I will reap. When I looked at the Amplified Version’s text (sinful capacity, worldliness, disgraceful impulses), I am not surprised. There have been times that I have done exactly that! BUT, with God’s help, and the Spirit’s indwelling, I am better able to sow to the Spirit. I pray that God will continue to work in me, cultivating His fruit, digging deep down in my soul to break up those clods of dirt – to be able to plant seeds of righteousness. I recognize the battle that goes on within me – and I pray that my soul will have fertile soil – so that the Spirit can work within me.

P – Father God – work within me today. Cultivate my soul – may it be a soil that is rich and fertile, ready for Your Spirit to plant fruit, fruit of the Spirit. May my life reflect Your Spirit. Help me to recognize the times that I am tempted to act on my own power. May my thoughts, my acts, my habits, my character, my destiny – be Yours. Capture them. Keep them. Work in them. Produce Your fruit in my life today.


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