7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 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. (Galatians 6:7–8)
I’ve always liked farming and gardening. There’s just something wonderful about sticking a seed in the soil and watching it blossom into a plant that in turn you can enjoy and eat. This process is called sowing and reaping in the Bible.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Do not be deceived about what? The fact that God cannot be mocked.
God is not mocked because whatever one sows that will he also reap.
Sometimes Christians think they can get away with sowing bad things in their lives because they are also sowing, albeit very lightly, a few good things—like coming to church once a week.
Don’t be fooled. It says here…what you sow, you will reap. God knows what you are doing, he is not mocked…he is not fooled. In the next verse, Paul discusses how we can sow two different seeds, with two very different results.
I. SOW TO THE FLESH, REAP CORRUPTION
Galatians 6:8a For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;
What does it mean to sow to the flesh?
The flesh isn’t actually referring to our physical bodies; the flesh is what the Bible calls our sinful nature. It is the part of us that is in rebellion against God. It is the part of us that makes us resistant to God.
The flesh/sinful nature generates such things as found in Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19–21)
Notice that the list isn’t complete, he says, “…and such like.” How do we know what else to add to this list? What do they all have in common? They are all things that ignore God, or mock God and his desires for you.
We will never stop sinning in this life, but by God’s grace we can stop sowing the things that cause us to commit many sins. We can stop sowing seeds in the fallow field of the flesh.
Sowing to the flesh reaps corruption. Corruption has the sense of decaying until a final destruction. One commentator said it was like food decaying. Sin is like that; it slowly rots away a person.
God told Israel in Numbers 32:23, “…be sure that your sin will find you out.”
Be watchful that the seeds you are sowing in your life aren’t weeds.
What are you sowing? Have you ignored the warnings of other Christians recently, because you thought that what you were doing was fine? Be watchful that the seeds you are sowing in your life aren’t weeds.
II. SOW TO THE SPIRIT, REAP ETERNAL LIFE
Galatians 6:8b …but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
A. What Does It Mean To Sow To The Spirit?
Often we might answer this question by saying that we are supposed to sow to the Spirit by being loving or patient. I would point out that, while the intentions may be good, those things are described in Galatians 5:22 as “fruit of the Spirit.”
You can’t sow fruit; you need to sow the seeds. You don’t glue apples to the apple tree; you plant the seeds and wait for the apple tree to grow.
Maybe you have experienced the frustration of trying to sow the fruit instead of the seeds. It turns into a willpower game: “I am going to be patient today; I am going to be patient today.” We end up relying on our own strength instead of the strength that God gives.
Instead, we need to be doing is sowing the seeds that produce the fruit of the Spirit. It goes back to what we think about. Are we focused on delighting in Christ, or delighting in the things of the sinful nature?
The Bible says that if we sow to the Spirit we will reap eternal life. Eternal life is more than just long life, it is a life of quality—a life that has the fruit of the Spirit growing in it.
The old saying 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.”
B. What Can You Do To Sow Seeds To The Spirit?
1. Be A Christian
You need to have the Spirit living inside you in order to sow seeds to the Spirit. Or, to put it another way, if you are going to grow in Christ, you need to be in the garden with him.
Are you a Christian today?
Do you believe that you are sinner who has fallen short of God’s standards? Do you believe that because of your sin, you deserve eternal death?
Do you believe that God loves you and sent his Son to die in your place? Have you accepted and trust Jesus as your personal Savior?
If you haven’t done any of these, or you are doubtful about some of them, I would encourage you to pray even right now that God would open your heart to accept Jesus as your Savior.
2. Care For The Seed
Once you know that you are in the garden with Jesus, what is there to sowing spiritual seeds? The Bible tells us that, like with growing a garden, there are basically two things involved in growing spiritually: caring for the seed and removing the weed. The actual growth comes from the Spirit.
We care for the seed by planting it in the ground and by watering it. One way of caring for spiritual seed is by reading the Bible. David, in Psalm 119, tells us that much of our spiritual growth comes through understanding God’s Word.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, That I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11)
9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psalm 119:9)
We must water our lives with the water of God’s Word so that his fruit can grow in us. That is one way that we care for the spiritual seed in our hearts.
3. Remove The Weed
But we also must remove the weeds. The Bible tells us over and over again that the Christian must avoid sin—we must root out sin from our hearts whenever we see it. Each time we let ourselves nurse a grudge, or wallow in self-pity, or entertain ourselves with lustful thoughts, we are sowing to the flesh.
Sin, including sinful thoughts, is like a weed that sucks the spiritual life out of us. David, when he had committed sin with Bathsheba, said that it was like…
4 …day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: My moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. (Psalm 32:4)
So, it’s no wonder that we read in the Bible verses like this one:
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)
You wouldn’t bring weeds in from your garden and cook them, would you? In the same way, don’t allow the weeds of sin, the unfruitful weeds of darkness, to grow in your heart.
In the end, it’s not you or I that grow the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, it’s God himself. We are the gardeners of what he has given us in Christ.