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Chuck McKnight, AiG–U.S., discusses how we will reap what we sow. If our focus is on the flesh, we will reap corruption.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 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. (Galatians 6:7–8)
Today’s big question: are you sowing to the Spirit or the flesh?
These verses most directly refer to salvation. The unbeliever, sowing to the flesh, will reap eternal punishment, whereas the believer, sowing to the Spirit, will reap eternal life. All those who do not place their faith in Christ Jesus will reap corruption.
However, these verses do apply to our lives as well. The book of Galatians was written to believers—the churches of Galatia (Galatians 1:2). But these believers had become fleshly, foolishly believing they could perfect themselves in the flesh, despite having begun in the Spirit (Galatians 3:3). They developed a legalistic view of the law, adding works, such as circumcision, as requirements for salvation.
Many today still try to add some form of human work to God’s free gift of salvation. But we are saved by grace, through faith, and not of works (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Sadly, many others go to the opposite extreme and develop a form of licentiousness, believing they can live as they please because they have faith. Even if not committing blatant acts of sin, they live in a state of apathy, not seeking the Spirit’s leading to produce in them good works. This kind of faith is dead (James 2:20).
Rather, we are commanded, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:14). Furthermore, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
This brings us back to Galatians 6:7–8 and its application to believers. Anything done in the flesh will reap corruption. Only fruit grown of the Spirit will last eternally.
Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:13–15)
Many true believers will have little to show for their time on earth. We previously discussed the importance of redeeming the time, and this is the ultimate outcome if we fail to obey that command: our fleshly works will burn and reward will be lost. Don’t live a fruitless life.
Missionary C.T. Studd summarized it well in the following lines:
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Today’s big idea: sow to the Spirit.
What to pray: ask God to help you produce work that endures.