Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

Archive for Apr. 21, 2018

Reap What You Sow

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in good time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” (Gal 6:7-9).

Stated plainly and simple by the apostle Paul: “God is not mocked”?  Pharaoh mock God when he said, “And who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” (Ex 5:2). And what of the mockers that surrounded the cross of Jesus? (Matt 27:41-43) and the soldiers who had earlier tormented Him (Matt 27:27-31)? And are we not correctly told that “in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts.” (2 Pet 3:3).

Many people evidently think they have escaped judgment for sins. They think that they are presently succeeding in mocking God with no consequence. What they fail to realize is that God allows such not because He is powerless to stop it, but because He has appointed a time to rectify things, and that time has not yet arrived. It will, but in the meantime, even the most foolish outrages are permitted to continue with hopes that another heart can be reached by the gospel and a soul saved before the day arrives (2 Pet 3:8-10). Those who think otherwise are being deceived.

God has ordained that we reap what we sow. That seems fair, but often it does not appear to work out that way. Even Solomon had observed that many times people do not get what they deserve. He said, “I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.” (Eccl 7:15). He finally admitted his inability to figure it out, but also reaffirmed that there would come a time when God would right the wrongs and bring all things back into harmony with truth and righteousness; the righteous will receive according to their righteousness and the wicked according to their evil; “Although a sinner does evil a hundred times and may lengthen his life, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly. But it will not be well for the evil man…” and “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it be good or evil.” (Eccl 8:12,13 cf; 12:13,14).

This principle of reaping what one has sown is a spiritual principle which will not be thwarted, though sometimes it appears otherwise during our lifetimes here. And yet, we have a saying, “What goes around comes around.” which essentially says the same thing. Sinners reap much hardship today as a result of their sins, but the final reckoning is yet in the future. A person, though his own selfishness and greed may never know the warmth of a truly loving relationship with another human being. He may become wealthy and powerful and be surrounded by so-called “friends” but he has lost much more than he has gained. How many have never known the love of God; His peace, mercy, joy, and confidence. Has he really come out ahead?

“The one who sows to the flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption.” Sowing to the flesh means to carry out the deeds of the flesh. Paul lists them as “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorceries, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these… those who practice such things shall not enter the kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-21). The sinner destroys himself spiritually by corrupting his soul, and eternally by consigning himself to the eternal, ultimate ruin and depravity prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matt 25:41).

“But the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Sowing to the Spirit means to live by the Spirit and thus produce “the fruit of the Spirit.” This includes “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22,23). For those who “walk by the Spirit” their destiny is “eternal life.” This refers not only to the everlasting nature of our heavenly home but also of the blessedness of the quality of life there. Paul tells of the incorruptible nature of our new, spiritual bodies with which we will inhabit our new home (1 Cor 15:42-54). Our present bodies of flesh and blood cannot inherit such a wonderful place. We must be changed. Then and only then will all be made right (2 Cor 5:1).

And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” (Gal 6:9). It would be easy to lose heart without the faith and hope in our hearts that we will indeed receive the promises of God. If it seemed as if there were no final reckoning and all our sacrificing was more or less in vain. It is when we lose sight of our goal that we are in the most danger (Heb 12:1,2 f; Jn 14:1-3).

The consequences of such lack of or loss of faith is plainly implied here. We reap only “if we do not grow weary.” Some suggest by their doctrine that there is no “if” to it; that once one is saved he will reap whether he grows weary or not. But the Holy Spirit says “if” and so must we if we are to faithfully proclaim His Word.

But we do not intend on growing weary. Our hope is fixed on Jesus. We know the consequences of “sowing to the flesh” and desire to avoid them. To those that insist on mocking God, yes, sometimes they make us angry at the heartless, foolish words and actions they use in opposition to the Redeemer. More than anger, there is a profound sorrow that they judge themselves unworthy of eternal life.

Many will sow evil and they shall reap evil upon themselves. A few will sow righteousness and they shall reap salvation. Yes, thank be unto God, we shall reap what we sow!

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