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The Law of Consequence – Galatians 6:7

06/10/2018

The Law of Consequence

Text: Galatians 6:7 
The context is quite interesting. Paul is making a series of closing remarks, exhortations, and one of these closing remarked is about the maintenance of the ministry. He seems to be saying that if someone is teaching the Word, he should be supported and helped by those who are being taught. This is the context in which he says, “You reap what you sow.” Now, let’s see:-

1. The Science of Sowing and Reaping. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 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.
This is an established natural scientific principle, and one that is indisputable, that whatever you plant in the ground will sprout and grow up to be the same thing as what was planted. You reap what you sow, potatoes, grain, flowers, etc etc. It works every time. It’s a basic fact of life that is often used in biblical illustrations too. Used to illustrate the severity of a master, reaping what he did not sow, used as a warning to Israel that what the sow they will not be able to reap because of their unfaithfulness, used as an exhortation to cheerful giving, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Psalm 126, Genesis 8:21 -22 Now, in the context of this basic, natural law, notice some points that Paul draws from it:-

2. The Substance of Sowing and Reaping
What spiritual meaning is Paul drawing from this.? He tells us himself…

  • You can’t fool God! Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. He knows what we are sowing. We call this the omniscience of God. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and he knows what is in our hearts. There is nothing hidden from him. Proverbs 5:21 We are being watched. Not by a camera, not by viewers, and not even by the people we live with. We are being watched by the God who sees right into our hearts and minds, and who see what we are sowing. One day we will appear before him in judgement with every wicked thought, act and deed laid bare before him. We will reap what we sow.
  • The spiritual application. 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. Paul uses this natural scientific law to illustrate a spiritual law. He’s already introduced the idea of the spiritual and the natural life in chapter 5:16 -24.  Paul describes these two opposing forces in our lives. The flesh, the old sinful nature, which drags us down and causes us to sin in our passions and our thoughts and our bodies, verses the spiritual life, the new man, led by the Holy Spirit, struggling against sin, warring against the flesh, helping us to crucify the flesh, to put to death sin in our lives. So where’s our priority? Are we reaping to the flesh, or to the spirit? Are we making the physical, fleshly part of our lives our main priority, or are we putting our spiritual lives first. Proverbs 22:8

So we see here a natural law, that always works, used to illustrate a spiritual law, just as sure, and just as unfailing, – that you only reap what you have sown.

3. The Stimulus for Spiritual Sowing. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
So now here’s the exhortation…

  • Keep sowing good works! What does this mean? What are these Good Works? (Remember that good works can never save us or get us to heaven, for we can never be good enough to match God’s perfect standards in his law). But our conversion, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit inclines us to want to do good works, to demonstrate our love for others. Living for His glory and putting him first in our lives, – that’s good works! In this effort, we are not to grow weary.
  • The harvest season will come! There will be a harvest. The book of Hebrews reminds us of this. It is appointed unto man once to die, and after, the judgement. Pointless to deny it!
  • We shall reap! We will reap what we sow, and because we are all sinners, who have strayed far away from him, rejected him and grievously sinned against him, we will get exactly what we deserve. You may say, but I’m a good person, won’t that count for anything?’ You may be honest and respectable, and give to charity, and do good to your neighbour – but compared to the holiness of God, His inscrutable goodness, we all fall far short. We’ve broken his law, and under the law stand condemned already. Rest assured, you WILL reap what you sow.

So what’s the answer? First of all it is to admit that you are a sinner, to mourn over your sin, then to believe that God has laid upon his only Son, sinless and perfect as he was, all the sin of every sinner – he paid the price, paid all your debt, took the punishment that you and I deserved. God is just – he won’t demand punishment for the same crime twice, since Jesus took all my punishment on the cross, I am totally forgiven. In humble thanksgiving, I repent of all my sins, and begin to serve him, showing his love to others, doing good works, and keeping on doing them, not growing tired, until I see Him face to face, and reap the reward of eternal glory.

4. The Sweep of Spiritual Sowing. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
There is a wide sweep to this exhortation to keep on doing good works.

  • It is unrestricted by time. We are to take every opportunity to sow seed!
  • It is unrestricted by numbers. Don’t restrict your Christian love! We are to do good to all.
  • It is focussed on our Christian brethren. Paul adds an ‘especially’ in here. We are to show the deepest love of all to those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

So, what we see here is an undeniable natural law. You reap what you sow. it’s not just a natural law, its a spiritual law too. You WILL reap what you sow. Hosea 10:12

© BobMcEvoy October 2018

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