The apostle used a harvest metaphor to describe responses to the flesh and to the Spirit. We choose the soil that we want to cultivate, then we do our sowing. We also reap a harvest from our choices.
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit” (Galatians 6:7-8).
- Sowing to the flesh is a choice to cultivate and plant thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors in keeping with the works described in Galatians 5:15,19,20,24-25.
- Sowing to the Spirit is a choice to allow the control of the Holy Spirit to be the permeating and dominating reality in your life. It involves giving yourself – your thoughts, attitudes and actions to producing the fruit of the Spirit:
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Each of the qualities from Galatians 5:22-23 is presented in the New Testament as a command to be obeyed. We are commanded to love, be joyful, practice peacemaking, etc. This validates the focus on choice and control. Galatians 5:16 itself is a command: “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
The question we must answer is “Who or what will we allow to be in control?”
Life which is (according to the flesh) is a life that is directed by self and for self. It is life driven by selfish ambition and self-absorption. It is life where I demand to be in control. And, since I am in control – I feel easily threatened, so I must fight, scheme, manipulate, and worry. I do these things to fight for my control (note the contrast in James 3:13-17).
The personal presence and power of the Holy Spirit is central to life that pleases God. The Holy Spirit is also the source for true Christian community.
The Scripture speaks of…
- Walking by the Spirit
- Being led by the Spirit
- Bearing the fruit of the Spirit
- Keeping in step with the Spirit
- Sowing to the Spirit
see – Holy Spirit
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Reblogged this on Wisdomforlife and commented:
If someone asked how he could have eternal life, would you answer him by saying, “whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8)?
Most Christians would be uncomfortable with this answer because it appears to imply a works-based salvation.
So what does this verse teach? (see also: “Have we misunderstood sowing and reaping?”)