Galatians 6:8, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
My wife Cheri grew up on farm in southeast Kansas. When we were first married, we lived in her hometown and spent a considerable amount of time on that same farm where she grew up. In fact her parents still live there today and we still enjoy our times we get to spend on the “blue farm.” I always remember how hard Cheri’s parents worked to plant and harvest their crops. I remember in the fall of the year; Cheri’s Dad would spend days out in the field drilling wheat. Drilling wheat, for the uninitiated is another term used for planting. He would sow that seed in the fall and then in late June or early July the wheat would be thigh high and golden and thus ready for harvest or reaping as the Bible terms it. When Jeff Frieden (Cheri’s Dad) sowed wheat in the fall he never once reaped apples the next summer. Whatever it was he sowed that is what was reaped when the time was ripe.
The same principle applies in our lives. Whatever we sow in our life, whatever we occupy ourselves with now, we will reap later. When a farmer plants that seed in the ground it doesn’t look like much. It’s hard for him to imagine that from that little seed comes an abundant harvest. It is the same with our spiritual life. It’s hard to imagine that living a godly life right now leads to an eternal, never ending reward. But most people don’t want to do the hard thing, most people don’t want to exercise that faith and believe that God can take that planting of righteousness now and turn that into an eternity with Him. It is much easier to pander to our selfish and sinful desires, it much more immediate. The adage, “if it feels good do it” applies here.
What is the result though of sowing to our selfish and sinful desires? Paul tells us here in verse 8, “will from the flesh reap corruption.” The Greek word for “corruption” that is used here means degeneration or decay. It was most often used to describe food that was decaying or rotting. You see sin always corrupts and when it is left unchecked in our lives it always makes one progressively worse off than they were before. Just like with food in the refrigerator; if you just let it set there eventually it rots, it gets worse, it never gets better. Romans 6:23 us this principle when it says, “For the wages of sin is death…”
The opposite of this is the man or woman “who sows to the Spirit.” First of all this person is saved. How do we know that? Because the only way a person has the ability to walk by the Spirit is if they have the Spirit and the only way they have the Spirit is if they have placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. You are not going to walk by the Spirit if you are not saved.
In chapter 5 Paul drew a very sharp contrast between what it looks like to “sow to the flesh,” and what it means to sow “to the Spirit.” Galatians 5:19 says, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.” That is what a life spent sowing to the flesh looks like. Then in verse 22 Paul tells us what a life that sows to the Spirit looks like, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The verse that proceeds verse 8 here in chapter 6 says this, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” The Greek word used for “mocked” means to turn up your nose or sneer at someone. We are fools if we think we can turn our nose up at God’s commands. We may deceive ourselves into thinking that God doesn’t exist or that He doesn’t’ really care what we do, or that He and His Word are irrelevant. But Scripture is so clear that He does. He is the Holy God and He will not tolerate unholiness. If we sow to selfishness, depravity, and sinful lust then we will reap decay and the ultimate decay is eternity spent in hell. If, however we sow to the Spirit then we will live with Him for eternity in pure and utter bliss.
What are you sowing to? Yourself, your desires, your lusts, your pleasure? Or are you sowing to the Spirit of God? The consequences are devastating, and they are devastating for all eternity.