“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” – Galatians 6:8
We will reap what we sow— this is one of the famous lines we can hear. Either we heard it when we were young or we heard it when we’re old, we cannot deny the fact that almost everyone knows this. Almost everyone understands this line for this is just using a very simple example for us to understand. We all know that farmers sow, and if a farmer will sow roses, then it is expected that he will reap roses. Whilst if another farmer will sow thorns, then he should not expect roses to grow from it because it will not grow or it will remain thorns.
Now, Paul used this imagery to paint a picture and an understanding in our minds that what we cultivate, plant, and keep inside us will eventually grow and we will not expect the harvest to be the opposite of what we planted. Instead, we must expect that it is just the same variant but just in different volumes or extremities. So, Paul carefully warned us that whatever we sow in our hearts, that’s what we will reap eventually. Paul then escalates to the fact that whoever sows to please their flesh will reap destruction but whoever sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Before going to the main point, we must first understand that Paul did not mean to tell us to do good things so that we will have eternal life to reap. We must always put inside our minds when we read the Scripture the true meaning of the Gospel which is Jesus died to save us all and only because of His grace we are saved. In connection with this, we can then arrive at the main point about how we should take this warning seriously and by heart. It is important for us to always remember that desiring to satisfy our flesh will just make us reap destruction eventually. Again, we cannot expect something opposite of what we planted but just the extreme of it. So, if we are sowing to satisfy our flesh, we will reap destruction eventually.
God hates sin and satisfying our flesh means giving in to sin. This is not being stereotyped or judgmental but we have to understand that since through Adam, sin entered the world, our flesh was distorted. Our bodies are attached to sin and if we follow our flesh and satisfy its desires then we are succumbing to sin. It is just the same as deliberately diving into the sea of sin. Thus, if we choose to follow our flesh, then we are sowing ourselves with unrighteousness, sin, and defilement that will eventually lead us into reaping more extreme than what we planted which is death and destruction.
However, on the other hand, Paul also mentioned an opposing choice we have and that is how we should instead sow to please the Spirit so we will gain eternal life. Now, the first step of sowing to please the Spirit is to believe in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must understand that pleasing the Spirit with our effort is futile. Again, we can never do anything good because no one is righteous. But if we have Jesus Christ in us and we receive and believe that He is our Lord and Savior then His righteousness, holiness, and purity are clothed around us already. Therefore, through His righteousness, holiness, and purity we will be able to sow acts that will please the Spirit.
Thus, this just means that pleasing the Spirit shows if Jesus is truly inside us or not. We can never please God, but only through the Son He will be pleased. So, we must always understand that what Paul meant by sowing to please the Spirit is that planting Jesus Christ inside us through receiving and believing in Him and then we will have eternal life. He did not mean that we must do good acts to reap eternal life, but instead, he meant that we must sow Christ inside us— fully manifesting Him in our lives through our actions, our speech, and our thoughts. Therefore, this just proves that our old flesh and body have no contribution to pleasing the Spirit, it is still all because the grace of God fully manifested in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now, what should it be? Will you be sowing to please the flesh? Or will you be sowing to please the Spirit? Start sowing to please the Spirit now, start following Christ and make every day an effort to become more and more like Him.
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