The apostle Paul, writing to the churches of Galatia, said, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). The principle found in this verse is one that is seen a number of times in the scriptures, though not all in these same exact words. It is certainly not something new. As a matter of fact, this principle is found prior to the existence of a single man on the face of the earth. It is first seen on the third day of creation, when God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so” (Gen. 1:11). Every one of us understands this principle. We all know that if we want to grow some sweet corn in our garden, we have to plant sweet corn. If we plant squash, sweet corn will not come up, squash will. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. However, this principle is true in realms other than that of horticulture as well. It is true in the realm of education. If one wishes to be a lawyer, he must study law. Studying medicine will not make one a lawyer. One must sow that which they wish to reap. Though it is good for us to understand this principle in these physical realms, it is more important that we understand that this principle applies in the spiritual realm as well. Let us consider just two of these spiritual applications.
First, consider that which one must sow in order to become and live faithfully as a child of God. As Jesus taught concerning the kingdom of God, He used many parables to do so. In what is usually referred to as the parable of the sower (better called the parable of the soils), Jesus said, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). Thus, the seed that must be sown in order to grow citizens of the kingdom is God’s word. The apostle Peter wrote, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (I Pet. 1:23). Paul said that the gospel of Christ is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). In the realm of horticulture, one usually pays strict attention when purchasing seed, to assure that they are getting “certified” seed. It must be pure. Paul told the Galatians, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11-12). Basically, Paul was assuring them that the word of God is “certified seed”. God’s word is the only seed that can be planted that will result in Christians! What happens when one plants something other than the pure word of God? In another of our Lord’s parables, He told of one who had planted good seed only to have an enemy slip in and sow tares among the good seed. The result was, “when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also” (Matt. 13:26). These tares, that which is produced by something other than the pure word of God, will be gathered and burned (Matt. 13:30). Manuals, creed books, commentaries, what one has always believed, what one’s parents or grand-parents believed and practiced, what seems right to an individual or any thing other than what God actually said in His word, is seed that will never make one a child of God.
A second application of the principle that we wish to consider is that of the life we live. After stating the principle, Paul continued to write, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:8). One simply cannot “live like the devil” and have a home with God in the end! Solomon said, “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27-28). Paul said it this way, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Cor. 15:33), or in a more common vernacular, evil influences corrupt moral character. Those that would strive for eternal life are encouraged, exhorted, instructed, and besought to separate themselves from that which is sinful. Paul said, “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Cor. 6:17). Peter said, “Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (I Pet. 3:11-12). To the church of the Thessalonians Paul said, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:21-22).
Put these two spiritual realms together and we can clearly see that one must sow the word of God and it only in order to become a child of God. Then, one must live a life in which he is sowing to the spirit, not the flesh, if he wishes to have that eternal home in heaven when his time in this earthly tabernacle is over. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”.
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