Exercise the New Man, not the Old Flesh

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 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.” (Galatians 6:7-8)

This is a rather chilling verse if we have been wont to think grace means we can deliberately sin without consequence. Here we are warned we cannot even inadvertently do so without reaping what we’ve sowed in this life. Yes, we have grace, yes God’s blood cleanses from all sin when we repent and turn to him. But what we sow today, we will reap down the road. In our work, in our play, in our marriages. Each positive interaction and each negative sows either blessings or discord and chaos into our lives.

The spirit and the flesh both have their own sets of muscles. The more we exercise the flesh, the stronger it will be, and the more corrupt we become. The more we exercise our spiritual muscles, walking in His ways by His grace, the stronger those muscles will get, the more natural those behaviors will be. And it is from the Spirit we reap eternal life.

Our works don’t save us. His blood saves us. But we do need to allow his Spirit to be at work in us, and grow in the righteousness He is giving us. The Spirit is not ours by nature, and if we try to do right in our own flesh, we will fail. We must stay close to Him and choose to obey His spirit.

The good news is sowing to the Spirit, doing good, can tear down, brick by brick, the negative consequences of sin in our lives. God’s blessings bring life and endure forever.

Lord, forgive us when we stumble and fall. Strengthen us to walk in your Spirit and reap eternal life, not corruption and discord. Heal our hearts and cleanse our spirits. Open our eyes to see the path you would have us take, to know your good and righteous will for our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen