Galatians 6:7-8 NIV
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 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.”
There are many people today calling themselves Christians, or followers of Christ, who are convinced that God will not judge them for their sinful lifestyles, and that heaven is still guaranteed them even though they ignore the Lord and his commands and they pridefully, willfully, defiantly, deliberately, and even premeditatedly continue in their sinful practices.
Thus, they are mocking God and his word, for his word clearly teaches us that to be a follower of Christ we must deny self, die daily to sin, and follow our Lord in obedience to his commands, under the New Covenant (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
But God is not mocked, i.e., he will not allow himself to be mocked. For what we do in this life has consequences, even if we think it doesn’t. The New Testament is filled with warnings to us about thinking otherwise, and it has many instructions to the church regarding the consequences of continuing in sinful practices.
The Scriptures teach that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin that we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. Not too many people are taking this seriously, though, for so many have believed the lie that says that God requires no repentance, obedience, or submission to him as Lord.
But even such a belief as that is mocking God, for the Scriptures do not teach that, but they teach the opposite of that. Besides, that is so against God’s divine character and his will for us, which has not changed.
So, the warning here is this. If we follow the passions and the desires of our flesh, as a matter of practice (habit), while we ignore our Lord and his commands, and we do what ought not to be done, and we continue in it, knowing full well that we are doing wrong, the payback is death, not life everlasting with God.
Nonetheless, if we are doing what pleases our Lord in faithful obedience to his commands, as a matter of practice (though not necessarily in absolute perfection), according to his will for our lives, and in his power and strength, we will reap eternal life with God.
Twisting the Scriptures
Some people, though, are calling this works-based salvation which they say we are not to do. So, basically they are saying that if we live holy and godly lives, in moral purity, and if we love our neighbors as ourselves, that we are trying to earn our own salvation, and that is wrong.
So, what they are doing is they are twisting the Scriptures to where they are turning darkness into light and light into darkness. They are making it wrong to obey the Lord and they are making it right to ignore the Lord and to continue doing evil. Logic alone says that doesn’t make sense at all.
It is true that we are saved by grace, through faith, which is not of ourselves, not of our own works lest any of us should boast that we somehow attained our own salvation in our own merit. But we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk (in practice) in them (Eph 2:8-10).
So, there is a clear difference between us, in our own flesh, of our own choosing, trying to do “good deeds” in order to earn our own salvation, and us doing the works of God which he prepared for us to walk in them in his power, as his workmanship. One is of the flesh. The other is of the Spirit.
For, the Scriptures could not be clearer on this issue. We must turn from our sins, make Jesus our Lord, and follow him in obedience, and we must not rebel against God by going our own way and by living sinful lifestyles in direct disobedience to his commands (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
If we choose the path of sin over the path of obedience to the Lord, our lives here on this earth will not result in us having eternal life with God, but we will face death and eternity in hell.
And this is because Jesus died on that cross to deliver us out of our bondage to sin so we would now, by his grace, become slaves of his righteousness.
Also please know that the Scriptures teach that we are all going to be judged by what we do (by our works, by our deeds). So, if we live in sin, and we make sin our practice, we will not have eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins, no matter what we profess with our lips.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Col 1:21-23]
Galatians 6:9-10 NIV
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
This is not encouraging works-based salvation here. The “doing good” here is not of ourselves; not of our flesh or of our own choosing. This good we are to keep doing is the good that God planned in advance that we should walk in, as a matter of practice, of our life course, in the power of God’s Spirit.
And the harvest that we will reap is not just eternal life with God, but if we are truly following our Lord in doing what he has called us to do, there should be a harvest of righteousness that we will reap in the lives of others, too. For, our lives should be impacting others with the gospel of Christ, too.
But, when we continually are opposed by those who say what we are teaching is works for salvation, or who think we are too religious, or that we should lighten up and not take life so seriously, or who reject us for teaching the truth of the gospel, it can be disheartening, for sure.
So, this is an encouragement to keep pressing forward, even if we can’t presently see the fruit for our labors in other people’s lives, or not much, and even if we are regularly being opposed, and if it seems as though the vast majority of people have gone the way of the flesh and that they are not following the Lord.
So, we are to keep doing the good that God has called us to do, even in the face of much rejection and opposition, and we are to trust the Lord that he is using it all for his purposes, and that lives will be changed because of God’s grace, and because we remained faithful in sharing the truth of the gospel with them. To God be all the glory!
Return to Me
An Original Work / September 5, 2013
Based off Jeremiah 31; Cf. Rev. 2-3
I have loved you with an eternal love,
Which I give to you, in my faithfulness.
Keep your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tearing.
You will be rewarded
With much fruitfulness.
There is hope for you that My family
Will return to Me; live in victory!
Though I discipline in My love for you,
My heart longs for you that you walk in truth.
Turn your thoughts to your Lord.
Choose to walk in His ways.
Turn from your sins daily.
Follow Jesus Christ.
Oh, how long will you wander in your sin?
Give your hearts to Me; be restored within.
I will satisfy ev’ry weary soul
Who repents of sin; is renewed within.
Behold, days are coming;
It will surely happen;
Though I discipline them,
They will thrive again.
I will be their One and their Only God.
They shall walk in white; be in Me, made right.