This same principle extends far beyond the realm of physical seed. It is ubiquitous to every area of life and existence. The one who puts in effort often sees reward for that effort. The one who sits idly by often experiences a season of want or lack. When we come through Galatians, Paul takes this principle and applies it to something of more lasting value – spiritual things.
Those who spend their lives “sowing” as it were sinful fleshly things find at the end of their sowing a harvest of nothing more than corruption. You cannot expect to live a life rife with anti-God, anti-nature choices and receive spiritual growth and spiritual life. Sowing sin, brings corruption. Paul conversely makes the point however, that those who sow “to the Spirit” will reap something for greater and everlasting. So how do we sow to the Spirit? What does that type of good life investment look like?
In verse 6, Paul explains that there are two types of Christians: those who teach the word and those who are taught the word. He is not saying that one is better than the other, simply that there are two roles in Christianity. One labors to study and proclaim, while the other should labor to listen and study. Both of these are “sowing” in their actions, and each will receive a benefit for the labor that they expend. After explaining that those who receive the word should do so with gratitude and respond in blessing to those who teach, Paul then makes his argument for sowing and reaping.
It seems clear from the text that Paul is trying to teach the believers in Galatia to spend themselves in the ministry of others. He is telling them that they should sow in love so that the harvest they will receive will be a lasting eternal one, not a temporal one. He continues on and says in verse 9, “and let us not be weary in well doing.” An eternal harvest is coming, and if we are faithful to sow right now, we will enjoy the fruits of our labor then.
For us, what does that mean? Starting in Galatians 6:1-2, Paul tells us that believers bear one another’s burdens and strive to reconcile those who are overtaken by sin. He tells us further that we should labor to either be teaching the Word or labor to learn from the Word. There is profit to be had, but it does not come without labor. Without sowing, the farmer never has a harvest. Without laboring, we will never reap an everlasting reward. Now, in the strength of the Lord, we should strive to sow, so that in due season, we may reap a great reward.
Food For Thought: Explain in your own words the phrase, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”