Galatians 6:7-8

Sunday Evening Bible Study

September 29, 1996


Paul is writing to a group of churches which have been infected with a doctrine of legalism.

We've now begun a section where Paul is teaching our responsibilities to each other, when a person stumbles into sin.

(Gal 6:1 KJV)  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Rather than shoot the wounded, we are to restore them.

:1-8  Ministry to each other

:7  Be not deceived;

deceived -  planao - to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way

There's several ways we can be deceived

1) We can be deceived by Satan

He tells us that it's okay, a little won't hurt.

He tempted Eve:

(Gen 3:1-6 KJV)  Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? {2} And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: {3} But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. {4} And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: {5} For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. {6} And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Satan appealed to Eve's senses, to her flesh, and she gave in.

"You won't die", "It's not going to hurt you..."

2) We can be deceived by false teachers

(2 Tim 4:3-4 KJV)  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; {4} And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Hugh Hefner - 'nuff said.

Different cults - Moonies, Children of God, using flirting and sex to draw people in.

3)  We deceive ourselves.

I think this is usually the case.

(Prov 16:2 KJV)  All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

We can talk ourselves into just about anything.


We talked about this on Wednesday night - how Josiah turned to the Lord at age 16, at age 20 began to cleanse the land of idols, and at age 26 discovered the Word of God.

Then suddenly at age 26, he goes on another cleansing spree, and we hear of him clearing all kinds of idols out of the very temple of God!

But I thought he already cleansed the land?!?

I think it's a picture of how we can be kind of easy on ourselves, until we see ourselves in the light of the truth, God's Word.


 John Calvin observed, "The human heart has so many crannies where vanity hides, so many holes where falsehood lurks, is so decked out with deceiving hypocrisy, that it often dupes itself."

-- "Reflections," Christianity Today, 4-5-93, p. 61.

:7  God is not mocked:

mocked -  mukterizo - from the word for "nose" (mukter); to turn up the nose or sneer at

People can turn up their noses at God and laugh at God's ways.

But they're the ones that are ultimately hurt.


The media always likes to portray the fun side of sin.  But there's another side, the hidden, ugly consequences of sin.

Consider this recent description of Andy Gibb on the cover of People Magazine.  A superstar at 19, the baby Bee Gee' had it all but couldn't handle it.  A generous, likable kid, he blew his fortune on cocaine and blamed his troubles on a breakup with Victoria Principal.  Trying for a comeback, he died, bankrupt, at 30.

At times it may even seem that people get away with murder, and nothing happens.


 America's first sensational unsolved murder occurred in 1799. Tourists still shout, "Who killed Elma Sands?" into the very well where her body was found. It stands in an alley off Greene Street just above Spring Street in New York City. The echo still sends back the question unanswered. There is to come a day when that question will be answered. All the crimes which men have hidden from men will stand revealed in awful clarity. Elma Sands, poor heroine of early days, will face her murderer.

Your sins must have an answer in that day. If the Lord Jesus Christ is not able to say in that day that a given sinner is covered by the merit of His shed Blood, there can be no other issue except the lake of fire.

   --  Donald Grey Barnhouse, Bible Truth Illustrated,  Keats Publishing, Inc., 1979, p. 4.

Ultimately, no one gets away with anything.

:7  for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

If you sow wheat seeds, you will reap a harvest of wheat.

If you sow corn seeds, you will reap a harvest of corn.

Pure, simple farm logic.

It's an ancient proverb from the beginnings of history:

Job 4:8  Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. (AV)

It's a principle that we find applies to a lot of areas of our lives.


The "War Cry" carried a story about a tenant farmer who had worked hard for many years to improve the production of the land.  Then something happened that caused him to become very bitter.  When it was time to renew his lease, the owner told him he was going to sell the farm to his son who was getting married.  The tenant made several generous offers to buy it himself, hoping the man's decision would be reversed.  But it was all in vain.  As the day drew near for the farmer to vacate his home, his weeks of angry brooding finally got the best of him.  He gathered seeds from some of the most pesky and noxious weeds he could find.  Then he spent many hours scattering them on the clean, fertile soil of the farm, along with a lot of trash and stones he had collected.  To his dismay, the very next morning the owner informed him that plans for his son's wedding had fallen through, and therefore he would be happy to renew the lease.  He couldn't understand why the farmer exclaimed in agonizing tones, "Oh, Lord, what a fool I've been!"

The lesson is clear:  Whatever we sow, we will eventually reap.

:8  he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;

flesh - the word can be used in different ways.

It can refer simply to our physical body, as in "I'm just flesh and bones".

It can also refer to an invisible part of us, which is somehow tied to our physical body, that part we call our "sin nature".

In our passage, that's what Paul is referring to.

In this sense, this flesh is that part of us that is in opposition to God:

(Gal 5:17 NASB)  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

It's that part of us that produces these kinds of results:

(Gal 5:19-21 NASB)  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, {20} idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, {21} envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

soweth to his flesh

It's the idea of feeding that sin nature of ours.

What are the kinds of things that we do that produce thoughts towards these things?

immorality, impurity, sensuality -

the kinds of input we feed out mind, television, music, magazines, even the kinds of billboards we allow ourselves to stare at a little longer than we need to.

idolatry -

allowing other things to take the first place in our heart.

Kind of vague, I know, but it could be a person we're obsessed with, a sport we just "HAVE" to watch,

sorcery -

pharmakeia, drugs.  Maybe even the kinds of people we hang out with and the way that we allow them to influence us.

envying -

Maybe it seems little, but how about the way Madison Avenue gets us to buy stuff?

It's all about creating envy in us, wanting what someone else has.


The flesh is a single, cohesive nature within us.

One part affects the rest.

We may tell ourselves, "Well at least I've stopped the pornography", when we allow other parts of our flesh to be fed.

The problem is that a fed sin nature is a strong sin nature.

I find that even if I allow one area of my sin nature to starve, yet feed other areas, the areas I'm trying to avoid keep creeping up.

Yet when I starve the whole sucker, you gain victory in all areas!


Fasting is a lesson for the flesh.

Fasting can become a pride thing, where once we've done it, we want to boast about it to everyone.

Yet God's desire has always been that fasting be a lesson to teach us that we can deny the flesh, and STILL SURVIVE!

When dealing with a particularly stubborn demon that the disciples couldn't handle:

Mat. 17:19  Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

reap corruption

phthora - corruption, destruction, perishing; in the Christian sense, eternal misery in hell


Our modern sexual openness is endlessly pawned off as healthy, emancipation, and long overdue. But -- after twenty years of sexual freedom, where is the sexual utopia promised us in the sixties and seventies? Like people who have bought choice real estate that turns out to be swamp-land, we've bought a lie -- and a costly one at that. The more we have sought fulfillment apart from God, the further into the sexual desert we have wandered. We have turned our backs on the Architect, Engineer, and Builder of human sexuality. We have denied His authority and ridiculed His servants. Our glands as our gods, we

have discarded His directions, burned His blueprint, trampled on the ashes, and -- we are just beginning to reap the results.

-- Randy Alcorn, Christians in the Wake of the Sexual Revolution.


From Newsweek's cover article:  "Adultery", pg.56

"In 1974 the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago surveyed attitudes toward extramarital sex.  The view that adultery was "always wrong" won majorities in every age group, but the margin was smallest among 18-29 year olds:  just 59 percent agreed with the proposition."

"But since then attitudes ahve undergone a remarkable shift.  Twenty years later this same cohort, now in their 40s, condemned adultery by a much more resounding 74 percent.  And people now in their 20s, who may have seen in their own families what happens when couples take adultery too lightly, show up in this survey as statistically the most sexually conservative group in america, tied with people in their 60s in their overwhelming rejection of marital infidelity."

"The great experiment of my generation was that people tried to abolish jealousy," says Erica Jong, the siren of sexual liberation in the 11970s, now older (54) and, she believes, wiser.  "It never worked.  The desire to be monogamous is more pragmatic than ethical ... We renounced the idea of sexual because it doesn't work."

Don't be deceived, feeding your flesh isn't going to help anything!

:8  he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

As we've talked before, it's not just denying the flesh that leads to victory, but it's feeding the Spirit.

What you put in is what you'll get out.


The story is told of an old violinist whose music charmed audiences with its soothing, mellow sound.  Wherever he played, the old violinist received a warm response.  When asked the secret of his music, the man pointed to his instrument and said, "A great deal of sunshine must have gone into the wood.  What has gone in comes out."

We've seen this whole principle of sowing to the Spirit on Sunday mornings as we've talked about abiding in Christ.


Abide in Christ.

If we want to see spiritual fruit, a spiritual harvest, we must abide in the vine:

(John 15:5 KJV)  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Jesus gives us the practical understanding of what it means to abide in:

(John 15:7 KJV)  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Abiding includes:

Reading God's Word.


Receiving answers to prayer

(John 15:10 KJV)  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Abiding also includes:


It's as we're doing these things that we find ourselves sowing to the Spirit.


Sow a lot!

Paul writes:

2Co 9:6  But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (AV)

In the context, Paul is talking to the people about financially supporting the poor Christians in Jerusalem with their gifts.

But the principle applies across the board.


It's kind of like vitamins.

Sometimes when you get a cold, if you take lots and lots of vitamin C, it seems to help you get over the cold.

I call it taking "megadoses" of vitamins.

You will find that if you sow LOTS to the Spirit, the same will be true.

You may find great benefit spending five minutes a day reading your Bible.

But it might be worth your while to take some "megadoses" of God's Word every once in a while.

This was one of the things that got me started reading through my Bible every year - taking "megadoses" of God's Word.



:9  let us not be weary in well doing:



(2 Cor 4:1 KJV)  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

Vs. 4:1  we faint not. Not a physical fainting but a losing of courage (cf. v. 16; Luke 18:1; Gal. 6:9; Eph. 3:13; 2 Thess. 3:13). Paul credits his effectiveness to the mercy of God.


:9  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.




:10  As we have therefore opportunity,



:10  let us do good unto all men,



:10  especially unto them who are of the household of faith.


Ryrie:   the household of faith = believers. Concern for this group is a special obligation of the children of God.