It strikes me as a bit ironic that a letter which so passionately defends grace and exposes the folly of works as a means to righteousness should wrap up with so many commands to obey. This morning, overlooking the ocean and in no rush to get on with my day, I read two days of my reading plan and so I ended up taking in the last chapter and half of Galatians. And, in a book that has been all about what we can’t do to merit God’s favor, these last twenty-nine verses are packed full of what we should be doing because we have known God’s favor.
Walk by the Spirit . . . be led by the Spirit . . . keep in step with the Spirit. Beware of becoming conceited. Don’t provoke one another. Don’t envy one another.
Restore the brother caught in a transgression. Keep watch over yourself. Bear one another’s burdens. Test your own works. Bear your own load. Share with those who teach the word.
Don’t grow weary of doing good. As you have opportunity, do good to everyone. And do good especially to those of the household of faith.
And lot of stuff to do for those who have been saved apart from any stuff they can do. So how come?
It’s not about earning salvation. It’s about planting for a future harvest!
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. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
(Galatians 6:7-9 ESV)
Reminded that good works are not the requirement for salvation, they are the response. They are not what earns us eternal life, they are the evidence that eternal life has been gifted. They are not the things of which we boast in order to claim our rightful place, instead they the things we plant, in Christ Jesus and as unto the Savior, in faith that they will bear much fruit. And the harvest will be life everlasting.
That there is a connection between the life we live here and now with the life that will be ours there and then is taught throughout Scripture. Beyond the motivation to obey Christ’s commands as His servants, seeking to glorify Him in our body knowing we are not our own by have been bought at price (1Cor. 6:19-20), there is the law of the harvest provided as an incentive to keep on keepin’ on.
Don’t grow tired of walking the talk. Don’t give up on swimming upstream in a downstream world. Don’t cash it in when the enemy whispers in your ear, “Is it really worth it!” Keep following. Keep obeying. Keep doing. Keep sowing. For in due season WE WILL REAP!
No uncertainty about it. We will harvest a good crop. Beyond knowing the dynamic of the Spirit’s enabling work in our life as we seek to be led by Him . . . beyond experiencing the all sufficient grace He gives to pursue that which we’ve been called to pursue . . . beyond seeing the surpassing power of God seep out through the cracks as we carry this treasure as jars of clay . . . Paul says that a day is coming when what we sow will bear it’s full fruit.
The Lord of the harvest Himself also declares this law of the harvest:
” . . . give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be back to you.
~ Jesus (Luke 6:38 ESV)
We will reap. Be encouraged faithful sower. Keep on weary sojourner. Press on patient pilgrim.
All by His grace. All for His glory!