Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Be Not Deceived, God is Not Mocked

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Galatians 6:7-8

The Book of Galatians is a letter from Paul to churches in the province of Galatia. Paul and Barnabas had gone to the area on their first missionary journey. They led some to Christ and taught them that the Christian life is to be lived under the leadership and empowerment of the Holy Spirit by faith—not in human effort. False teachers came to the same area and told the converts that Paul was wrong. They told them that if they were to be saved and were to please God, they would have to be circumcised. Because of putting their trust in circumcision, they would have to live out the whole law in their own strength—their flesh. 

The letter to the Galatians is a Spirit directed effort to bring the people back to life in the Spirit rather than attempting to live by the law in their own strength.  

The word “mocked” in verse seven means to disregard God. This would be like making fun of God, treating God with disrespect, treating God as though He is nothing. The Galatians would be mocking God by returning to the law and a life of self-effort.

In Galatians 6:8, Paul adds that those who sow to the flesh by trying to live out the law will reap corruption. Corruption can be translated “ruin.” We know people who have served God in the flesh. For a while they are on fire for God, but then they just quit. They have turned from their service for God because of fruitlessness. On the other hand, those who sow to the Spirit, that is, live under the leadership and empowerment of the Spirit, will receive everlasting life. In this context, “everlasting life” means the “abundant life.”

We can thank God for those in our churches who walk in the Spirit. We grieve for those who live in self-effort by doing their best for Jesus. Both groups are known by God. Both will receive what is promised in this passage.