From The Scarlet Thread, by Gardener C. Taylor (1918- 2015), p. 100f. Preaching on Galatians 6:7-9
We are willing and ready to admit to the presence of law, governing law, in every area of our existence except in the part we call moral and spiritual. It would take a prize fool, indeed, to argue that there is no law of gravity. “What goes up, must come down” is a common way of putting it. Now, you would consider somebody really off their rocker who would argue that there ‘might’ be a law of gravity, or that it does work ‘sometimes,’ or that certain people do not have to obey the law of gravity.
The law of gravity works everywhere and for everyone all of the time. Let anybody, without regard to station or position, go to the top of an eighty foot building. Such a person is free to jump or not to jump. But if that person chooses to jump, then that person’s freedom is gone. Then the law of gravity is in effect. There is no use for that person once he or she has jumped to file any petitions. It makes no difference who the person is, where he or she was born, who are the parents, what is the social status, or how many honors the jumper possesses. The law of gravity is in effect and the mangled body on the sidewalk on the street below will give the evidence that the law of gravity cannot be avoided, appealed, suspended, seduced, or discounted…
We accept this law.
But when we move into the moral and spiritual realm, we act as if we are on our own. So many of us seem to think that we have things exclusively in our hand. What we do is our business, and nobody has anything to do with it. This is the philosophy of our generation– and our neuroses and psychoses run away with us, and our nerves crack, and our jails are full, and our marriages are hardly more in number than our divorces, and our liquor and drug bills soar. Everywhere people are wringing their hands. Thugs mug, legislators steal and rob, business executives plunder– and we wonder why. What has happened? What has gone wrong?
Well, Paul tells us in Galatians that what we have forgotten is that there is a law governing the moral and spiritual affairs of life. Indeed, it would make no sense if the God who put the physical world under the governance of regulations would leave the moral and spiritual life lawless and loose. Could this be the case when the attributes, the qualities, of God are moral and spiritual? Not at all, says Paul to the Galatian Christians. Let nobody fool you. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, he shall also reap.” This is the law. It is written into the structure of things. It is inscribed in the stuff of life, the makeup of the universe. This is God’s Law.
“Be not deceived. God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This is a warning to those who need to be warned. Live for your flesh, invest only in your flesh, and at the end you will have nothing but your flesh— fat, diseased, inflamed, corrupt, fevered, dead, and decayed. Sow corn and you get corn, sow tomatoes and you get tomatoes. When we invest lavishly in our physical comforts and luxuries, and starve our spirits, do not think that the Lord will understand and will see to it that we are not hurt. Mark my words, not even God can save us from the consequences of His law. We are not so much punished for our sins as we are punished by our sins.
Galatians 6:7-9 — 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. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Jeremiah 2:17 — Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord your God when he led you in the way?
Forgive me my sins, O Lord: the sins of my present and the sins of my past; the sins of my soul and the sins of my body; the sins I have done to please myself and the sins which I have done to please others. Forgive me my casual sins and my deliberate sins, and those which I have labored so to hide that I have hidden them even from myself. Forgive me them, O Lord, forgive them all; for Jesus’ sake. Amen. –Thomas Wilson (d. 1775)