—JUNE 11.—GALATIANS 6:1-10.—
NOT THE WORLD, BUT THE CHURCH, REFERRED TO—POOR SOIL
AND INVOLUNTARY WEEDS HEREDITARY—SOWING REPRESENTS
A VOLUNTARY ACT AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
—WHAT IS SOWING TO THE FLESH?—WHAT IS IT TO
SOW TO THE SPIRIT?—WHAT SHALL THE HARVEST BE?
IT IS true that every person has a responsibility for his every wilful act and word. It is true, in a sense, that every human being will have a harvest considerably in accord with his own wilful course in life. Evidently, therefore, every human being could take a profitable lesson from the words of our Golden Text and receive a blessing in proportion as he would follow the spirit of that Text.
However, we are not to forget that the Apostle is not addressing the worldly, but the saintly. He is addressing the Church; and the Church is composed exclusively of persons who have left the world, turned their backs upon sin, accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior and Advocate with the Father, and who have consecrated their lives wholly and unreservedly to the doing of the Divine will. Such, begotten of the Holy Spirit, are in the Bible styled New Creatures in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17.) To these, "old things have passed away; all things have become new"—new hopes, new aims, new ambitions, new prospects, new standards. These spiritually begotten children of God, and no one else, are addressed by the Apostle.
According to the Bible, God has great and precious provisions for the world in the future, but not in the present time. Now the Church of Christ, the saintly Bride class, is being selected from the world to constitute the Royal Family of the future, when completed and perfected by the First or Chief Resurrection. (1 Peter 2:9.) Then this Royal Family will, as God's Kingdom, deal with the world of mankind, ruling, instructing, uplifting, blessing, all the willing and obedient. Then the world will have its chance for sowing and reaping.—Acts 3:19-23.
The heart of the Christian is consecrated soil from the start—from the time that God accepts him as a child. Under Divine instructions special flowers and fruits are to be cultivated. These are styled fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. All Christians obedient to the Voice from Heaven are seeking to eradicate and destroy the weeds of sin and selfishness, which spring naturally in their flesh because of heredity.
Originally, Father Adam's flesh was perfect. The weeds of sin had not yet been planted. But now, there is no pure soil; sin-weeds are everywhere. Every Christian who would have the consecrated garden of his heart fruitful, pleasing to the Lord, must wage a vigorous and continuous battle against the weeds of sin, in order that his heart may be in the condition to receive the good seed commended in the Divine Word.
Vigilance is necessary, not only to keep down the weeds, but also to keep the soil in proper condition, that the seed may enter, germinate and bring forth good fruitage. The Christian must also battle against the thorns, which our Lord Jesus mentions as illustrating the cares of the present life and the deceitfulness of riches, which would choke the Word and make the life unfruitful, unprofitable.—Matthew 13:22.
The Christian who would expect to receive the reward of the Master's "Well done; enter into the joy of thy Lord!" must be very diligent in the sowing of the proper seeds in the garden of his heart. Acts, words and thoughts are the good seeds; and they must be sown carefully and persistently. They will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness—meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love. And these fruits and flowers of the Holy Spirit abounding in the garden of the heart, St. Peter tells us, will make such a Christian ready for an abundant entrance "into the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."—2 Peter 1:11.
It is important that we sow good seed; and there is just one storehouse from which this is supplied—the Word of God. Whoever gives most attention to the words of our Lord Jesus through the Apostles and the Prophets, and whoever keeps this seed pure, free from contamination with worldly wisdom—science falsely so-called—and from the traditions of men—creeds—is best prepared to produce fruits and flowers to the Master's approval.
A mistake made by some of the Lord's people is that of sowing to the flesh, after having consecrated themselves to the Lord and having agreed to sow merely to the Spirit—in harmony with the Lord's will. Sowing to the flesh does not mean a thorough rebellion against the Lord, but rather the procurement and the sowing of bad seed—unprofitable seed. The spending of time, energy, money, etc., in the pursuit of pleasure or of earthly things or riches, whether successful or not, is sowing to the flesh.
The tendency of all such neglect of the Christian's covenant with his God is toward corruption—toward death. Many, indeed, may retrace their steps after finding that they have spent their talents improperly. But in such cases they have wasted time, energy and opportunity, and if they gain eternal life at all, it will doubtless be on a less glorious plane than if they had been faithful from the very beginning. Let us exhort ourselves and our fellows to sow to the Spirit—in accord with the glorious promises which God has made to us, which we have accepted, and to which we should be bending every energy in the development of the fruits and graces of the Spirit.
In the context the Apostle urges that each individual Christian should seek to bear his own burden rather than to lean upon the brethren. Each is to remember his own personal responsibility and not to get weary in well doing. Each is to remember the reaping time, the harvest time, when all who do not faint, all who do not grow weary, but who persevere, will receive their reward.
Additionally, the Apostle urges that while seeking to do, each for himself, we should be tender-hearted toward each other, yea, toward all men. "As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all, but especially to them who are of the Household of Faith."
Respecting those who are of the Household of Faith the Apostle urges that if we find a brother overtaken in a fault, we should show our own spirituality in the manifestation of the spirit of meekness and kindness toward the one at fault. We should bear each other's burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ. We should cultivate the spirit of meekness by remembering that we ourselves might at some time be overtaken in a fault—in the future, if we had not in the past. We should learn to think humbly of ourselves. We are really nothing when compared with that which is perfect. Our standing with the Lord is not because of human perfection, but because of proper wills—good intentions—fully consecrated hearts.