Christian Liberality
Galatians 6:7-8
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.…

The metaphor of seedtime and harvest, although capable of an almost universal application, is primarily applicable to the principle of Christian liberality, and the earnestness of St. Paul's admonition finds its probable explanation in an allusion in 1 Corinthians 16:1: "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given Order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye." He had at his former visit urged them to contribute to the support of their suffering brethren of Judea; but Gallic avarice was proverbial. And is it not reasonable to suppose that the messenger who had brought the apostle word of their defection from the faith, reported also unfavourably of their liberality? Hence his strong statement concerning sowing and reaping; hence his earnest exhortation to support their teachers, to do good unto all men. And surely, brethren, the money test is one of the truest tests by which the genuineness of a man's religion can be tried. It was the money test which our Lord applied to the rich young ruler, and from which he shrank; it was the money test which proved too much for Achan and Gehazi in the Old Testament, for the Apostle Judas, and for Ananiss and Sapphira in the New. And the money test has not, I believe, lost its practical value now. The love of money is the root of as much evil in England as it was in Gallatia or Judea; it is equally now as then a lust of the flesh which needs greatly to be crucified. Show me a liberal and large-hearted man — one whose delight it is to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked; a generous, ungrudging, cheerful giver. His creed may possibly be defective, his knowledge limited; yet surely it may be said of such an one, that he is not far from the kingdom of heaven; for is it not promised that "if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday." But let a man be close and miserly in his habits — more ready to hoard than to give — one that knoweth to do good, but doeth it not — then, however accurate his creed, however strict and orthodox his profession, he lacks surely the vitality of grace; he has a name to live, but is dead. All separation between knowledge and action is ruinous and enfeebling, and faith in Christ as dying for us is worth little, unless there be also faith in Christ as living in us... There is no alternative between sowing to the spirit and sowing to the flesh. No middle course is possible. The policy of inaction, whilst the great contest between good and evil is raging around us, is nothing else than the policy of selfishness, and many a life, which drifts along in amiable, aimless inactivity, is just as truly a sowing to the flesh as is the life of the most abandoned. According to the context, the man who soweth to his flesh is he who spends upon himself that which he ought to spend upon others — the niggardly Galatian who neglects his Christian teacher, or the poor saints at Jerusalem, that he may hoard or squander his gains — the professing Christian of every age who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God. It is in such things that self-deception is so easy. The profligate, the drunkard, or the murderer cannot doubt for a moment how he is sowing: his works of the flesh are manifest. But the man of Christian profession may conceal his selfishness beneath such a veil of devout behaviour as to deceive others, and perhaps himself. Hence the warning of the apostle — "Be not deceived; God is not mocked." If Christ would have His followers count the cost of becoming His disciples, He would have all men count the cost of serving sin, whether in its grosser or in its more polished form; He would have no man cheat himself into believing that a life of self-indulgence, however amiable and engaging it may be, can issue in aught but ruin.

(Emilius Bayley, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

WEB: Don't be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Christian Diligence
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