and I will be his God and he shall be My son


Book of ROMANS
A Study of Chapter 8
Part 2


Sowing and Reaping

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” – Rom 8:2-4 NKJV

The word “law” νομος nómos (Strong’s GK 3551) often refers to the Law of Moses in the NT, but several times it also means “a principle.” In vs 3 and 4 of our passage here, Paul’s usage of “law” clearly refers to the Law of Moses; while in vs 2 it speaks of a cause & effect principle, one of what I would call Kingdom principles.

Merriam/Webster defines “principle” as - a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine.
 - A law or fact of nature that explains how something works or why something happens

Death happens because of sin (Rom 6:23a). Abiding in Christ brings Eternal Life (Rom 6:23b).

J.B. Phillips translates Romans 8:1-4 this way -

1-2 No condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are “in” Jesus Christ. For the new spiritual principle of life “in” Christ lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death.

3-4 The Law never succeeded in producing righteousness—the failure was always the weakness of human nature. But God has met this by sending his own Son Jesus Christ to live in that human nature which causes the trouble. And, while Christ was actually taking upon himself the sins of men, God condemned that sinful nature. So that we are able to meet the Law’s requirements, so long as we are living no longer by the dictates of our sinful nature, but in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit.”
– Rom 8:1-4 PHILLIPS

There is a principle, or law, of sowing and reaping in agriculture, in many areas of life, and definitely in God’s Kingdom. Galatians 6:7-8 admonishes us -

“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.” – Gal 6:7-8 NKJV

This law, this Kingdom Principle, of reaping what we sow is found throughout the Scripture. Looking first at the dark consequences, or results, of sowing to our Adamic nature and the spirit of this present age -

 - “the law of sin and death.” (Rom 8:2b)
 - “he who sows to his flesh will… reap corruption” (Gal 6:8)
 - “those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:29b)
- “He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow.” (Prov 22:8)

The principle is True that a life of practicing willful sin leads to condemnation and death. Spiritual death in this life, and, if continued without repentance, eternal physical separation from God.

“For if we deliberately persist in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins, but only a terrifying expectation of judgment and of raging fire ready to consume the adversaries.” – Heb 10:26-27 Mounce

But there is light as well, thank God! There is hope for us who really want to please God, even as we often struggle to do what is right. Our heavenly Father and His Son Jesus want us to overcome and be victorious.

As Paul affirmed in the previous chapter here in Romans - “What a miserable creature I am! Who will rescue me from this body bound for death? 25 Thanks be to God [, He will]! — through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord!”
– Rom 7:24-25 CJB

Amen. God has poured into our lives all we need to live a godly, righteous life of obedience to Him. He sent His Son, Jesus, “into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1John 4:9b-10 NRSV)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 NAS (AMP)

It begins with Jesus. Our belief must be in Him, and in what He has done and is doing. And as the Amplified emphasizes - our belief, our faith, must be lived out practically in our lives. Faith that is abstract is no faith at all. 

He has “given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2Pet 1:3). And His promise to us who truly strive to follow Jesus and do right is - “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” (Matt 5:6)

Indeed through Jesus atoning death and Resurrection, God has done so much for us, and made available to us that new spiritual life “in” Christ that can lift us out of the old vicious circle of sin and death. He desires, even more than we do, that we be set free from the darkness that settled upon this earth because of sin.

“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” – 1Pet 2:9 NKJV

“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
– Col 1:13-14 NKJV

So likewise the principle is True that a life lived in Christ by the Spirit leads to Eternal Life.

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” – Rom 6:20-22 NKJV

We will reap the fruit of what we’ve sown, whether good or bad. Choosing to remain in (or turning back to) our flesh once the True Gospel of Christ has been made real to us, is to remain a slave of sin. Choosing to “deny ourselves, pick up our cross each day, and follow Jesus” is to become a slave of God, with the end Eternal Life.

- “the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free” (Rom 8:2a)
- “he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Gal 6:8)
- “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16)
- “those who have done good to the resurrection of life (John 5:29a)
- “He who loves a pure heart & is kind in his speaking has the King as his friend.” (Prov 22:11)


A final thought on sowing & reaping…
Let us not procrastinate or walk half-heartedly this Christian walk.  Remember the parable of the wise & foolish virgins – the five who failed to continue sowing to the Spirit, found their lamps had gone out and they were not ready to meet the Groom when He returned. 

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
– Matt 25:6-13 NKJV

There are many distractions in this life, things that vie for our attention, and other opportunities to sow our time, effort and energy into that which is not Eternal. The Scripture warns against getting caught up in the “the worries of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things” that can “enter in and choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19)

“He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” – Ecc 11:4 AMPC

If we’ve gotten “saved” but find that we are waiting for our circumstances to be just right before we really start serving the Lord (or perhaps we don’t think we need to) then we are still sowing to the flesh.

When invited to follow Jesus, more than one person made excuses not to go with Him, while others who even began as disciples turned back when they perceived His teaching too hard.

“Jesus said… “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62 NKJV

“Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” – Luke 9:62 MSG

Every day is a gift from God, and an opportunity to know Him more and be transformed into the image of Christ. We don’t know how long we have. Let us not waste a single day.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in Your book
    before one of them came to be.”

- Psalm 139:16 NIV

For some, the allurements of this world are too great, and the message of discipleship seems to lack any fun, the cost seems too much. All Jesus asks is that we partake of what He offers rather than what the world can offer. And for some, even some who actually walked with Him, that is too much to ask.

“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

- John 6:60,66 NKJV

If we’ve begun the path by accepting Jesus’ atonement and begin our walk with Him and continue in it, we will become rooted in Him and strengthened in our faith, thanking Him for even the things we don’t understand that happen because we trust in, cling to, and rely on, Him; truly believing that He knows what He is doing.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Col 2:6-7 NIV

Paul and Timothy, with the heart of God, desired this to be True in the lives of every believer called by the Father. And they prayed we would be sowing to that end, “that (we) may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Col 1:10 NIV)

But if our faith is abstract and we focus not upon the Lord, but rather on the clouds of trouble or persecution that most undoubtedly will come, showing we really have no root in Christ, then there will be no fruit to reap.

“The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” – Matt 13:20-21 NKJV

The Word of God is straightforward -

“He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” – 2Cor 9:6 NKJV

This principle is found as well in the Proverbs -

“Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want.”
- Prov 11:24 NRSV

As we share and “freely give” what we have freely received (Matt 10:8), we will be “rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21). Hording the Truth of God will lead only cause us to loss what we have been given.

And saints, even what we sow comes from our great God. Our part is to use what He has given us. As with the talents the Master gave to His servants in Matthew 25, God expects us to use and increase in all that He provides for us.
May we be sowing to the Spirit, “for he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” and be welcomed in when the Groom returns.

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” – 2Cor 9:10 NRSV

Brothers & sisters, may we take the words of the prophet to heart, for they are the Truth of God.

“Sow righteousness for yourselves,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
until He comes
    and showers His righteousness on you.”

- Hosea 10:12 NIV

Wisdom and understanding to all who are following along.


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