Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Galatians 6:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He that soweth to his flesh - In like manner, he that sows to the flesh - who indulges his sensual and animal appetites, shall have corruption as the crop: you cannot expect to lead a bad life and go to heaven at last. According as your present life is, so will be your eternal life whether your sowing be to the flesh or to the Spirit, so will your eternal reaping be. To sow, here, means transacting the concerns of a man's natural life. To reap, signifies his enjoyment or punishment in another world. Probably by flesh and Spirit the apostle means Judaism and Christianity. Circumcision of the flesh was the principal rite of the former; circumcision in the heart, by the Spirit, the chief rite of the latter; hence the one may have been called flesh, the other, Spirit. He who rejects the Gospel, and trusts only in the rites and ceremonies of the law for salvation, will reap endless disappointment and misery. He who trusts in Christ, and receives the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, shall reap life everlasting.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For he that soweth to his flesh - That makes provision for the indulgence of fleshly appetites and passions; see the notes at Galatians 5:19-21. He who makes use of his property to give indulgence to licentiousness, intemperance, and vanity.

Shall of the flesh - From the flesh, or as that which indulgence in fleshly appetites properly produces. Punishment, under the divine government, is commonly in the line of offences. The punishment of licentiousness and intemperance in this life is commonly loathsome and offensive disease; and when long indulged, the sensualist becomes haggard, and bloated, and corrupted, and sinks into the grave. Such, also, is often the punishment of luxurious living, of a pampered appetite, of gluttony, as well as of intemperate drinking. But if the punishment does not follow in this life, it will be sure to overtake the sensualist in the world to come. There he shall reap ruin, final and everlasting.

Corruption -

(1) By disease.

(2) in the grave - the home to which the sensualist rapidly travels.

(3) in the world of woe.

There all shall be corrupt. His virtue - even the semblance of virtue, shall all be gone. His understanding, will, fancy - his whole soul shall be debased and corrupt. No virtue will linger and live on the plains of ruin, but all shall be depravity and woe. Everything in hell is debased and corrupt; and the whole harvest of sensuality in this world and the world to come, is degradation and defilement.

But he that soweth to the Spirit - He who follows the leadings and cultivates the affections which the Holy Spirit would produce; see the notes at Galatians 5:22-23.

Shall of the Spirit - As the result of following the leadings of the Spirit.

Reap life everlasting - See the note at Romans 2:7.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Many excuse themselves from the work of religion, though they may make a show, and profess it. They may impose upon others, yet they deceive themselves if they think to impose upon God, who knows their hearts as well as actions; and as he cannot be deceived, so he will not be mocked. Our present time is seed time; in the other world we shall reap as we sow now. As there are two sorts of sowing, one to the flesh, and the other to the Spirit, so will the reckoning be hereafter. Those who live a carnal, sensual life, must expect no other fruit from such a course than misery and ruin. But those who, under the guidance and influences of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. We are all very apt to tire in duty, particularly in doing good. This we should carefully watch and guard against. Only to perseverance in well-doing is the reward promised. Here is an exhortation to all to do good in their places. We should take care to do good in our life-time, and make this the business of our lives. Especially when fresh occasions offer, and as far as our power reaches.
Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 144.1

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:8. RC 144.1

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 624

The widespread iniquity prevalent today may in a great degree be attributed to a failure to study and obey the Scriptures, for when the word of God is set aside, its power to restrain the evil passions of the natural heart is rejected. Men sow to the flesh and of the flesh reap corruption. PK 624.1

With the setting aside of the Bible has come a turning away from God's law. The doctrine that men are released from obedience to the divine precepts, has weakened the force of moral obligation and opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in like an overwhelming flood. Everywhere are seen envy, evil surmising, hypocrisy, estrangement, emulation, strife, betrayal of sacred trusts, indulgence of lust. The whole system of religious principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to fall in ruins. PK 624.2

In the last days of this earth's history the voice that spoke from Sinai is still declaring, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3. Man has set his will against the will of God, but he cannot silence the word of command. The human mind cannot evade its obligation to a higher power. Theories and speculations may abound; men may try to set science in opposition to revelation, and thus do away with God's law; but stronger and still stronger comes the command, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:10. PK 624.3

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 167.5

He was the teacher sent by God to instruct mankind. As one in whom all restorative power is found, Christ spoke of drawing all men unto Him, and of giving the life everlasting. In Him there is power to heal every physical and every spiritual disease. LHU 167.5

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 273.3

Holiness, which means wholeness to God, is wholly acceptable to God. A Paul may plant, an Apollos water, but God giveth the increase. “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:8). ... In the natural world unseen agencies are constantly at work to produce the essential results, but the harvest to be reaped depends upon the seed that has been sown. After man faithfully prepares the land, and plants the seed, God must work constantly to cause the seed to germinate. UL 273.3

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