The Impact of Holiness

Today’s Reading: Galatians 6

Paul ends his letter to the church at Galatia by once again encouraging us on to holy living instead of giving into our sinful nature.

Don’t be misled – you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith. – Galatians 6:7-10

Wow, what powerful words Paul uses here. He reminds the Galatians that God is not only loving and the source of this incredible grace, He is also a just God. If we as Christians continue to satisfy our sinful nature instead of responding to the Spirit God has given us, we will harvest what we our sowing – death and decay. God cannot be mocked by someone who says, “I prayed the prayer, my eternity is secure so I can do what feels good to me right now instead of what I know God wants me to do.” That is not the servant’s heart God wants us to respond with. He wants us to listen to the urgings of His Spirit living within us and harvest a blessing instead of a curse. He wants us to live for others because we live for Him, not live for ourselves or to please our own sinful nature.


Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. – Galatians 6:1-3

Humbly and gently – let’s not miss these very important adjectives. The heart of what Paul is getting to here is that we should not be so concerned about ourselves that we don’t care about our fallen brother or sister enough to lovingly help them back onto the right path. We know that God’s plan for them is to live to please the Spirit and not their own sinful nature. Perhaps our loving and kind words can help them see that they are missing God’s perfect plan for their life.

But first, Paul warns that we are to be sure we ourselves are on the right path, living to please the Spirit and not ourselves. We cannot point out the speck of dust in someone else’s eye if we have a plank in our own, right?

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. – Galatians 6:4-5

Paul warns us not to become too proud or boastful about our walk. Then we will begin seeing our conduct, our job well done, as a result of our own strength and ability instead of a gift of the Spirit to help us live a godly life. We become drenched in self-righteousness instead of beautifully clothed in God’s righteousness.

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God. – Galatians 6:14-16

Remember how we started out the book of Galatians? We are saved by grace through faith and not by works. It is not our observance of religious laws or our faithful attendance at church that matters – it is the transformation that God does in our lives through His Spirit when we truly empty ourselves of all of our own desires and allow Him to fill us with His. Then we receive God’s peace and His mercy; then we are a new person of God and no longer a slave to our sinful nature. Then our life begins to positively impact the lives of those around us.