God Establishes Moral Order

MEMORY VERSE: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” —Galatians 6:7

ROMANS 2:12-16

GOD’S laws for the governing of his human creatures, created in his image, are just as real as are his laws which govern the inanimate things of creation. God stated his law to Adam concerning the forbidden fruit, and said that death would be the penalty for disobedience. So when the act of disobedience occurred, there was no way of escaping the penalty. The ultimate penalty for sin is death, and death has been reigning in the earth ever since our first parents disobeyed God, all having inherited imperfection, which has prevented them from keeping God’s law perfectly.

Through Moses God outlined the principles of his Law to the nation of Israel in the form of the Ten Commandments. This Law required that those who undertook to keep it should love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength; and their neighbor as themselves. A minority of the Israelites endeavored to live up to these requirements as best they could; many were indifferent to them.

Paul explains that simply to hear the Law is not enough; that such are not “just before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified.” (vs. 13) But try as they would none of the Israelites succeeded in living up to the terms of the Law perfectly, so none gained life under its provisions, although those who through faith and from the heart did the best they could were richly blessed, and will be especially rewarded in the resurrection.

Paul explains concerning the Gentiles, to whom the Law was not given, that some of these by nature do the things written in the Law, and are a law unto themselves. These, he says, have the work of the Law written in their hearts. This could well be a reference to the fact that man was created in the image of God, and that this image is still reflected in the hearts of many. Those who are thus blessed are just naturally, so to speak, good people. They believe in and worship God, and do all they can to help their neighbors.

The main advantage to all such will be “in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.” (vs. 16) This seems to be a reference to the world’s future day of judgment. At that time the truth concerning the will of God will be made known to all mankind, including those who have died.

This principle was illustrated when Jesus explained that it would be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than it would be for the people of certain Jewish cities who rejected and persecuted him, because the latter had sinned under greater light. The work of that future day of judgment will be done in justice and love, as is every aspect of the divine plan.


Our memory verse is an important one. But what does it mean to “sow to the flesh,” against which Paul warns in the following verse? He explains that those who do thus sow to the flesh “shall of the flesh reap corruption.” On the other hand, he explains that those who sow to the Spirit “shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” How important it is, then, that we take heed what we sow!

Generally speaking, we could say that sowing to the flesh is leading a life dictated by the spirit of self-interest, or selfishness, and that sowing to the Spirit is living a life that is unselfish, devoted to the blessing of others and to the glory of God. Paul says, “Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due time we shall reap, if we faint not” (vs. 9) This indicates that sowing to the spirit requires effort and sacrifice, an effort in which we might well become weary; but we shall in due time reap the everlasting life promised, if we faint not.

Verse 10 gives us a practical application of what it means to sow to the Spirit. Paul concludes, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Doing good to all, especially our brethren in Christ, is therefore the ideal way of sowing to the Spirit. If we are faithful in this we are sure to reap the promised blessings.


Can anyone continue to escape the penalty of disobedience to divine law?

Is it possible for anyone to keep God’s law perfectly?

What is meant by sowing to the flesh and sowing to the Spirit?

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |