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Related to: Does Galatians 6:9 contain a causality that could imply works salvation?

In the immediate context (based on verse 8), reaping in Galatians 6:9 appears to refer to salvation.

Galatians 6:8-9 (NASB)
8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

In a commentary that I read by John Macarthur, however, he stated that "eternal life" in verse 8 is referring to the quality of eternal life (i.e., rewards in heaven), but he didn't make a supporting argument. Is there any support for this argument, or does the reaping in verse 9 refer to salvation?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is a matter of salvation. Paul sets up in the previous chapter two dichotomous ways of living: one to please the flesh and one to please the Spirit. To live in order please the flesh is to live under the law and follow the path to destruction. But to live by the Spirit is to be not under the law and to receive the righteousness that is by faith.

5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

5:16-17 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.

5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality... I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love...

6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

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I like your answer too :) – Mallioch Apr 16 '12 at 20:19
+1 After all, eternal life is to know him (Jn 17:3); evildoing is the antithesis of walking with him. – Kazark Apr 16 '12 at 21:17

I see no reason at all to take this as a statement about the quality of eternal life. After all, there's no reason to think that Paul is here discussing how they will reap a greater/lesser (whichever way you want to go) quality of corruption if they sow to the flesh.

Indirectly related, lessening "eternal life" to rewards in heaven instead of resurrection is also a flaw in this line of thinking. But I'm not sure if that's one of the main points in your question here.

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