I do not know of many principles from Scripture that have as much practical application as verse 7, “A man reaps what he sows.” Unfortunately there is a lot of sowing that goes on to please the sinful nature. Consequently there is a lot of reaping that comes with that. We like to make light of these consequences by calling them such things as “experience” or “baggage” or “personal issues.” Or if we want to get real spiritual we might even talk about “developing a testimony.” But in essence we are usually talking about things that are accompanied by much pain and hardship and trouble. We don’t usually have to try hard to indulge the sinful nature. This comes rather easy. It is our default inclination.
Contrast this with the “man who sows to please the Spirit.” This takes intentionality. This takes going against what our natural inclination is. But the payoff is so much better and generally comes with a lot less pain and suffering.
The question that this passage make me ask myself is this: How is my sowing going? And if I say that I want to reap a harvest that is of the Spirit then what am I willing to do about it? This is where the promise of verse 9 provides much encouragement:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Here are a few questions to get you started as you begin pondering Ephesians 1:
What are some of the reasons that Paul gives for praising God?
Think deeply about a few of the terms mentioned in this passage and how gospel-saturated they are: adoption, redemption, predestination.
Explain how being chosen/predestined works together with believing the Word of Truth?
What are some of the ways that Paul prays for the Ephesians? How can we use his prayer to help us develop our own prayer life?