We are to sow God’s fruit in our own lives, which includes our bodies. So, our flesh is involved. Paul was not waxing Gnostic here by suggesting that this spiritual practice is something merely abstract, some kind of mere belief. No, it involves real flesh and blood. However, spiritual fruit does not originate in ourselves, or our ideas or values. It originates from God through the Spirit in Christ. Nor can we sustain it with our own strength or commitment. It is sustained by the Holy Spirit through regeneration.
To say that those who engage such practice will reap life everlasting or eternal life does not simply point to heaven, as if performance on this planet provides a ticket to life somewhere else. God’s purpose is to bring heaven to earth, so that things on earth will be done as they are done in heaven. Heaven is not a place, its a way of life, an administration—a way to manage the affairs of people, a dispensation—a way that God relates to human beings. Eternal life is sustainable life, to put it into current vernacular. And because eternal life begins with our salvation, it begins here, on this planet. So, in the short run we are to pursue sustainable living here through the practice of spiritual fruit. Real sustainable life is not about electric cars, it’s about electrified hearts. It’s not about tank-less water heaters, it’s about the living water that flows from Christ.
(from Galatians–Backstory / Christstory (forthcoming Dec. 2015)