Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Walking in the Spirit

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

I am always looking to gain more knowledge of the truth found in the words of the Bible. In improving my biblical knowledge, I am able to apply these truths to my life and pass that knowledge on in my day-to-day relational interactions with others. I read this little lesson on the term “walk in the Spirit”. The promise in our text (above) is followed in a later Pauline epistle by two finely distinct commands in the letter to the church at Galatia. (1) “his I say then,” Paul says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” – Galatians 5:16. Then again, (2) “if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” – Galatians 5:25.

Although they appear to be the same command in English, there is a significant distinction in the original Greek language in which Paul penned the letters.  
Both the Romans 8:1 and the Galatians 5:16 passages use the Greek word “peripateō”, which carries the connotation to “walk around”, “to live a life”, and to “be at liberty.” The second employment of the word in Galatians 5:25 uses “stoicheō”, which means to “follow,” to “conform”, to “step precisely,” to “march” or to “go in procession.” Same command but different emphasis. The context of Galatians 5 stresses the difference between a lifestyle of fleshly behavior and a life controlled by the Holy Spirit. The “fruits” of the flesh and the “fruit” of the Spirit are diametrically opposed. They cannot exist together; they are not harmonious

Romans 8:3-8 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

The Christian walk has great liberty, but that liberty must “step precisely” in honesty, good works, and in truth. Our walk is expected to be by faith and not by sight, and we are to conduct a spiritual warfare in the Holy Spirit’s power protected by the full armor of God. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms - Ephesians 6:12. The word “carnal” – “sarx” in Greek means pertaining to the flesh, relating to the physical appetites, the sinful flesh desires or given to crude bodily pleasures; opposed to spiritual. The Latin word “carne” translates to “flesh”. To be a carnal person is being in the natural unregenerate state of fallen mankind – worldly, earthly; sensual and temporal. This is the carnally-minded death bondage that Christ died on the Cross to free us from. We take this life and death redemption and salvation far too lightly. But, when we search the Scriptures, open our hearts, minds and souls and learn the true meaning of the words, then we can truly “walk in the Spirit, and not fulfill the lust of the flesh”. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”. 

In Christ, Brian

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