Walking in the Spirit | The Institute for Creation Research
Walking in the Spirit

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

This promise in our text is followed in a later Pauline epistle by two nuanced commands in the letter to the church at Galatia.

"This I say then," Paul says, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). Then again, "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 word perepeto, which carries the connotation to "walk around" and to "be at liberty."

The second iteration in Galatians 5:25 uses stoicheo, which means 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 8:5-8). We either "mind" the things of the flesh or the "things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5).

The Christian walk has great liberty (Romans 8:21), but that liberty must "step precisely" in honesty (Romans 13:13), good works (Ephesians 2:10), and in truth (2 John 4-6). Our walk is expected to be by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and we are to conduct a spiritual warfare in the Holy Spirit's power (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) protected by the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). HMM III

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