Walking in the Spirit #5

Monday, October 8, 2012

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24,25 KJV).

Now that we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, we have a new identity, and this identity should impact our lifestyles for God’s glory.

In Romans 8:1-14, Paul describes the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit in us believers. For instance, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (verse 1). While often assumed to be soul salvation, its context (the previous chapter, 7) is actually sanctification, how God has separated us from common mankind for His purposes—made us holy, or saints—which identity will now influence our lifestyles.

Romans 8:2-4 reads: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death [the performance-based acceptance system of religion]. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh [we, our flesh, could not obey God’s law], 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.”

As today’s Scripture amplifies, we Christians have new life in Christ. God’s Spirit makes this new life real to us: He works in us to fulfill the Law (Romans 8:4). We cannot keep the Law, either for soul salvation or for Christian living. However, Jesus Christ’s perfect crosswork satisfies the Law, thus paying for our sins (our failure to keep the Law). This makes us Christians accepted of God (Ephesians 1:6). This same principle allows the Holy Spirit to then transfer our new identity in Christ to our lifestyles—thus producing Jesus Christ’s lifestyle in ours.

To “walk in the Spirit” as today’s Scripture exhorts, means we Christians simply place our faith in this doctrine. The Holy Spirit will then work in us to produce God’s righteousness in our lives.