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What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

Believers have the Holy Spirit, the Comforter who comes from the Father, indwelling them (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit helps believers pray (Jude 1:20) and "intercedes for God's people according to God's will" (Romans 8:27). He also leads the believer into righteousness (Galatians 5:16–18) and produces His fruit (Galatians 5:22–23) in those who yield to Him. Believers are to walk in the Spirit and submit to God's will.

In the Bible, a "walk" is frequently used as a metaphor for practical daily living. The Christian life is a journey, and we are called to walk it—to make steady progress. All believers must walk in the Spirit, according to the Bible: "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25, KJV; cf. Romans 8:14). To put it another way, the Spirit gave us life through the new birth (John 3:6), and we must continue to live in the Spirit day by day.

We yield to His control, follow His lead, and allow Him to exert His influence over us when we walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit is the polar opposite of resisting or grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

The work of the Holy Spirit in the believer is examined in Galatians 5. The context is freedom from Moses' Law (Galatians 5:1). Those who walk in the Spirit are free from the Law because they "eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope" (verse 5). (verse 18). Those who walk in the Spirit also "will not gratify the flesh's desires" (verse 16). The flesh, or our fallen nature under the influence of sin, is at odds with the Spirit (verse 17). The consequences of allowing the flesh to rule are obvious (verses 19–21). When the Spirit is in charge, however, He produces godly qualities in us that are independent of the Law's requirements (verses 22–23). "The flesh, with its passions and desires, has been crucified" (verse 24), and we now walk in the Spirit (verse 25).

Those who walk in the Spirit are joined to Him and bear the fruit that the Spirit produces. As a result, those who walk in the Spirit walk in love, loving God and loving their neighbour. Those who walk in the Spirit do so with joy, expressing their delight in what God has done, is doing, and will do. Those who walk in the Spirit live in peace, worry-free, and anxiety-free (Philippians 4:6). Those who walk in the Spirit are known for having a "long fuse" and never losing their cool. Those who walk in the Spirit do so with kindness, showing tender concern for others' needs. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in goodness, displaying virtue and holiness in their actions. Those who walk in the Spirit are trustworthy, steadfast in their faith in God and His Word. Those who walk in the Spirit have a gentleness about them, and their lives are marked by humility, grace, and gratitude to God. Self-control is exhibited by those who walk in the Spirit; they exhibit moderation, constraint, and the ability to say "no" to the flesh.


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