This week we will study how we can walk by the Holy Spirit. In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul laid out the contrast between life in the Spirit and life lived for the flesh. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to leave behind a life lived under the impulses of the flesh and learn a new way of living that is directed by the very Spirit of God.
I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-25)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Jesus Christ gave his life on the cross to remove the barrier that separates us from God. His purpose was not merely to provide a future salvation for us, but to enable us to enjoy a new life even now. Because of the cross, the Holy Spirit is now available to us and can reside within each of us. By the Spirit’s presence, we are able to learn a new way of living under the Spirit’s influence. This new way of living is called “walking” or “living by the Spirit.” Learning a new way of living is like a child learning to walk for the first time. The first steps may be a little awkward, but with practice, we will soon become mature and proficient.
Lord God, teach me to live by the Spirit. I will happily leave behind my worldly ways. Let the fruit of your Spirit grow within me until I become mature and complete, not lacking anything.