Commentary on "Living by the Spirit"
Day 2: Sunday, December 11, 2011 - Walking in the Spirit
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
The Christian's "walk" is one of the ways the Word describes our life, our manner of living. The Greek word in this verse for "walk" is "peripateo (per-ee-pat-eh'-o), to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figuratively, to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary): go, be occupied with, walk (about)." (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Walking, in the sense of how we live our lives, is much like physical walking; it is learned. An infant has several stages of development in learning to walk. Before a baby walks they crawl, they learn to stand and then that wonderful day happens when they take their first step. As they keep walking, they improve their skill and balance. Pretty soon, mommy and daddy are running to keep up with them! A Christian's walk is similar in the stages and process of living a right life; we learn to walk in righteousness and we experience progress and improvement in our lives as we walk along with Jesus. We practice and there are usually plenty of stumbles along the way, but we get back up and keep on walking.
Our flesh is constantly trying to trip us up, and it can be quite discouraging at times. This verse gives us the key to upright walking— "Walk by the Spirit". When we were saved, we were given a new nature and the Holy Spirit indwelt us at that same instant! (Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30) We have a new nature and a new power, God's power, to help us live, to walk, in a right way. Even though our flesh is howling in the background, we can tune it out and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. He is always with us (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit will help us to walk—much like a parent holding their child's hand to keep them from stumbling and falling. The Holy Spirit will empower us when we're weak (Romans 8:26; 2 Corinthians 12:9) and pick us up when we fall (Psalm 37:24).
Copyright 2011 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised November 11, 2011. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
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