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As We Live In The Spirit, We Are To Walk In The Spirit

Galatians 5:25 (ESV) … “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”

It is easy for Christians to get out of step with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes believers can become boastful and envious towards one another. This is the behavior Galatian Christians. The peace of the Galatian churches, already upset by the theological nonsense that the Judaizers were propagating, was now being further upset even further by the carnal backbiting of the believers over those issues involved.

The answer was to produce the fruit of the Spirit. But how was this to be done? They already lived in the Spirit (the if here is used in the sense of “because”). They needed now to walk in the Spirit, to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. Again, we ask, how is this done? The clue is to be found, as we might expect, in Christ Himself.

The Lord Jesus was God manifest in flesh. Because He was God, all of the fruit of the Spirit was inherent in His divine nature. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance were all characteristics of His nature, person, and personality as God, over all, blessed forevermore. It was impossible for Him ever to act in any other way. He could not deny His own inherent, divine nature.

The Lord Jesus came down to earth. He was Man inhabited by God, the kind of Man that God intended man to be. He could say, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:28–29). And again, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). Not once did the Lord Jesus act independently of His Father. The Lord Jesus was coequal, coeternal with the Father, self-existent, God over all, blessed forevermore. But in His blessed and glorious humanity, He always submitted Himself to His Father. That was the secret of His life. Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit was produced in the Lord Jesus from the moment of His birth unto the moment of His death because there never was a moment when He, in His sinless humanity, failed to make Himself available to His Father.

A similar principle applies to us in our regenerated humanity. The Lord Jesus makes Himself available to us by the Holy Spirit, in the measure in which we make ourselves available to Him. The Lord’s teaching on the vine (John 15:1–11) makes this point clear. We must draw on all of the divine resources of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit will then develop in us the love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance that so marked the Lord Jesus in His humanity. As we live in the Spirit, so we are to walk in the Spirit.[1]

[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring Galatians: An Expository Commentary (Ga 5:25–26). Kregel Publishers; WORDsearch Corp.

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