Galatians 5: Walk in the Spirit
Galatians 5 is pretty popular thanks to the inclusion of the fruit of the Spirit. However, I want to talk about what immediately follows that classic passage.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
It interests me that there is a differentiation between living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit. The verse seems to imply that it is possible to live in the Spirit without walking in it. How does that all work out?
I think about employment. As a hypothetical example, I work for a company. I am on their roster of employees, so in a sense I am living that. It is part of my existence to be an employee of that company. However, if I am going to walk as a member of that company, I am also going to actively do my job. It is not just enough to be a member of the company, but I am actually going to take part in the mission of the company.
As Christians then, it is possible for us to be Christians, but Christians do not always follow what God wants obviously. We do make mistakes, and we don’t always act in accordance with the will of God. Paul is urging us to avoid that deviation. If we are followers of Christ, then we should act like it.
This is not a works-based salvation by any means. It already implies that we are in the Spirit. We are already in the family of God, but like the immediately preceding verses about the fruit of the Spirit, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then there will be evidence of that in your life.
This is of course a process for all of us because none of us are perfect. However, this call is clear. We are not in bondage under the law as Paul explicitly emphasizes that the beginning of the chapter, but there ought to be evidence of following Jesus Christ. Paul is encouraging us to show that.