Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. The word Paul chose that is translated “But” is not a word of sharp contrast, but shows a connectedness to the verses before. Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. What he is about to say in this verse is an answer to the questions raised in the verses before, being the God-intended means for living out the “through love serve one another” instead of the sin nature driven “biting and devouring one another”. Paul said that the answer would come one believer at a time. Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. This part of the verse is brief (actually just two words in the Greek text!), but it is packed with both life-changing significance for the present & even with great significance beyond this present life. The form of the two Greek words translated ‘walk’ & ‘Spirit’ also has a depth of meaning built into each word. Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. The word ‘walk’ is translated from the same word Paul used for ‘walk’ in his other letters (1 Corinthians 7:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7, etc.). It is a Jewish manner of speaking (Genesis 16:1; Exodus 17:4; 18:20) that refers to the individual, step by step patterning of one’s daily life – moment by moment. Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. The Greek word translated ‘walk’ carries the idea, “You must right now actively continue to walk”. So what Paul is saying is that the believers are to be living this out right now continuously. They have an active part in this walking that Paul is calling for, but we’ll soon see that their active part is to depend entirely upon God’s provision for their lives. Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. The words ‘by the Spirit’ can be expanded to convey ‘by means of the Spirit’. So putting all the ideas together, Paul is getting across to his readers, ‘you must right now continuously pattern the steps of your lives by means of the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit’. Let’s ‘walk’ our way through these words • As an imperative, the ‘walking’ has the idea of ‘must’. • We’ve said before that ‘must’ does not come as a Principle of Law, but out of our eternal position in Christ, which was given all by grace. • The motive for our response to Paul’s ‘must’ is not under threat of law, but a grateful response to God’s grace (& we can also add mercy as a valid motive for the ‘must’ verses: see Romans 12:1). We’ve got motive, now let’s cover means • We’ve covered the motive - now for the means: God sent the Holy Spirit to be the ‘resident agent’ in our lives, always indwelling each believer in order to carry out His ministries in us. • The Holy Spirit is God’s ‘resident agent’ to enable, to empower, & to energize our walk. • Additionally, we know that the Holy Spirit directs our attention to Christ (John 15:26). This ‘walk’ is not another thing to do • Walking by means of the Spirit has commonality with what is taught in other passages regarding our ongoing fellowship with & dependence upon the Lord for daily life. • What we find is that Scripture says the same or similar truths in different ways, in order to help us better understand what God has in mind for our daily lives, & to emphasize it. This ‘walk’ is not another thing to do • Walking by means • A number of verses, of the Spirit points including this one, to the top priority call for us to look to question of our lives: God’s provision for everything we do. • Where does the motivating, & • The call to look to the enabling, the God’s provision is empowering & the based on what He energizing of what has done & who He we do come from? has made us to be. God, though the Holy Spirit, is the one who enables & empowers & energizes the walk in our position As we walk in our position in Christ & are enabled, empowered & energized by God, the quality of our walk is impacted: it’s His life Our eternal position is in Christ We are motivated by grace to walk in our position One more reason it’s not ‘another thing for you to do’ • At first reading we might be tempted to think that we really need to try harder at this or get going or add this to our daily ‘to do’ list. • But when we take a closer look, we find this isn’t ours’ to do! • Instead, we find that our place is to actively depend entirely upon the ministries of the Holy Spirit for the living out of this life. • That is faith in God’s work, not faith in our work! What God does not do • God doesn’t ask us to do anything for which He has not already provided, personally & 100%, for our identity, motive, enabling, empowering & energizing to carry it out! • God does not ask us to be anything, to be motivated, or to do it ourselves or from our own resources – ever! • All He asks is that we believe Him, & that is not our work, but faith in His work! It’s a question of who is worthy • God never asks or expects us to prove ourselves worthy of His blessing! • God is asking us, who are already 100% blessed, to see that He is entirely worthy! • That is what grace is about & that is what God’s eternal purpose is about: to reveal, declare & share His glory, so that He may be glorified forever. It’s neither a mechanical procedure nor an administrative function • In our world of How • But walking by to books & videos means of the Spirit & administrative is really about our procedures it’s easy depending upon to fall into a ‘steps & what God has done checklists’ mindset & is doing & will do for our walking by forever, about our means of the Spirit. personal relationship with & fellowship • ‘Here are the things with our Lord. that you must do….’ Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. The last part of this verse tells us that for each moment that we continue to walk by means of the Spirit, we will not carry out the driving passions of the flesh. The flesh, as you may recall, is the expression of the sin nature (Romans 6) in & though our bodies. Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Paul’s message here is emphatic! The Greek word pair translated ‘not’ (ou me) is the most extreme way to say it in the Greek language. The point that Paul was conveying to them was, “not the slightest chance!’, or ‘not even the remotest possibility’, or ‘there is no way’! Walking by means of the Spirit: Is it ‘I’ or ‘We’? • As Paul wrote • But since the Galatians 5:16, he imperative was, by wrote the words in nature, an appeal plural (so,‘Y’all must to the will of each be walking by means believer, it was of the Spirit’ ). individual as well. • Paul intended this • And each believer for the entire church has the indwelling body: be walking by Holy Spirit, with His means of the Spirit. ongoing ministries. Each believer walking by means of the Spirit would have consequences! • There would be both individual & entire church body consequences to the believers each walking by means of the Spirit. • The consequences are all by God’s intent & provision. • ‘biting & devouring one another’ (Galatians 5:15) would not be happening! • ‘through love serve one another’ (Galatians 5:13) would be happening! It’s neither Law nor lawlessness! • One of Paul’s key • “But I say, walk by points in this verse the Spirit, and you in the context of this will not carry out the passage is that as desire of the flesh… ________________ the believer walks 18 But if you are in the Spirit then the led by the Spirit, believer is not living you are not under under Law nor living the Law.” __ _______________ out any lawlessness - Galatians 5:16, 18. (Galatians 5:16, 18)! 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:7 “…for we walk by faith, not by sight…” 1 John 1:7a,b “…but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another…” Galatians 5:16 Expanded & Explained But in view of the critical issues before you, I, Paul - an apostle – say to you all, in view of your position in Christ, and the motivation of God’s grace & His intent to empower your every step, you must all right now continually walk by means of the the multiple ministries of the Holy Spirit, who indwells you all. And as a consequence of your walking by means of the Spirit, each one who is doing so will not be carrying out in the course of life the corrupt desire of the sin nature as expressed in and through your fleshly body.