Walk in the Spirit

by Scarlett Stough

Walking to most of us is a means of getting from one place to another or a form of exercise to keep our bodies and minds fit. God teaches us throughout the Bible there is another form of walking which also gets us spiritually from one place to another—away from death to life; this kind of walking exercises our moral conduct to match that of Christ.

I say then: Walk* in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16 NKJV
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk** in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 NKJV

The NKJV translates two different Greek words as “walk” in this passage. In verse 16, the NIV (1984) translates one word as “live by” while in verse 25, another word the NKJV translates as “walk”, is translated in the NIV as “keep in step.” There is a subtle difference between the two Greek words which can both be translated as “walk” involving the way you conduct yourself, but “keep in step**” means marching as in a military rank, a word picture of conforming to a standard of conduct. We are urged “to live a life [walk*] worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1 NIV 1984).

Soldiers are drilled to keep in step with each other. Paul is exhorting those who belong to Christ to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, to “keep in step** with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25 NIV 1984) who was sent to lead, teach and empower us to lead holy lives, to preach the Gospel and to make disciples to Christ.

One more very important aspect of living by the Spirit is the Spirit enables those who want to know God to have fellowship with God through communication in prayer and in the Holy Scriptures (John 14:15-27; 15:12-17,26-27; Romans 8:26-27). When we have that fellowship with God, that friendship he desires, we can also have a unity with one another through the Holy Spirit.

God's Spirit will guide us to walk with God now and, just as Jesus rose from the dead, so those in whom the Spirit dwells will also be raised from the dead to dwell with God in Eternity (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26).

*Strong's number 4043:
**Strong's number 4748:
From: The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, copyright 2001.