Walk in the Spirit
“So I say live by the spirit……..Vs. 16.
In this passage Paul talks about some practical aspects of Christian life. It is possible for a believer to misunderstand the nature of Christian freedom and to be tempted to continue a life which leads to sin. Therefore in 5:13 Paul tells us not to use our freedom as an occasion for the flesh to sin. Paul was very conscious of the fact that it is not easy to live the Christian life.
Works of the flesh
Every believer has a sinful nature. No matter how spiritual one may be.Vs.16-21 describes the conflict between the flesh and the spirit. They are hostile to one another, that we may not do the things that we desire to do. In scripture the expression ‘flesh’ means the whole of our human nature in its present condition under the power of sin. The only way to be made free from the power of the flesh is to have it crucified and given over to the death. Scripture always speaks of it as a thing that has been done, an accomplished fact. Those who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts (Vs. 24). Paul would not allow followers of Christ to be comfortable with the sins of the past lives and the contemporary culture around them. The sins mentioned in the passage are still rampant in the modern society. It breaks our relationship with God, fellow human and nature. The Holy Spirit is presented as our sanctifier who alone can oppose and subdue our flesh (16-17) and cause the fruit of righteousness to grow in our lives.
Fruit of the spirit
Here Paul put together the good qualities under one singular noun- the fruit of the spirit. This indicates that they are all interconnected. If we are filled with God’s spirit, all of these virtues will be present in our lives. It is not something we produce by self effort; it is produced in us by the Holy Spirit when we are under His control. Fruit of the spirit emphasizes that these are given to help and guide the believer to lead a true Christian life in the normal day to day life. Paul places love first in the list of nine. Love seems to be the summing of all the gifts of the spirit. (1 Cor.13). Paul tells us that it is God’s desire that we walk and live in the spirit. To walk is an ongoing progressive activity. Let us be guided by and controlled by the Spirit and be fruitful.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, dwell always in my heart and enable me to be completely obedient to your guidance and to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Walk in the spirit and have a fruitful life.
Rev. P.A. Abraham, Philadelphia MTC.