Walk in the spirit

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by freeatlast, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    Gal. 5:16, 25 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    As everyone knows we are told to walk in the Spirit. I have listened to many messages exhorting the people to do just that. However here is my question. I have never heard anyone explain how to do it. So what is your understanding as to how to walk in the Spirit within the context of Gal. 5.
     
  2. Old Union Brother

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    We have to live in the world but we are not to be partakers of the world. According to 1 John we are not to love the things of the world:

    If we love these things then we surely can't walk in the spirit. I also think that you have to take all the verses between Gal 5:18 and 5:25 to understand the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.

    If we can manifest the fruits of the spirit then that goes along way towards us walking in the spirit. And if we can do as it says in:

    James 1:27

    We might just be able to walk in the spirit.

    Peace and Prayers

    Jeff
     
  3. freeatlast

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    So you are saying walking in the spirit is just doing a bunch of works?
     
  4. mandym

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    "To walk" means to follow after. It is no different than saying to follow Jesus. It implies to copy or emulate. Go where they go and in the way they go. But you can only know what that way is by reading the Word of God. We are told that we are to "set our minds on the things of the Spirit" Romans 8:5. Walking in the Spirit is not some mystical experience as some in the world would claim. It requires obedience and self discipline. It is learned and becomes easier as we grow in Christ.

    Christ dwells in our hearts through faith Eph 3:17

    The Words of Christ dwell in our hearts through teaching and singing Col 3:16
     
  5. HankD

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    Hi freeatlast,

    Here is my take:

    Romans 8
    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:​

    To walk after the Spirit is to listen to His witness and follow where He leads.​

    He witnesses to us, we should listen and follow, He guides us into all truth through His witness and word.​

    In the context of The Epistle to the Galatians, they were not listening to Him but had now been bewitched into trying to live by the letter of the law rather than in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.​

    Again this witness is within us​

    1 John 5
    9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
    10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.​

    When we follow His leading, He certainly does not lead us into sin, we do that ourselves when we cease following after His light.​

    HankD​
     
  6. freeatlast

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    Would you say that walking in the Spirit is equal to being obedient to scripture?
     
  7. kyredneck

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    Good post Brother.

    IMO, Pauls' telling us to live the way God now views us positionally in Christ. Purge out the old leaven even as you are unleavened. Put on the new man even as you are a new creation. Be ye reconciled to God even as you have been reconciled.

    IMHO, the truth be known, if we're honest with ourselves, the majority of us spend the majority of our time here in the flesh, not in the Spirit.
     
  8. kyredneck

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    I agree totally with this line of reasoning and would like to add this for more thought.

    How do you 'listen' to the Spirit? Does He speak to you in audible words (He has on many occasions to some such as prophets etc.), or is there another way?

    Consider those in Ro 2:15 who are described as DOERS of the law that have had the law written in their hearts (born from above). Compare these two verse:

    The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: Ro 8:16

    in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them); Ro 2:15

    I don't believe the unregenerate has a conscience to guide them as the regenerate do. A good conscience is very much to be desired. Consider these passages concerning the operation of the conscience within the regenerate:

    For our glorifying is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 2 Cor 1:12

    having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ. 1 Pet 3:16

    Herein I also exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always. Acts 24:16

    which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; 1 Pet 3:21

    Wherefore ye must needs be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience` sake. Ro 13:5

    Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 1 Tim 3:8,9

    I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers in a pure conscience, how unceasing is my remembrance of thee in my supplications, night and day 2 Tim 1:3

    And Paul, looking stedfastly on the council, said, Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day. Acts 23:1

    To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. Titus 1:15

    5 But the end of the charge is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned:
    6 from which things some having swerved have turned aside unto vain talking;
    19 holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust from them made shipwreck concerning the faith: 1 Tim 1
     
    #8 kyredneck, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2011
  9. mandym

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    While not entirely incorrect it would still miss the mark. There needs to be a desire to follow after Christ. You don't want to divorce one from the other. But scripture is the key to both.
     
  10. Old Union Brother

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    Not saying that at all. If we are led for the spirit then we won't be partakers of the world.

    I believe that we have to look in 1 Corinthians to obtain a little more understanding:
    1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
    1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
    1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

    Can we glory in the Lord unless we are walking in the spirit. According to the scripture we can't.

    Now in 2 Corinthians:
    2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
    2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
    2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight: )
    2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
    2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

    It would be wonderful thing to walk in the spirit all the time, but I just doubt if the natural man could take it. And As Kyredneck said above that if the truth be known we are in nature far more times than we are walking in the spirit.

    Peace and prayers

    Jeff
     
    #10 Old Union Brother, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2011
  11. HankD

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    Thanks kyredneck.

    Yes, agreed, the leading of the Spirit is not an audible voice to His children today but a "silent" witness to our spirit.

    HankD
     
  12. Skandelon

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    I think we have all heard preachers talk about how Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship, but have we really thought about what that means? Our religious duties today such as attending a weekly worship service and/or bible study or having our "quiet times" have so often become our substitute for real relationship with God. Don't get me wrong, I believe all these "religious" activities can be a vital part of a growing relationship, but just because we do them doesn't mean we are relating to God...sometimes we are just relating to the event or activity and nothing more. At least I know that is what I'm guilty of doing more often times than I'd like to admit...

    So, what do I mean by relationship? I mean relating to God just as you might relate to a friend. Talking and listening to Him. I hesitate to call it "prayer" because even that word often carries religious baggage. I'm simply talking about conversations with God that happens naturally throughout the day. I'm not talking about organized planned events (like a church service) or scheduled daily activities (like your quiet time)...I'm talking about a simple knowledge of His constant presence and continual interaction with Him as you live life. (i.e. "walking in the spirit")

    Suppose your closest friend was with you 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Most people value their privacy and independence too greatly for this to ever become a reality, but for the purpose of this analogy just imagine how you would grow to relate to this individual. You would be constantly aware of their presence and you would speak to them continually throughout the day about circumstances as they presented themselves. And boy would you ever get to really KNOW them!!!

    Now, you wouldn't just speak to them at some appointed time or in some special place, would you? You wouldn't wait to thank your friend for his gifts and his kindness in some big scheduled meeting, would you? No! Of course not!!! Instead you would speak to them throughout the day and thank them at the time the gift was given and the blessing was realized. You would RELATE to this person constantly and "without ceasing" (as Paul reminded us).

    All too often we go on thinking we are living in relationship with God because we "spent time with Him in the morning" or "worshipped him at church last weekend." And, heaven forbid, if we miss one of those meetings or activities then guilt only serves to drive a bigger wedge in our already warped understanding of what a relationship with God looks like. Why? Because now that we have failed to keep our "religion" (which has come to define our relationship) we think that God is up there singing the song, "I miss my time with you, our moments together," and is disappointed in us yet again for letting Him down. But, my question is how can we miss our time with God if he abides in us? How do you neglect being with someone who never leaves you? Granted, I certainly see the need for focused bible study and prayer time, but in my own walk these activities often become the substitutes for real relationship and truly fulfilling interaction with God. Am I the only poor sap that continues to struggle with this?

    I'm just concerned we have idolized our church gatherings and our quiet times in the same way the Pharisees idolized their own man made traditions and laws. Jesus words in Matthew 7:23 have slapped me back into reality numerous times throughout my life: "I never knew you, depart from me..." And he said this to self-proclaimed miracle working prophets! What is he going to say to me?

    This is not about how faithful I am to my religious activities and gatherings; this is about my relationship with Him. It is about knowing Him. As I stated at the beginning, this reminder is nothing new to those of us who have been around the church for any length of time, but sometimes I wonder if this truth is really sinking in. It has been an issue throughout all of human history and I think it continues to be one of the greatest obstacles today.
     
  13. convicted1

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    Bro. Skandelon,

    Is this the point you were trying to make with your last post??

    "We shouldn't settle on just quiet time with Him, going to church every time the door opens, and thank Him for His gifts, and be content with that. But rather, seek after Him always, and by seeking after Him always, we can do a better job of 'walking in the Spirit'."

    IOW, we should always seek His face? If that was the point of your last post, I completely agree! Could you further elaborate on this....I really want to know!!

    i am I AM's!!

    Willis
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    Walking in the Spirit also implies mortification of the sins of the flesh;


     
  15. Skandelon

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    Yes, it is about seeking Him and about learning to communicate with Him, otherwise its impossible to get to know Him.

    Growing up going to church and hearing stories of great Christians with great prayer lives lead me to always feel guilty about my prayer life. I would hear about people who would spend hours in prayer and no matter how hard I tried this was never something I could do. This is when I thought of prayer as bowing my head and closing my eyes and talking in a one way conversation. Prayer was boring to say the least, though I would have never admitted it to anyone for fear of appearing "nonspiritual."

    Things have changed for me, however. I now understand prayer as an awareness of God's presence in my life revealing Himself through circumstances, thoughts, writings, creation, other people etc...and my interactions with Him as I experience Him in those moments of revelation. He speaks to me through my thoughts, reflections and circumstances regularly and it is alive and exciting...far from boring.

    As I speak with others about this however the objection I hear (and one I have struggled with as well) is, "How do you know its not just you thinking to yourself?" OR "How do you know what you are thinking is really from God and not from another source?" Or "How do you avoid blaming God for something that is not 'of God?'"

    I believe you must test the spirit, as scripture teaches you to do, because you don't want to put words in God's mouth that He hasn't actually given you. Does it line up with scripture?

    You may make mistakes when it comes to hearing His voice, but in time and with practice you will be able to better discern His desires from your own. Additionally, the closer you grow to Him the more these two will become one. Delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. The desires of ones heart who is living in relationship to Him are going to be virtually indistinguishable from His desires for you. So, as you are conformed into His image your desires will begin to line up with His thus your thoughts will likewise line up with God's. You will "become one with God " just as Christ prayed for us in John 17...and as Paul taught, you will grow to have the "mind of Christ."

    I have also learned that God will often confirm what He is teaching you through other believers and through scripture. God teaches us the importance of walking with others on this journey because they can often provide balance and discernment as we seek Father's heart. On several occasions I have heard what I believe to be God's voice in my thoughts and later have another believer tell me they have heard very similar guidance thus bringing confirmation with my spirit. The longer I listen and obey the stronger my faith grows and the easier it becomes to hear Him.

    I certainly still have much to learn in this regard but I pray this helps some...
     

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