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Matthew Olson
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Walk by the Spirit
Galatians 5:16-17
Use your freedom in Christ to love one another through walking by the Spirit.
Published April 27th, 2017; Updated April 27th, 2017
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Main point summary
Galatians 5:16-17
Main point summary
Main point summary
Be walking by the Spirit so that you will certainly not carry out sinful desires.
Galatians 5:16-17
Λέγω δέ, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε
But I say, be walking by the Spirit
καὶ ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς οὐ μὴ τελέσητε.
(with the purpose) that you will certainly not carry out the desires of the flesh
ἡ γὰρ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος,
(and the reason for this is because) the flesh desires what is against the Spirit
τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα κατὰ τῆς σαρκός,
and the Spirit what is against the flesh,
ταῦτα γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ἀντίκειται,
for these are opposed to one another,
ἵνα μὴ ἃ ἐὰν θέλητε ταῦτα ποιῆτε.
(with the result that) you are not doing the things you want.
Galatians 5:16-17 ESV
Galatians 5:16-17
Keep in Step with the Spirit 16 But I say, v walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify w the desires of the flesh. 17 For x the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, y to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
WALKING BY THE SPIRIT: KEY QUESTIONS: 1. What does it mean to walk by the Spirit? 2. Why should we walk by the Spirit? 3. Why is it so difficult to walk by the Spirit? 4. What should we do? 1. 1. What does it mean to walk by the Spirit? a. περιπατεῖτε – imperfective active subjunctive second plural – Be Walking (continuous) b. περιπατεω Word Study: i. The Gospels and Acts: 1. Most often used as the physical act of walking 2. Occasionally used as a way, conduct, and manner of life ii. Epistles: 1. Paul's use of περιπατεω: a. Could not find a single instance where Paul uses it to describe the physical act of walking. b. Active involvement in virtue or conduct was on the line (either for good or for evil). c. ‘Walk by the Spirit’ means ‘let your conduct be directed by the Spirit’. [1] 2. 2. Why should we walk by the Spirit? a. Christ Has Set Us Free In Order to Love: i. Do not use your freedom for fleshly indulgence but for serving one another in love (Gal 5:13) ii. Whole law fulfilled in one word: Love your neighbor as yourself (Gal 5:14) iii. In Christ, all that matters is faith working through love (Gal 5:6). b. Love as the Most Important Aspect of Walking: 1. Jesus: a. Greatest Commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matt 22:37-38). b. Second Commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:39-40). c. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. i. I will ask the Father and he will give you a Helper, the Spirit of truth. (John 14:15-16) d. This is My Commandment: i. That you love on another as I have loved you . Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:5) 2. Paul: a. And walk in love, as Christ loved us (Eph 5:2) 3. John: a. Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:6). b. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments ; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. (2 John 6) c. Our Father’s Glory from Much Fruit : i. John 15:8 3 3. What makes it so difficult to walk by the Spirit? a. Our Old Man – Against the Spirit. i. Completely Opposed in Nature: Rom 8:1–13 1. Works of the Flesh: a. Gal 5:19–21 2. Fruits of the Spirit a. Gal 5:22–23 b. Love is the first fruit mentioned. 3. Spirit against the flesh : You are pulled about by two contrary forces: You are dragged downward by the flesh, and you are drawn upward by the Spirit. They will never agree. These two powers are always contrary one to the other. If you think that you can help God by getting angry, you make a great mistake. You cannot fight God’s battles with the devil’s weapons. It is not possible that the power of the flesh should help the power of the Spirit. [2] b. Inner Turmoil – Keeps from you doing what you want. i. Rom 7:13–25 4. What should we do? a. PRAY! And do not stop. i. Luke 11:1–11 ii. John 15:1–11 iii. Eph 3:14–21 iv. Jas 4:1–10 [1] F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Galatians: A Commentary on the Greek Text , New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1982), 243. [2] Charles Spurgeon, Galatians , ed. Elliot Ritzema, Spurgeon Commentary Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013), Ga 5:17.
Main point summary
Be walking by the Spirit so that you will certainly not carry out sinful desires.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.