We live by the Spirit because the life we have in Christ is only by the work of God’s Spirit and by His grace. We are in the Spirit because the Spirit of God dwells in us and gives us life (Romans 8:9, 10). The new birth is the beginning of our life with the Holy Spirit. We have been given a new heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26, 27; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We are now a supernatural being and we need to identify with who we are in Christ. The minute we come into the new birth we come into a world without limits. There are limits in the flesh and our old life. In Jesus, there are no limits (2 Corinthians 3:21-23).
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The Words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are life. John 6:63 (NKJV).
If we live in the Spirit, we should also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Walking in the Spirit pleases God (Romans 8:8) and it is the Spirit of God that enables us to be victorious over the desires of our flesh. Our flesh is the old human nature that does not desire or value the things of God, prefers to do things independently of God and gets its pleasure from power and the things of the world. The flesh and the Spirit are contrary and opposite to one another. Giving in to the desires of the flesh and our feelings is the opposite of walking in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-17).
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like, of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV).
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV).
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 (NKJV).
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:1 – 7 (NKJV).
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:18–20 (NKJV).
The Holy Spirit has given us His divine nature. The fruit of the Spirit was deposited into our lives when we became born again. Fruit is the outflow of being born of God. The fruit of the Spirit will begin to show and develop in our lives as we yield to our re-born spirit in cooperation with the Spirit of God and as we spend time with the Lord and in His Word. It is not about works or our self-efforts. Fruit is the result of abiding in and depending on Him,which leads to life and bearing much fruit (John 15:5). When we walk in grace, we will have the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is a result of resting in the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ. When we walk in the Spirit, our behavior and actions reflect them.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22, 23 (NKJV).
We should look back upon our day and see if we have walked in the Spirit by seeing if we have shown the fruit of the Spirit throughout the day in the relationships and circumstances we have encountered. This will show us what we need to work on with the Spirit’s help!
If we are led by the Spirit and walk in the Spirit, we are neither under the law, nor condemnation but we are sons of God (Galatians 5:18; Romans 8:1; 14). The law is the commandment of God that we can’t keep or follow in our own strength. The law was given to show us that we couldn’t keep it and to draw us to Jesus who became our sinless substitute to pay for our sin by His death on the cross so we could become the righteousness of God and be reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ is our peace (Ephesians 2:14-18).
We are to walk in love in spite of the spiritual gifts we possess (Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 13:1-7) and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40) which is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14). However, we are helpless to do this without the Spirit’s help (Romans 7:18). He will help us and give us the power to walk in love when we ask Him (1 Thessalonians 3:12; Hebrews 13:20, 21; Romans 6:11-14).
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NKJV).
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions, and desires. Galatians 5:24 (NKJV).
To be led by the Spirit means to cooperate with Him and to follow His leading and enablement. The Holy Spirit gives us desires for God’s will and ways and to obey Him. We are to put off the old man and put on the new man who is in Christ (Ephesians 4:17-24).
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 13:14 (NKJV).
The Spirit led life leads to wisdom, love, and peace (Romans 8:14-17). The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. He leads us as we study the Word. He can lead us as we go about our day if we ask Him to and listen for His voice to lead us e.g. Going to an interview, should we take this job?, where we should go next? etc. He leads us as we take action by telling us which way to go (Isaiah 30:21; John 10:3-5; 27). Even when we are resting and waiting on Him, it isn’t inactivity but Spirit directed activity.
How we walk is important. We are to walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5); walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and our calling (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; Philippians 3:14-16); not in the futility of our mind (Ephesians 4:17); in good works (Ephesians 2:10) and in wisdom, making the most of our time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-17). So whether the Bible tells us to abide in Christ, to be filled with the Spirit, walk in the Spirit or not grieve the Spirit, these all declare how we are to live for Jesus Christ by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ and so should we (John 16:14, 15). We are to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1)! When we walk in God’s grace, God is working for us, in us (Philippians 2:12, 13) and through us.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9 – 21 (NKJV).
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 (NKJV).
To be filled with the Spirit means to allow the Holy Spirit to be in control moment by moment. We must trust God and yield to Him. We must trust God enough to give the Holy Spirit control of our life. When we do that, the Holy Spirit fills us with the power of God. The filling of the Spirit is a repeatable process and depends upon trust and yieldedness to the Spirit of God. It isn’t how much of the Holy Spirit we have (when He comes and dwells within, we have all of Him) or how much of His power we can get, but how much of us have we given to Him!
The power to walk victoriously comes from the Holy Spirit and we can experience the Holy Spirit’s power today through the Baptism with the Holy Spirit then by being filled moment by moment as we yield to Him. Without His power we will fail and fall back into bondage. We know this because the Bible tells us that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17), so only the Spirit sets people free and empowers them to walk in freedom. With the Holy Spirit, we have the power to fight sin effectively because He strengthens our inner man (Ephesians 3:16).
Remember what a great love He has for us and that He desires an intimate relationship with us. His wants us to be successful in our walk with Him; full of victory and freedom and the abundant life that Jesus came to give us! Holy Spirit come and fill our hearts anew!