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What does it mean to “walk by the Spirit”?

Quick Answer: What does it mean to “walk by the Spirit”? Walking by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) is simply trusting Christ in you to produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Walking by the Spirit should not be confused with being “in” the Spirit, which refers to salvation. All Christians are always in the Spirit (Romans 8:9), even though we don’t always walk by the Spirit.

Diving Deeper: When a person believes in Jesus, they are placed in the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; John 17:23; Ephesians 1:14). This is their new spiritual location. We cannot become more “in” the Spirit over time just as we cannot receive more of God’s Spirit. When we believe, we are made new and permanently bonded to the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; Titus 3:5).

Does this union with God’s Spirit mean we simply stand around and do nothing? Of course not! We can now make choices that are compatible with the Holy Spirit who lives within us. In short, we can now walk by the Spirit. And Paul’s logic is this: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

We don’t have to be placed “in” the Spirit again and again, or more and more. We believers are forever “in” the Spirit. But we get to live daily from our union with Christ and make decisions to express Him. When we do this, we are “walking by the Spirit.”

Let’s Make It a Conversation!
1. In your own words, what’s the difference between being “in” the Spirit and walking “by” the Spirit?
2. React to this statement: When you sin, you’re still “in” the Spirit, even though you’re not walking “by” the Spirit.
3. React to this statement: Walking by the Spirit is natural for someone born of the Spirit. Doing anything else goes against the grain.


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