Apostle Paul charges the Galatians to walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. Galatians 5:16, 17. His inspired warnings against self-indulgence are sounding along the line down to our time. He names some of the forms of fleshly lusts. He also mentions the fruits of the Spirit. In addition he states: And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:24. And those are they that know how to walk in the spirit. Those who according to The Remedy translation – have had the selfish nature with all its motives and desires eradicated from their characters.
Crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts
How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? The answer is – No. Put to death the temptation to sin. When you think of something exclude the impure thoughts. For the selfish nature desires to promote self at the expense of everyone and everything else, and this is exactly the opposite of the Spirit of love. Every thought is to be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. The Spirit of love desires to promote the good of everyone else at any expense to self.
The love of God must reign supreme. Christ must occupy an undivided throne. So if you follow the Spirit of love, you will no longer do what your selfish nature wants. You will have assurance of an indwelling Savior realizing the truth of Christ words: He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12
To walk in the Spirit means advancement in spiritual attainments
Paul declared: Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but . . . forgetting those things which are behind,” constantly beholding the Pattern, I reach forth unto those things which are before. Philippians 3:12, 13. In other words, as Remedy describes it – I don’t lament past mistakes nor grow content with past victories; rather, I constantly push for the perfection that still lies ahead. True sanctification means perfect love, obedience, and conformity to the will of God.
We are to be sanctified to God through obedience to the truth. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification...For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness...He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7, 8. Therefore we can grow only by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit whom God gives.
The pan of inspiration wrote that through the Holy Spirit, God’s word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receivers. By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory – His character – is to shine forth in His followers.
Walk even as Christ walked
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Follow Him. Walk even as He walked. The spirit of liberality is the spirit of heaven. This spirit finds its highest manifestation in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He gave up all that He had and then gave Himself, that man might be saved. To give – this is the principle illustrated at the cross of Calvary. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. 1 John 2:6.
On the other hand, the spirit of selfishness is the spirit of Satan. The principle illustrated in the lives of worldliness is to get. Thus they hope to secure happiness and ease, but the fruit of their sowing is misery and death.
The religion of Christ is sincerity itself. Zeal for God’s glory is the motive implanted by the Holy Spirit. Only the effectual working of the Spirit can implant this motive. Only the power of God can banish self-seeking and hypocrisy. This change is the sign of His working. When the faith we accept destroys selfishness and pretense, when it leads us to seek God’s glory and not our own, we may know that it is of the right order. Father, glorify Thy name, John 12:28, was the keynote of Christ’s life, and if we follow Him, this will be the keynote of our life. He commands us to walk, even as He walked and hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:6, 3.
To walk in the Spirit is to follow what the Spirit teaches you
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26. Christ promised that the Holy Spirit should abide with those who wrestle for victory over sin. Furthermore, to demonstrate the power of divine might by endowing the human agent with supernatural strength and instructing the ignorant in the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
Of what avail would it be to us that the only begotten Son of God humbled Himself, endured the temptations of the wily foe, and died, the just for the unjust, if the Spirit had not been given as a constant, working, regenerating agent, to make effectual in each individual case what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer?
It is the Spirit that causes to shine into darkened minds the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness that:
- makes individual’s hearts burn within them with an awakened realization of the truths of eternity
- presents before the mind the great standard of righteousness, and convinces of sin
- inspires faith in Him who alone can save from sin
- works to transform character by withdrawing the affections of people from those things which are temporal and perishable, and fixing them upon the eternal inheritance.
The Spirit recreates, refines, and sanctifies human beings, fitting them to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.
Open your heart to the Holy Spirit
The work in you will be done not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6. Keep your mind focused on Christ. He will come unto you as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. Hosea 6:3. As the Sun of Righteousness, He will arise upon you with healing in His wings. Malachi 4:2. You shall grow as the lily. You shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine. Hosea 14:5, 7. As in nature, so in grace. There can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. It grows by receiving that which God has provided to sustain its life.
In a like manner the Christian is to grow by co-operating with the divine agencies. The wheat develops first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Christ – the divine Husbandman is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts for those who believe in Him. The object of the Christian life is fruit bearing – the reproduction of Christ’s character in the believer, that it may be reproduced in others. The plant does not germinate, grow, or bring forth fruit for itself, but to give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Isaiah 55:10. Likewise the Christian is in the world as a representative of Christ for the salvation of other souls.
God impresses the truth upon minds by His Spirit
Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word has no benefit. The theory of truth without the Holy Spirit cannot sanctify the heart. One may be familiar with the commands and promises of the Bible, but unless the Spirit of God sets the truth home, the character will not be transformed. How does the Spirit do that? The Spirit works upon one’s heart according to one’s desire and consent implanting in him or her a new nature.
The grace of God has been freely offered to every soul. The message of the gospel has been proclaimed – Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17. But character is not transferable. No one can believe for another and receive the Spirit for another. No one can impart to another the character which is the fruit of the Spirit’s working. “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it [the land], as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. Ezekiel 14:20.
In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heaven’s resources. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit.
How to walk in the Spirit – Conclusion
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1. When one is fully emptied of self, when every false god is cast out of the soul, the vacuum is filled by the in-flowing of the Spirit of Christ. Such a one has the faith that purifies the soul from defilement. He is conformed to the Spirit, and he minds the things of the Spirit. He has no confidence in self.
Born of the divine Spirit
Christ is all and in all. He receives with meekness the truth that is constantly being unfolded, and gives the Lord all the glory, saying, “God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.” Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10, 12. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit.
As you receive the Spirit of Christ – the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others – you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen and your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely.
Last updated: January 3, 2018
- AG 97; CH 69; LS 39; AA 566, 339; 2T 170-171; GW 287, 307; DA 409; COL 67; – The Ellen G. White Estate
- King James Version (KJV) – BibleGateway
- The Remedy
- Image courtesy – Pixabay
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