16. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
12. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13. for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
There are two main elements involved in gaining victory over "walking according to the flesh". From living according to the flesh to "walking in the Spirit".
1) The first is that we need to learn to condition our behavior to our new man, our new self which is infused with Jesus Christ. We need to learn how to "walk in the Spirit".
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
2) The second is that we allow our old patterns for thinking and responding to our sin-trained flesh, be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
1. I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, [which is] your spiritual service of worship. 2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Walking by the Spirit may seem like a mystery. What exactly does it mean and how do we as believers attain that "place"?
Let's start by looking in Acts Chapter 1, as Paul recounts Jesus and the disciples in one of their meetings before He ascended into Heaven. This was after His crucifixion, but before He left earth. There was a period of 40 days in which Jesus is speaking to them about what is coming, and gives them instructions for Pentecost. Pentecost falls 50 days after Easter, or Resurrection Sunday.
4. And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," [He said], "you heard of from Me; 5. for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6. And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7. He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8. but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
"And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
25. "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. 26. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
We are going to be looking at the concept of "walking by the Spirit" for the next week or so. I wanted to share the previous scriptures before we get started. Before Jesus died on the cross the disciples of Jesus were "saved", but they found their salvation under the Old Testament covenant. Jesus had not yet been crucified, and in so doing, He had not yet fulfilled the requirement for New Testament salvation. Jesus had spoken to them about the Holy Spirit who would come and be with them. Under the Old Testament the Holy Spirit "visited" a person, but under the New Covenant the Holy Spirit "indwells" a believer. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit brings God's power into our lives and enable us to live a life unto God.
Wednesday we will start looking at the three kinds of "man" Paul talks about, the "natural man", the "spiritual man", and the "fleshly man" and how each one interacts with God and then his relationships with others.
The topic of "walking by the Spirit" can be a pretty far reaching subject, and also the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". I want to stick with the book for the next few days, but if you have questions or ideas I'm open for them. I'll do my best to find Biblical answers.
If you read the comments from the last post, you have read the insightful and personal thoughts from a young friend of mine, Cassandra. She is an amazing young woman who I have known for the last few years. Reading her comment was such a blessing to me. I encourage you to go back and take a minute, you will also be blessed.
love to you all,