Study 49: Gal.5:24-25
Walk as He walked
Not your own
Not as other Gentiles
Conformed to His image
And they that are Christ's have crucified the
flesh with the affections (=passions) and lusts If we
live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.
In this epistle we
have seen that salvation is not by any work of the flesh. Instead it
is by the grace of God. Likewise living the Christian life is not by our fleshly efforts, but by walking
in the Spirit. By saving us God has brought us into
His very own life, we now belong to Christ. We are
not the devil's, and neither are we our own masters
any longer. We belong to Him alone.
| I am crucified
with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now
live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son
of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
This is the key verse to the epistle: salvation is
Christ in us the hope of glory. If He lives in us, and we walk as He
walked, then the life that He lived out in the days of His flesh will
be manifested in us too. In short we will manifest the fruit of the
Spirit as Jesus did. There is no alternative, we are either in the
flesh or in the Spirit; we manifest either the works of the flesh or
the fruit of the Spirit. Paul in the last section of Galatians seeks
to exhort us to walk as Jesus walked as it
relates to those around us.
This theme of walking occurs
frequently in the NT. We shall consider a few of the many references
as it relates to
our thoughts from Galatians.
1. Not your own
The epistles to the Corinthians were written to
correct certain wrong teachings and practices in that
assembly. The underlying reason for their problems
is found in the opening chapters of the first letter.
And I, brethren, could not speak unto
you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even
as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you
with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye
were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye
able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas
there is among you envying, and strife, and
divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and
another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
All the problems of the
Corinthian believers were rooted in the fact they were
carnal, walking as other men. As we survey the epistle
we see that amongst them there were divisions, fornication,
contentions etc., so much so that when talking of the
Lord's supper Paul says that because they were eating
unworthily some were sick and even 'sleeping' ( i.e.
dead). God had seen fit to judge them thus.
The point we want here is that the Corinthian
Christians were carnal and
thus they exhibited the works of the flesh. In their lives the
foundation Christ Himself had been laid
I Cor. 3:11, and Paul never questioned
that had happened to them, instead he warned them about how they
building on it; was it wood, stubble and hay, or was it
gold, silver and precious stones? The former resulting from being
carnal, the other from walking in the Spirit. The Corinthians
were walking in the flesh and were thus exhibiting
the works of the flesh.
|All things are lawful unto me, but all
things are not expedient: all things are lawful
for me, but I will not be brought under the
power of any. Meats for the belly, and the
belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it
and them. Now the body is not for fornication,
but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and
will also raise up us by his own power.
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of
Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ,
and make them the members of an harlot? God
forbid. What? know ye not that he which is
joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith
he, shall be one flesh. But he that is
joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee
fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is
without the body; but he that committeth
fornication sinneth against his own body.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple
of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have
of God, and ye are not your own? For ye
are bought with a price: therefore glorify God
in your body, and in your spirit, which are
You are not you own, you have been bought with a price! Famous
words indeed, but no less true for all that. The price God paid for
our redemption was
His own blood (Acts 20:28);
having being bought we thus belong to Him. Through the new birth wee
are also joined to Him by the Spirit and so we
are in spiritual union with Him to do HIs will. We
have not been saved to please ourselves, that is to satisfy the flesh
and its desires
( Gal. 5:13). Instead we
are to glorify God in our bodies and spirit, and serve one another,
just as Jesus did.
2. Not as other Gentiles
If we now turn to the Ephesian letter we see Paul talking about the
mystery of the Gospel. After expounding the gospel in the first three
chapters, Paul goes on to speak of living the Christian life. He
speaks of keeping the unity of
the body, then talks of the ministries within the body and their
The purpose of any ministry is not to
exalt any man and his gifts, but rather to edify the
believers and bring the whole body to a perfect man
to the stature of the fullness of Christ. Any
'ministry' that does not have that as its end point
has to be questioned. This perfecting of the Saints
means that we should no longer be carried about with
every wind of doctrine that might be doing the
rounds, so to speak. Since the church was born
there have been many winds of doctrine that have
carried God's people astray, we have seen an example in
Galatians: the Judaising tendency that took
people in the opposite direction to the pure gospel, it even caught Peter and Barnabus up in it (
And he gave some, apostles;
and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some,
pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the
saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of
the body of Christ: Till we all come in
the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature
of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be
no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried
about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men,
and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to
deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow
up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
from whom the whole body fitly joined together and
compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according
to the effectual working in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in
love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that
ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity
of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being
alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is
in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who
being past feeling have given themselves over unto
lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have
heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in
Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former
conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the
deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your
mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is
created in righteousness and true holiness.
Paul says that because
the body is to edify itself in love, we should
no longer walk as other Gentiles. Just as the Apostle rebuked the
Corinthians for walking as other men, so he now exhorts us not to walk
as other Gentiles. The Gentiles walk as they do because they have
their understanding darkened, they are alienated, shut out
from the life of God. This has resulted in them being given over
to all kinds of unrighteousness.
If we, who are born anew,
and have the life of God planted in us, walk as other Gentiles, then
we are identifying ourselves with the ignorance and blindness of
unregenerate men and women, and are walking contrary to the life that
God has planted in us. Instead we are encouraged to live in such a
manner that is consistent with the life that has
been planted in us. Six times Paul mentions
walking in this letter.
The common note in all these references is that we should walk such
that our conduct befits our profession of born again believers. This
can only be done by those in the Spirit.
| For we are
his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto
good works, which God hath before ordained that
we should walk in them.
the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye
walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are
This I say
therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye
henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in
the vanity of their mind
And walk in love, as Christ
also hath loved us, and hath given himself for
us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
For ye were
sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the
Lord: walk as children of light:
See then that ye walk circumspectly,
not as fools, but as wise
3. Conformed to His image
Having been told not to walk as men, or as the other Gentiles what
then is God's ultimate intention for His people? The Scriptures leave
us in no doubt.
....And we know that
all things work together for good to them that love God, to
them who are the called according to his purpose. For
whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed
to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among
In this most famous of scriptures we see what God's purpose
is for his children. If we
are lovers of God, and called to His purpose, He works all things
together for our good. However that working for good is in order to fulfil
a specific purpose in us. The
question is: what is that purpose?
The passage leaves us in no
doubt at all. That purpose is for us to be conformed to the image of
His dear Son. The individual plans that God has for each of us may
vary, and lead to different callings in life, but ultimately God's plan for
all His children is to
conform us to His own Son's image.
Salvation from sin and new
birth is to deal with the basic problem of the sinful nature, from
there onwards that divine life, which has been planted, has to grow
and mature unto 'the full measure' both individually and within the
body of 'The Church'.
The preceding verses of this eighth
chapter is a further exposition on the Spirit and the flesh.
The word please here is interesting.
It reminds us of a certain passage in Hebrews, and
in relationship to an OT example.
| For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of
the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of
the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be
spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal
mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law
of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in
the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh,
but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in
you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none
|By faith Enoch was translated that he
should not see death; and was not found,
because God had translated him: for before
his translation he had this testimony, that
he pleased God. But without faith it is
impossible to please Him: for he that cometh
to God must believe that he is, and that he
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek
And Enoch lived sixty and five
years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch
walked with God after he begat Methuselah
three hundred years, and begat sons and
daughters: And all the days of Enoch
were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch
[LXX: pleased, or
was pleasing to] with God: and he was
not; for God took him.
We can only please God by faith, and it is said
of Enoch that he pleased God, and that was because he walked with God.
The tie up is plain to see and consistent with the teaching in
Galatians. Our walk in the Spirit is by faith, and it is that which is
pleasing to God.
Turning now to the first epistle of John we have
the same teaching.
| If we say that
we have fellowship with him, and walk in
darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if
we walk in the light, as he is in the
light, we have fellowship one with another, and
the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us
from all sin.
Jn.1:6-7He that saith he
abideth in him ought himself also so to walk,
even as he walked.
In the Ephesian letter Paul says that once we were darkness , and now
we are light ( Eph.5:8),
as quoted earlier. Now John pursues that theme by saying that to walk in
darkness, and saying that we have fellowship with Him is to lie.
the scriptures talk of walking it must be understood that it
refers to, and means the habitual walk or conduct of
life. In fact in John's epistles whenever he makes statements such as
' whosoever is born of God doth not commit
sin ... ( I Jn.3:9) in the literal Greek it reads
' whosoever is born of God can not continue
in sin .. see also Rom. 6:1 .In
other words a born anew person does not have sin as their continued or
practice. By correctly understanding this we avoid the extreme errors
of sinless perfection, and excusing sinful behaviour in believers.
So being born again means that we are in the Spirit and our habit
will be of walking in the light as He is. God's children are light for
the Light of the world is living in them. Fellowship with God is only
on the basis of light. Fellowship can not exist between opposites.
So as we have received Christ and have
the Spirit we are to build on that foundation, and walk in the Spirit
and the fruit of the Sprit will be manifested as it was in the life of
|Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness? And what
concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that
believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the
temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living
God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith
the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and
built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as
ye have been taught, abounding therein with
thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you
through philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men, after the rudiments of the
world, and not after Christ.