Have you ever heard the phrase, “He can talk the talk but can he walk the walk?” Surely, many of us have heard this phrase more than once in our lives. There are a number of people who can talk a good game, but do they actually practice what they preach? In other words, can they walk the walk? This is the question we want to address as we look to Galatians 5:16-26. Within this passage, Paul essential gives us two options, one resulting in death and the other resulting in life. Before doing so, though, Paul reminds the Galatians, and us, of this foundational truth: walking the walk is a war (vv. 16-18). There is a constant battle going on in the spiritual realm (see Ephesians 6:10-20). The desire of the Spirit and the desires of the flesh are in opposition to one another and are fighting against one another. The war rages on. Understanding that, we now set sail to see the two options, the two roads, we can take. The first of the two is the works of the flesh (vv. 19-21). In the examples given, we see sexual and relationship sins that have distorted God’s good design. Moreover, warning is given about these works: those who practice them will not inherit the kingdom of God (v. 21). To state it another way, these works, this option, leads to death. Our response, then, should be to “walk away”. Yet, we cannot do this in our own strength. Indeed, it is only by God’s power in the Holy Spirit we can “walk away” and “walk in” what gives life. And what gives life is the fruit of the Spirit (vv. 22-23). Love binds all and displays itself through sacrifice, service, and sanctification, spiritual growth. Joy is delight in God’s will in the midst of varying and many circumstances because we have the peace of a reconciled friendship with God. Patience calls us to trust in the Lord’s timing and show grace to others in kindness by caring for others and doing good for their sake. Faithfulness reminds us of God’s commitment to us and moves us to commit to Him and obey His Word. Gentleness does a work in our hearts so that when we need to strengthen and rebuke others, we do so in a compassionate manner (Galatians 6:1). With this all, self-control as enabled by the Holy Spirit, will help us overcome the flesh, and cultivate the fruit of the Spirit. Resting in the grace of the gospel, the Holy Spirit does a work in our lives to “walk away” from the works of the flesh and to “walk in” the fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, if you are in Christ, you have the ability to live by the Spirit as you walk by the Spirit (vv. 25-26). So, don’t only talk the talk; walk the walk.
- Read Galatians 5:16-26; have you been giving into the works of the flesh? Pray for God to enable you to “walk away” from those desires and to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit.
- Which area in the fruit of the Spirit is God really working in your life now?