Select Wisdom Brand

Click the image to watch the video.
Scroll down for more options.



Walking in the Spirit

by Stephen Davey Scripture Reference: Romans 8:2–4

Faithfulness in seeking to honor the Lord in the everyday responsibilities of life is the primary measure of a Spirit-led life. Paul introduces us to the concept of walking according to the Spirit as the norm for the Christian.


While we were at the state fair some time ago, we ran into a group of college students from our church. One of the young women, with a big smile on her face, held out her hand and showed me that she was wearing a diamond ring. She had just gotten engaged to be married. There is nothing quite like telling your world that somebody special has come into your life.

On this Wisdom Journey in Romans 8, Paul makes a very special introduction. It is found in verse 2: “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

This is our introduction to the one who has taken our hearts away. He is called here the “Spirit of life.” He is not a force, not a subjective power, not an experience, but a Person, God the Holy Spirit. And He brings things to life!

Now what exactly does Paul mean when He says here that the Holy Spirit has set us free “from the law of sin and death”? We all experience the law of gravity. If you are sitting down right now, you do not have to tie yourself to that chair to keep from floating upward. The law of gravity keeps you down.

If I hold my Bible in my hand and then let go of it, it is going to fall straight down every single time. But if I interrupt the law of gravity by introducing something else—like my hand—and I hold my Bible up, then the law of gravity is overpowered by another law; the law of gravity is outdone by the law of my life and my strength.

That is the law of the Spirit; the life and power of the Spirit interrupts—it overpowers—the gravitational pull of sin and death. We are being held by the Spirit of God, and sin and death will not have the final claim over our lives.

Paul explains in verse 3:

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.

What could the law not do? It could not justify you or clean you up. The law can only reveal how sinful you are. The law of God is like a mirror, which can show you how dirty your face is but cannot clean it for you. You can be cleaned up spiritually only by the cleansing power of God’s Son, our Savior.

Now Paul gives us an application of this truth in verse 4. He writes that Christ has condemned sin “in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

We are going to live righteously, or “right with God,” when we walk in the Spirit. Paul tells us here that we will please God when our lifestyle is not according to sinful flesh but according to the Holy Spirit. Theologians call that kind of walking in the Spirit sanctification.

And there are two sides to sanctification—two sides to walking in the Spirit. It is both passive and active. It is something that God does in us and for us, but it is also something we choose to do for God.

Walking “according to,” or in, the Spirit is something every true believer wants to do. Yes, we are going to fail and we are going to fall, but we are not going to want to live down there in the gutter anymore. We are never happy down there again; we want to walk in the light and please our Lord.

Paul uses the expression here “walking according to the Spirit.” What does it mean to walk? Well, Paul will describe that further here in Romans 8, but for now, walking simply refers to carrying out the ordinary, daily responsibilities of life.

You submit to the Spirit, and you trust the Spirit’s direction. It is not necessarily one exciting event after another, one mountaintop experience after another. Walking according to the Spirit means seeking to honor Jesus Christ in the ordinary duties and responsibilities of life. It just might mean you do that next load of laundry with a grateful spirit.

Back in John 16, Jesus said the Holy Spirit glorifies Him (verse 14). So, if you are walking in the Spirit, you are going to be honoring Jesus Christ. That does not mean you have everything in life figured out, but your toes are pointed in the right direction; you have made up your mind to walk in a direction that pleases the Lord as each day unfolds.

I remember meeting a man who had been in prison for financial fraud. But God was working in his life to bring spiritual freedom to him almost as soon as he put on his prison clothes. His first night in prison, he called his sister, who gave him the gospel. With tears streaming down his cheeks, Charlie placed his faith in Jesus Christ.

His first night in prison, and he was a spiritually free man at last. But now that he was a believer, he was not sure what life held for him or where his path would take him. But the Spirit of God had already marked out his path.

Late that night he sat on his bunk, reading a Bible that had been given to him. The next morning at breakfast, another inmate who had seen him reading the Bible said to him, “We ought to start a Bible study.”

And he said, “I think that’s a great idea and I would be glad to attend.”  

The other inmate said, “No, I think you should lead it.”

This new believer said, “Look, I just got saved, and I just started reading a Bible; I can’t lead a Bible study.”

Well, after supper that night, this inmate approached him again and announced, “It’s time for our Bible study; we’re waiting for you.”

They walked to an area where a dozen inmates were waiting. He admitted to them that he had no idea what to say.

One of them said, “Here, I got this copy of a Daily Bread devotional. Why don’t you just read today’s devotional.” He realized that a number of these inmates did not know how to read.

So, with that, he turned to the devotional for that day and began to read. The lesson had to do with giving your heart to Jesus Christ. When he finished reading it, several of the men said, “We want to do that.”

He asked them, “You want to do what?” And they said, “We want to be saved.”

He was stunned. He did not know exactly what to say. He did not know how to lead them through the steps of salvation—it was all so new to him. At that moment, he was paged to come to the nurse’s station. He excused himself and promised them to wait and he would be right back.

While he was meeting with the nurse, another inmate, who was preparing to be released, came over to him and said, “Hey, I see you have a Bible. I would like to give you this bookmark to use while you are in prison.”

That bookmark was produced by the Gideons, and at the top of it, the words read, “How to Be Saved.” Below, the steps were written out on how to pray for salvation. With that he walked back to his new Bible study group and led them through the steps. Four inmates prayed to receive Christ.

What was this newly saved inmate doing? He was walking in the Spirit.

You do not have to know everything; you just have to know Him and have a desire to exalt the Lord and follow Him. And He will take care of everything else. And with that, you will be walking according to the Spirit.

Add a Comment

We hope this resource blessed you. Our ministry is EMPOWERED by your prayer and ENABLED by your financial support.