Is there a difference between “Walking in the Spirit” and “Living the Spirit-filled life”? Or are they the same?
Thanks for the reasonable question. Essentially, they are the same, but in emphasis they are different. One deals more with access and the other with what is accessed.
Walking in the Spirit emphasizes the access to the Spirit-filled life. Specifically, the Scripture says “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). Walking in the Spirit describes our responsibility; victory over the flesh through the Spirit’s power describes God’s promise. What is walking, but reiterated steps? So walking in the Spirit is reiterated steps in the Spirit. What does this mean? Colossians 2:6 explains “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” You received Christ by faith. So the way to walk in him, to walk in the Spirit is by taking steps of faith. Take the Spirit’s power to obey His will. Take and act, or we might say trust to obey. These are the steps involved in walking in the Spirit.
Living the Spirit-filled life emphasizes what is accessed. Obviously, “living” could correlate to “walking.” But usually the emphasis is the Spirit-filled life. The Spirit-filled life is when the Spirit fills you with the life of Christ. The Scripture says “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Literally, according to the grammar, the idea is “keep on allowing yourself to be filled with the quality [life] of the Spirit.” The Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. When you trust His power to obey His will (walking in the Spirit), He strengthens you with might in your inner man that Christ might dwell in your hearts by faith, that you might be filled with the fullness of God (Eph. 3:16-19). Through faith the Spirit imparts to you the very life of Jesus. Christ lives in you—by faith (Gal. 2:20). This is the Spirit filling you with the life of Christ or the Spirit-filled life.
The two concepts are similar and certainly related. But specifically walking in the Spirit accesses the Spirit-filled life.
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