If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
— Galatians 5:25–26 —
Gianluca Pollutri: Italian Theological Academy | Italy
The true source of godly conduct is the Holy Spirit. Just as a plant that receives nourishment from its roots will yield fruit, Paul urges believers who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit to walk in that reality. In other words, to yield fruit (Gal. 5:22–23) as the outworking of their new spiritual life. Walking in dependency on God will never produce arrogance because the works He produces in us cannot be attributed to our own strength or merit. If we live by the Spirit, Paul argues, let us also walk by the Spirit! In this text, Paul describes what walking in the Spirit does not look like. He prohibits boasting, challenging, and envying. Walking in the Spirit is deeper than external behavior. It reaches the heart motives. You and I can do all sorts of “good” deeds, but if these outward acts are polluted by our conceited and boastful way of life, they are of no value at all. Human strength may produce certain deeds, but it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we may produce deeds that are free from jealousy, pride, and competition. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “Our evil desires are nailed to the cross, but they are not yet dead; we have need therefore to abide under the influence of the ever-blessed Spirit.” Walking in dependency on God will never produce arrogance because the works He produces in us cannot be attributed to our own strength or merit. Abiding in the influence of the Spirit will never produce competition or envy because it is the Spirit’s design to unite us in Christ. So let us walk in the Spirit today, seeking God’s help to keep us from pride, competition, and jealousy.