â€œThere is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.â€ (Romans 8:1)
This promise in our text is followed in a later Pauline epistle by two nuanced commands in the letter to the church at Galatia.
â€œThis I say then,â€ Paul says, â€œWalk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the fleshâ€ (Galatians 5:16). Then again, â€œif we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spiritâ€ (Galatians 5:25).
Although they appear to be the same command in English, there is a significant distinction in the original Greek language in which Paul penned the letters.
Both the Romans 8:1 and the Galatians 5:16 passages use the word perepeto, which carries the connotation to â€œwalk aroundâ€ and to â€œbe at liberty.â€
The second iteration in Galatians 5:25 uses stoicheo, which means to â€œstep precisely,â€ to â€œmarch,â€ or to â€œgo in procession.â€ Same command but different emphasis.
The context of Galatians 5 stresses the difference between a lifestyle of fleshly behavior and a life controlled by the Holy Spirit. The â€œfruitsâ€ of the flesh and the â€œfruitâ€ of the Spirit are diametrically opposed. They cannot exist together; they are not harmonious (Romans 8:5-8). We either â€œmindâ€ the things of the flesh or the â€œthings of the Spiritâ€ (Romans 8:5).
The Christian walk has great liberty (Romans 8:21), but that liberty must â€œstep preciselyâ€ in honesty (Romans 13:13), good works (Ephesians 2:10), and in truth (2 John 4-6). Our walk is expected to be by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), and we are to conduct a spiritual warfare in the Holy Spiritâ€™s power (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) protected by the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). HMM III