18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5: 25
There is clearly a distinction between “being led by the Spirit” and “walking in the Spirit”, for the former implies the Spirit guiding us, while the latter shows our obedience to His guidance.
The Greek New Testament word for “led” is ago. It is a shepherding term that describes the Holy Spirit leading us like a shepherd leads his sheep. His leading mirrors the relationship we have in Christ. This is because the Holy Spirit is the “another Paraclete” or Comforter Christ promised us in John 14:16. The word “paraclete” literally means, “to call alongside to help”. It is a legal term that refers to an advocate or defence lawyer, someone who is called alongside to help someone in a time of need and trouble.
The Holy Spirit as your Advocate will guide you into all truth which is Christ Jesus (John 16:13). By believing and obeying the truth of the gospel, you are not only set free from your sin, but your conscience is also set free from the false accusations of legalism. This means every time you are accused of not being righteous enough or tempted to prop ourselves with another standard of righteousness, the Holy Spirit comes to our defence! He will convict us of our righteousness in Christ (John 16:10) because His crucial role is to help us in our weaknesses (Romans 8:26-27).
People who subscribe to a legalistic understanding of the Christian life trust in their own self-driven efforts than allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through them. Their “works of the law” will sooner or later become “works of the flesh”. The outcome is a pride of self-righteousness because these individuals believe they can please God and work miracles without the hearing of faith.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we receive the Holy Spirit through the faithful hearing of the gospel (Galatians 3:2) and as such, if we desire to see more and more of His supernatural working in our lives and in others, then we just have to hear and keep hearing the gospel (Galatians 3:5). By having a greater appetite for the gospel, we will experience a rest that none of us can experience without the Holy Spirit.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.