Walking in the Spirit vs. Keeping the Law?

Walking in the spirit vs keeping the law torah

There are some who believe walking in the Spirit is something completely different walking in obedience to the law of Yahweh.

Let’s begin by looking at a few scriptures that deal with this:

Romans 8:1- [There] [is] therefore now no condemnation to those who are in the Messiah Yahushua, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Whatever it means to walk according to the Spirit, it sure sounds wonderful because there is no condemnation to them as long as they are in the Messiah Yahushua!

Also it certainly does not mean to walk in our own spirit:

Ezek 13:2-“Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, `Hear the word of Yahweh!’ ” 3 Thus says Yahweh Elohim: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!

I am convinced that there may be a multitude of people who follow their own spirit but claim it is Yahweh’s Spirit. We should beware of this also!

Here is a promise to those who do walk in the Spirit:

Galatians 5:16- I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

A beautiful promise! We need only to walk in the Spirit and we will not obey or fulfill the temptations and desires that our flesh causes us to endure.

So one thing is certain, walking in the Spirit can’t be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.

What types of things would be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh? Could there be some who claim to know Yahushua but are really walking in the lusts of the flesh?

2 Pet 2:1– But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, [and] bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 4 For if Yahweh did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast [them] down to hell and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, [one] [of] eight [people], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the unrighteous; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned [them] to destruction, making [them] an example to those who afterward would live unrighteously; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, [who] [was] oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented [his] righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing [their] lawless deeds)– 9 [then] Yahweh knows how to deliver the righteous out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. [They] [are] presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before Yahweh. 12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 [and] will receive the wages of unrighteousness, [as] those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. [They] [are] spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. [They] [have] a heart trained in covetous practices, [and] [are] accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the [son] of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 18 For when they speak great swelling [words] of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

Clearly, Liberty does NOT mean we can sin! Liberty is freedom from the penalty of sin, not freedom from having to refrain from sin! It is sin that corrupts and puts us into bondage.

20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Master and Savior Yahushua the Messiah, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

This is a powerful condemnation against the doctrine of accepting Yahushua as the Messiah but turning away from the ways of righteousness and rejecting the holy commandment of Yahweh.

It is very clear that according to these scriptures, walking in the lusts of the flesh is likened to rejecting righteousness and rejecting the commandments of Yahweh.

What other scriptures reveal what walking in the lusts of the flesh would be?

Romans 13:8- Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if [there] [is] any other commandment, are [all] summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love [is] the fulfillment of the law. 11 And [do] this, knowing the time, that now [it] [is] high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation [is] nearer than when we [first] believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Master Yahushua the Messiah, and make no provision for the flesh, to [fulfill] [its] lusts.

Again we see that walking according to the flesh is the opposite of fulfilling and keeping the law of Yahweh.

Ephesians 2:2- Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

A third witness for us confirms that walking in the lusts of the flesh is disobedience! How about a fourth?

1 Pet 4:1- Therefore, since the Messiah suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of Yahweh. 3 For we [have] [spent] enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with [them] in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of [you]. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

So it is very crystal clear that walking in the lusts of the flesh is the same as walking in disobedience. Could we not then conclude that walking in the Spirit would be… “Obedience”?

Certainly 🙂 Yahweh prophesied through Ezekiel that in the end times He would put His Spirit in His people and a wonderful outward transformation would take place:

Ezek 36:25– “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].

HalleluYah! Indeed we can see that walking in the Spirit would be walking in obedience!

Now let’s look into some of Paul’s writings:

Gala 5:13- For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not [use] liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Now based on what we have learned thus far, we cannot possibly conclude that walking in the Spirit of Yahweh has anything to do with disobedience to Yahweh’s law. Rather, to the contrary! So let us with this in mind examine the following verses:

17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now if we were to take the conclusion that many would love to take in this verse, we would be saying “If we are led by the Spirit, we don’t have to be obedient to Yahweh’s law”. But how can this possibly be? Every verse we have examined thus far has said just the opposite. Clearly a person who is not under the law is free from sin for sin is disobedience to or transgression of the law.

1 Joh 3:4- Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Indeed even the following verses prove that one who is walking in the Spirit is NOT free to be disobedient to His law again!

Galatians 5:19- Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh.

All these things are condemned in the law of Yahweh. So not being under the law must clearly mean something else! But what does it mean? It cannot mean one who has sinned because we know that Yahushua did not sin:

Gala 4:4- But when the fullness of the time had come, Yahweh sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

It is clear that those who are NOT under the law are set free from its penalties:

Roma 6:14 (KJV) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Or, based on what we have seen thus far we could say:

“Transgressions of the law will not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace”

Those who are under grace are forgiven for their transgressions! They are set free from the power that sin has over us! That power is eternal death and damnation!!

Therefore we cannot deny that one who is under the law is one who has to live up to its standards. Yahushua was born under the law and lived up to its standards but we have failed! Indeed, this is why we need Him so! He is our only hope! HalleluYah!!

Yahweh’s standard is perfection. We have failed to live up to it. Therefore we cannot be saved or receive justification in the law. How can we? We have not kept it!

The law cannot justify us because it can’t die for us or shed its blood for us, thereby making us free from its penalty of eternal death and damnation. I believe that this is the key to understanding the writings of Paul and what He was dealing with in those days. He was dealing with those who believed that they could be saved because they have kept the law. But NO MAN has ever kept it.

We need Yahushua!

Now let’s look again at the previous verse we examined:

Romans 6:14 (KJV) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? Yahweh forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But Yahweh be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

With this understanding, O how his writings become so much clearer! And now we can understand why Paul said:

Galatians 5:22– But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those [who] [are] the Messiah’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

So here we are back to our original question. What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? I think we have answered this, but I would like to share one more scripture to further solidify things:

Romans 7:24 (NKJV) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank Yahweh–through Yahushua the Messiah our Master! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of Yahweh, but with the flesh the law of sin. 8:1 [There] [is] therefore now no condemnation to those who are in the Messiah Yahushua, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in the Messiah Yahushua has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, Yahweh [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those [who] [live] according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against Yahweh; for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, nor indeed can be.

So there we have it. Walking according to the flesh cannot be referring to those who observe the law of Yahweh. To be walking according to the flesh is equal to being carnally minded. To be carnally minded is equal to not being subject to the law of Yahweh! Therefore, those who are in Yahushua are walking in the Spirit are subject to keeping the law of Yahweh. We can not continue to sin (break the law of Yahweh) so that grace may abound.

May we all walk in Yahweh’s Spirit. For Yahweh’s word IS Spirit!

John 6:63 (KJV) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

And Yahushua is the Word! And it is through the blood of Yahushua that we can be cleansed from all sin.

1 Joh 1:7- But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahushua the Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin.

And this thing we have in common, we have all been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, HalleluYah! Therefore we can all have fellowship with one another. We are all free from our sins and we all are free to leave behind our old ways where we had ignored and broken Yahweh’s perfect law.

Titus 3:3- For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of Elohim our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Yahushua the Messiah our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Praise Yahweh that we can now walk a path that is narrow, pure and new…walking in the Spirit!