The first instruction [in Galatians 5:13-6:10] , "walk by the Spirit", is the basic command in Paul's ethics.I was taught and again have noticed that the filling of the Spirit seems mostly related to speaking as in proclaiming the word of God, the wonders of God, the gospel of God. People often talk much about being filled with the Spirit, and I think that seems to me Scripturally, to be more related to the gifts, at least generally. But to walk in the Spirit concerns more the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, etc.
This is a command (an imperative), no less: present tense meaning it's ongoing for us, and active- we do it. Yet it's of the Spirit. So that we must walk or live in all of life, by the Spirit.
Fee thinks the Spirit's presence was more overwhelming or evident to the believers Paul wrote to, than to many of us today. So that Paul doesn't tell us how to walk by the Spirit. But it was certainly true then, as now that we in Jesus can grieve and quench (or, put out the fire of) the Spirit.
And Fee points out what he wrote had at least up to that time, been missed in most commentaries: how this command is community-oriented. Looking at the passage we can see this to be the case. Yes, we're individuals but individuals coming into and living in community.
This is something I want to work on for my life. So I'm realizing it must be community-oriented, and I'm a rather slow learner here, though gregarious by nature. Steeped in the tradition of individualism, but longing to know better the richness of community in Jesus and out from that, in mission for the world.
And I want to understand better in my life, what is ours in Jesus by the Spirit. Walking by the Spirit. Not by the flesh, which as Fee points out is of our old life apart from Christ, not to be in our present existence even now. And doing this in community. More on this in future posts.
What thoughts might you like to share on this?