We read in the New Testament books of the Bible that, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are to walk in him, in his life, in his love, and not according to flesh – not according to sinful passions, but according to the Spirit, etc.
For, Jesus Christ did not die on that cross just so we would be forgiven our sins, and just so we could go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die with him to sin and that we might live (walk) with him to his righteousness, living godly and holy lives pleasing to him (1 Pet. 2:24).
So, I believe the Lord would have me look at this subject of walking with him today, examining what it means to walk, and then looking at the many ways in which he says we are to walk or to not walk (to conduct our lives; live).
For, this walk of faith has to do with how we conduct our lives day in and day out, in a heart response to what Jesus Christ did for us on that cross. It is what we practice, how we live. And, it includes our way of thinking and believing, our attitudes, our speech, and the things we do or don’t do in response to our Lord, and in heart response to the teachings of His Word.
We are to:
• Walk in newness of life, in Christ Jesus, our Lord, via dying with him to sin (Rom. 6:4)
• Walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:4)
• Walk properly – not in sexual immorality, jealousy, quarreling (Rom. 13:13)
• Walk by faith, not by sight (2 Co. 5:7)
• Walk by the Spirit – will not gratify desires of flesh (Gal. 5:16)
• Walk not in the passions of your flesh (Eph. 2:1-3)
• Walk in the good works God prepared in advance for us (Eph. 2:10)
• Walk in a manner worthy of the calling of God on your life (Eph. 4:1)
• Walk no longer in sensuality, greed, practicing impurity (Eph. 4:17-19)
• Walk in love, as Christ loved us (Eph. 5:1-2)
• Walk not in darkness but as children of light (Eph. 5:8)
• Walk not as unwise, but as wise, watching carefully (Eph. 5:15)
• Walk not as enemies of the cross, with minds set on earthly things (Phil. 3:17-19)
• Walk in manner worthy of Lord, fully pleasing to him (Col. 1:9-11)
• Walk in the Lord Jesus, rooted and built up in him (Col. 2:6-7)
• Walk not in the passions of the flesh, but in the Spirit (Col. 3:5-10)
• Walk in a manner worthy of God (1 Thess. 2:11-12)
• Walk to please God more and more (1 Thess. 4:1)
• Walk not in the darkness but in the Light (1 Jn. 1:5-7)
• Walk in the way of the Lord Jesus in obedience to him (1 Jn. 2:4-6)
• Walk according to God’s commandments (2 Jn. 1:6)
• Walk in the truth of God’s Word (3 Jn. 1:3)
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
This is where it all begins. When we truly believe in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Our old lives, our old way of living to the flesh, to please self, was put to death with Christ so that we could now no longer live to the flesh, but so we could now live to please the Spirit of God – all in the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit now living within us, to the glory and praise of God!
But, it doesn’t end there. We must die daily to sin and self and walk daily in his righteousness and holiness in order to receive salvation from the punishment of sin and in order to receive eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-26; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; Eph. 5:3-6).
Change in Behaviors
So, when we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, it should change how we live; how we behave. But, this is not about behavioral modification done in the flesh. This is the result of a true heart transformation of the Spirit of God away from the flesh to walking in the Spirit of God. But, it is realized in our lives via our obedience to Christ.
So, we no longer make sin our practice, our habit, our lifestyle, or our “go-to,” especially during times when we are feeling down and out. We no longer make it our practice (our habit) to live in sexual immorality. So, this necessitates removing from our lives music, games, videos, movies, TV shows and internet sites which give glory to the flesh and which center on sensuality, vulgarity, seductiveness or immorality of any kind.
These should have absolutely no place in our lives!! And, this includes half-time shows at ball games, too, which are seductive, sensual and/or demonic in nature. These have taken place at the Super Bowl games, and they have taken place at opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, too. We need to be discerning here so as to guard our hearts and minds against all evil. Even commercials on TV can be very seductive and sensual in nature.
Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
Walking with Jesus Christ, and living for him, is not based in emotional experiences. Many churches these days have elevated emotional experiences in the flesh to be equal with works of the Spirit of God, but they are not one and the same.
Many churches, these days, work people’s emotions. And, this is not just in the charismatic movement, either. For, much of today’s evangelic church is using marketing schemes and techniques to manipulate people’s minds and hearts and to move them in a particular direction through mind games, trickery, deception and via manipulating their emotions.
We once had a pastor who, at the end of every sermon, would tell a tear-jerking story, and he would get all emotional, and his voice would quiver, and at this time he would make whatever appeal he wanted to make. It was every week, like clockwork. And, he even admitted one day to the church that he knew he had the power of manipulation over people. Wow!
His apprentice, who then became the pastor of another church, began using the same technique, all of a sudden, when he had not done that previously. Immediately we made the connection. So, this was an emotional manipulation of people in order to get a particular intended response.
Other churches have their pastors begin speaking softly, and gradually they keep getting louder and louder until they end up yelling (I hate yelling). And, the music does the same. It begins at one level and then gets repeated over and over and over again, the same few words, and it gets more intense, and faster, and louder, and then the people call it the work of the Holy Spirit.
But, that is not how the Spirit works. So, we don’t base our faith in emotional experiences which may or may not be of the Spirit of God, but we base our walks of faith in the Word of God, and in the workings of the Spirit of God in our lives which are according to scripture. And, we follow the Lord in obedience to his will even when our emotions are not there.
Works of God or Works of the Flesh
Many people are confusing the works of God with works of the flesh, and so they are discarding this whole idea (belief, teaching) that we must do good works as evidence of true believing faith. But, they are not one in the same.
One is of the flesh, and the other is of the Spirit. One is performed in the flesh in order to earn salvation, but the other is done by the Spirit, of the Spirit, and empowered by the Spirit as part of believing faith, and as a result of what Jesus did for us in dying on a cross so that we could die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. For, Jesus saved us to good works. But, not our own good works, but those of the Spirit of God which he prepared in advance for us, that we should walk (conduct our lives) in them.
And, we are to bear fruit for God’s eternal kingdom in every good work that is of God, living lives which are pleasing to God. For, contrary to popular opinion, God is NOT pleased with us no matter what we do.
The scriptures are real clear on this subject that we must do what is pleasing to God, and that we can absolutely be doing what is not pleasing to him. For, the scriptures teach that if we live to please the flesh, it will end in destruction, but if we live to please the Spirit, it will result in eternal life with God (Ro. 8:8; 2 Co. 5:9; Gal. 6:8; Eph. 5:10; Col. 1:9-11; 1 Thess. 2:4; 1 Thess. 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:4; Heb. 11:6; Heb. 13:6; & 1 Jn. 3:22).
So, faith in Jesus Christ is revealed in how we walk, in how we conduct our lives day in and day out, either by living to please our sinful flesh, or by living to please God in all that we do, say, and are. The one will result in death. The latter will result in eternal life with God. Please choose the latter.
When I Was Walking
An Original Work / January 16, 2020
When I was walking along the way,
My Lord was with me, and He did say,
“My child I’m with you. I hear you pray,
‘Oh, help me, Lord! Need You today!’”
He is my friend, near to the end.
Gently leads me. His servant be.
He helps me pray – knows what to say.
He’s all I need. On Him I feed.
When I am wond’ring of what to do,
He gently leads me to what is truth.
He is my helper. He strengthens me.
When I’m in want, supplies my need.
He comforts me with all His love.
Gives me His grace from heav’n above.
I heed His call to watch and pray,
To guard my heart throughout each day.
When He is calling to come to Him,
To let Him lead you, trust Him within,
How will you answer to Him today?
Will you say, “Yes, Lord, have your way”?
Do not neglect to let Him in,
Cleanse you from sin, made new within.
Leave all your sin, obey your Lord,
Trust in His Word – His mighty Sword.