By: Robert C. Oliver Contributing columnist
October 24, 2013
The apostle John wrote, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:… He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 1:1, 6). The second of these two verses tell us that we should walk as he walked and the first tells us who “he” is, Jesus Christ. Thus, we are exhorted to walk as Christ walked. We will note a few more such verses, but let us first define what the word “walk” means. As used here, the word “walk” does not denote the mode of travel that Jesus used in going from one town to another. It has reference to how He conducted himself or behaved himself in a particular manner. Thus when we are told to walk as Jesus walked, we are being told to conduct ourselves as He did. One more important point concerning the word translated “walk” in this text is that it is present active tense. This means it is a continuous action verb. It was not something that Jesus did once but a whole manner of life for Him. This having been concluded, we note a couple of other passages wherein we are told to walk as Jesus walked. To the Colossian brethren, Paul wrote, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Col. 2:6). Though the word “walk” is not used, Peter said, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (I Pet. 2:21). So, just how did Jesus walk, that we might know how we are to walk?
Jesus walked in love. The apostle Paul exhorted the Ephesians, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour” (Eph. 5:2). It stands to reason that Jesus would love us since the Father loved us enough to send Him in the first place. John wrote, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16). And, Paul said that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). As noted in Ephesians 5:2, we are to “walk in love” as Jesus did. Peter wrote, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Pet. 1:22). The apostle John wrote, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (I John 3:11).
Jesus walked obediently. In the epistle to the Philippians we read concerning Jesus, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). The Hebrew writer stated, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). In like manner, we too must walk obediently. The verse following the one just noted says, “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9). John wrote, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:2-6).
Jesus walked sacrificially. Paul said of Him, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). Jesus left His home in heaven to come for the sake of man. He is the sacrificial Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The Hebrew writer spoke of those animal sacrifices as having sanctified to the purifying of the flesh, and then said, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9:13-14). We too, must walk sacrificially. Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). “Jesus said unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). Paul told the Philippians, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:4).
Jesus walked in humility. The passage we noted afore said that Jesus “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death” (Phil. 2:8). He came not as royalty, but as one of the common people. Jesus said, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Just a couple of verses prior to that statement, He told them, “…whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister” (Matt. 20:26).
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