“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him,
and stablished in the faith, as ye have been
taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
Twenty years ago, I developed an interest in the subject of “walking with God.” In the years since that time, I have discovered several pictures of what it means to “walk with God.” One of these is from a sermon by G. Campbell Morgan based on Colossians 2:6-7. His thoughts on this passage have helped form some of the framework for frequent meditation on this subject. Because they are detailed in some respects, I have chosen to use his words, rather than to paraphrase them myself. They are excerpts from a sermon on this subject given at Westminster Chapel, London, England in the early part of last century. His emphasis is on a “walk” of faith in Christ (Messiah), a “walk” of love toward Jesus, and a “walk” of hope expressed in Him as Lord. His comments are as follows:
The Messiah to the Hebrew was the King-Priest, both the One who reigns and the One who mediates. He is surely King, governing, requiring, giving law, shedding light; but with equal assurance, He is priest, administering grace, bringing about reconciliation, expressing love, and communicating life to the souls on whom the light has fallen.
Jesus of Nazareth was the central, final, ultimate anthropomorphism. Because men could encompass a conception of God only by projecting their own personalities into immensity, God out of immensity contracted His personality to that of a human being, that men might see Him and know Him, grasp the infinite, fathom the unfathomable, and come through flesh into communion with the eternal Spirit.
His title as Lord is supremely the word of His Godhead, the word that reminds us that He is the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Accomplisher of human redemption.
Faith fastening on Christ as Saviour expresses itself in love to Jesus as Friend, and finds its hope and confidence in Him as Lord. So He is received.
Faith is submission to His Kingship, and confidence in His priesthood. This is to receive by faith. He is also received by love. To know the man Jesus is to love Him. The reception of this person in hope indicates relationship to the Lord, the eternal One, the creator, and sustainer. It marks the soul’s confidence in God.
“As ye therefore received Him” –in your faith, in your love, in your hope—“so walk in Him.” The walk here enjoined is continuity of faith. Continuity of faith means persistent loyalty to Christ as King, and unswerving confidence in Him as Saviour. Mark the two elements: First, unswerving loyalty to His Kingship. I admit the necessity for that. I see it; I strive after it: but Oh, my God, I do not do it. I stumble and fall. Then let me never forget the second, unswerving confidence in His Saviourhood. The subtlest temptation that ever assaults the heart of man, of the struggling saint, is the temptation to doubt God’s willingness to forgive. Unswerving confidence in His Saviourhood means that I make confession of my sin to God, and rest in the knowledge that He will forgive and put away and blot out. He does none of those things easily, for behind them lies forevermore the infinite, unfathomable passion and sorrow of His heart. To walk in Him is to walk in continuity of faith.
Walking in Him as we received Him is to walk forevermore guarding love. How are we to guard love? By yielding to the fear which results from the casting out of fear. When we know His perfect love it casteth out fear, but it inspires a new fear. No longer do we fear the consequences of our sin as it affects us, but we fear the consequences of sin as it affects Him. No longer do I fear that He will blast and damn me; but I fear lest I crucify my Lord anew, and put Him to an open shame. Strange, beauteous, paradox of the life of love; His love has banished all my fear for myself; but, oh, I am afraid lest I wound Him, grieve Him, cause sorrow to Him. To walk in Him is to abide in love by faith, in keeping the commandments. The experience must be cultivated in the secret place; and the expression will be manifested in public places, in my perpetual love of His name, and the kindling of my eye when He is referred to, and my readiness to speak of Him, and in my love to all the saints, and for all for whom Christ died, and who are near and dear to Him.
Finally, the walk is maintenance of hope. As in receiving Christ hope was born in the soul, so in walking with Him that hope is to be maintained. We shall maintain hope as we dwell in the light which keeps our vision of His ultimate purpose clear. Our hope will be maintained as we resolutely refuse to doubt Him on the darkest day. Paul talks about the things by which the saints would be surrounded and might be disturbed: vain deceits, rudiments of the world, traditions of men not after Christ. If we listen to the vain deceits of men, if we allow ourselves to be bound by the traditions of men, if we measure our outlook and inspire our thinking by the rudiments of the world, hope will surely die out. In proportion as we are walking in Him, though it be amid the furnace, we shall sing, we shall rejoice in hope of the glory of God. So that to walk in Him is to walk in faith, that is, humbly with God; in love, that is, loving mercy; in hope, that is, doing justly . All this is made possible to us by the Gospel.
Is not that Gospel enough for you? Can you not trust yourself to the vastness of this strength? Sin not against the light by postponing thy reception of this Christ, but ere this day closes receive Him, and thus begin to walk in Him.
G. Campbell Morgan
The Westminster Pulpit Vol. X.
I trust that you heart is stirred and encouraged by the above description of walking with Christ. May your walk grow ever more firm as you rest your faith, love, and hope in Him.
In Christ, Richard Spann