Key Texts: Nehemiah 5:9; Psalms 86:11; 101:2; 119:1; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2; Ezekiel 11:20; Micah 6:8; Matthew 16:24; Mark 10:43-45; John 8:12; Romans 6:4; 8:1; 2 Corinthians 12:9,10; Galatians 2:20; 5:25; Ephesians 2:10; 5:2,8,15; Philippians 2:3,12,13; Colossians 1:10; 2:6; 4:5; 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Peter 5:5; 1 John 1:7; 2:6; Revelation 3:4
During Jesus' life on earth, He often used the phrase, "Follow Me," when speaking of action He desired from His disciples. God requires the same action of those who would follow Him today, and this is often described in religious circles as "the Christian walk." At the time of our new birth, our sins are forgiven. However, there is some living to be done between that moment and the moment we step into eternity. How can we live in a manner pleasing to God? In this lesson we will examine what the Bible says regarding our walk with the Lord, and we will take a close look at some basic guidelines which will assist us in our journey from earth to Glory.
- What is the Christian walk? Explain the phrase in your own words, using Colossians 1:10, 2:6, and 1 John 2:6 as a basis for your answer. Then make a comparison between the Christian walk and the physical act of walking.
- Every walk must have a starting point, and so it is with our Christian walk. With salvation, our spirits are quickened by a direct impartation of life from Above, and we begin to walk "in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Until this happens, there can be no spiritual progress, no spiritual growth, and no development of Christian character. Once divine life has been imparted, however, and "old things are passed away" and "all things are become new," we are able to move ahead in our Christian walk. Sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are key milestones in this journey. What are other lessons we learn as we progress in our spiritual lives? Note several truths you have learned, and elaborate briefly on how each was established in your life.
- Walking with God requires communion with Him so that we might know His will-how He wants us to live and what He wants us to do. The Bible gives many instructions in reference to our Christian walk. Look up the following verses, and summarize how each verse says we are to walk.
- Walking with Christ as described in the previous question might, at times, seem impossible, no matter how much we wish to wholly follow the Lord. Would God require something that is beyond us? An important lesson we must learn is that we cannot walk this way solely through our own efforts or willpower. When we attempt to do so in our own strength, we will fail more often than not. The secret to success is found in Galatians 2:20: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Note the words, "not I, but Christ." Using this phrase, along with 2 Corinthians 12:9,10, describe how God has designed for us to live a life pleasing to Him, in spite of our weaknesses and human frailties.
- God commends humility and delights to see it in His people. Isaiah 57: 15 and 66:2 clearly show the esteem with which God views the humble person. In fact, God not only values humility, but also requires it (Micah 6:8), so exemplifying this attitude is certainly a necessary part of our Christian walk. Look up the following Scriptures, and use them to identify three ways in which a true spirit of humility can be shown in our relationships with others.
1 Peter 5:5
- When we look up the word self in the dictionary, we find one definition that refers to, "one's own welfare, interest, or advantage." Do you see any danger lurking there as a trap Satan might use to cause you to falter in your Christian walk? Study Matthew 16:24, and note how this verse refutes any "self" traps set by the enemy of our souls; including self-assertion, self-indulgence, self-righteousness, self- interest, self-justification, and self-pity.
- One essential step in a successful Christian walk is learning to have sensitivity to the instruction of God's Spirit. In Isaiah 30:21 (the key verse for this lesson), we read the promise, "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." God will always provide clear guidance. The devil might attempt to confound us, by bringing a number of questions or accusations before us at once, but God deals with us one issue at a time. How careful we must be to pay instant heed to the Spirit! When God speaks, we must obey. When He calls on us to walk a certain path, we must be quick to follow His leading. We must be careful to heed His instructions, for if we do not, His Voice might seem fainter the next time He calls. If we continue to excuse an action He has "checked," to justify questionable behavior, or to pretend we never heard Him, we will eventually deaden our sensitivity to the point where we cannot hear anything from the Spirit. In reference to this thought, study Philippians 2:12 (the last part) and 13. Describe how you think Paul's admonition to the Philippians, in these verses, relates to our sensitivity to the Spirit.
- The Christian walk requires discipline, commitment, and perseverance to reach the Goal. At the end of his Christian journey, the Apostle Paul was able to say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness" (2 Timothy 4:7). He goes on to say that this crown is not for him only, but for all who love Christ's appearing. What other benefits come as we align our Christian walk with God's Word and seek to please Him?
1 John 1:7