The Christian Walk: Lesson 1 – Definitions

The Christian Walk: Lesson 1: Definitions

What Does “Walk” Mean?

I. Your walk describes your conduct.

A. When Bible writers tell believers how to “walk,” they are telling us how to live or conduct our behavior (thoughts, words, and deeds). The Christian walk is the Christian life or lifestyle, the believer’s direction or orientation in life. Behavior stems from belief, and the NT writers repeatedly tell us that correct belief ought to produce correct behavior.


B. The word “walk” suggests continuation and persistence. The believer is not standing or sitting; he’s walking. The verb translated “walk” is often used in the present tense in the original language of the Bible, suggesting a continued mode of conduct or behavior. The Christian walk describes an ongoing, normal pattern of life.

C. The Christian walk is an aspect of sanctification, that is, growth in godliness (cf. 2 Pet 3:18). The growing, faithful Christian will strive to walk (live) in a way that is pleasing to God. Believers should desire to “walk humbly with [their] God” (Mic 6:8).

Note the Quote: God has ever been interested in the walk of His saints, desiring that His own character might be reflected in them, and that they might in this way be for His pleasure and glory while passing through the world. To Abraham God said, “I am the Almighty God: walk before my face, and be perfect” (Gen. 17: 1). … Abraham’s life was to be in accord with the revelation that God was pleased to make of Himself to him, and nothing was to be seen in his walk that would be inconsistent with this revelation.

II. Your walk describes the quality of your spiritual life, your “walk with the Lord.”

A. To walk with God describes salvation. Those who walk in close communion with the Lord experience wonderful blessings. Examples:

1. Enoch walked with God and “God took him” (Gen 5:24). The implication is that Enoch knew the Lord very closely, walking with Him in fellowship and obedience, and God translated him directly into heaven. Enoch’s remarkable experience was both a testimony of his deep faith in God (see Heb. 11:5, 6) and a strong reminder at the beginning of biblical history that there is life in God’s presence after death for the people of God.

2. Moses describes Noah as just and perfect among his generation. Summing up Noah’s spiritual condition, the author says, “Noah walked with God” (Gen 6:9). In other words, to walk with God amounts to knowing God or being rightly related to God and enjoying close harmony and fellowship with Him.

3. When God appeared to Abraham, He said, “I am Almighty God; walk before me , and be thou perfect” (Gen 17:1). Later, Abraham described himself in the following terms: “The Lord, before whom I walk…” (Gen 24:40). Jacob stated that Abraham and Isaac walked before God (Gen 48:15). David walked before the Lord by observing (walking in) God’s law (2 Chron 6:16). The psalmist’s desire was to “walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Ps 116:9). To walk “before the Lord” implies living in God’s presence, under his guidance, and with his approval.

4. Christians should strive to walk “after” the Lord and to walk “in” his ways.

Deuteronomy 13:4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

Joshua 22:5 But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Jeremiah 7:23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’

5. God sometimes describes himself as walking with or among his people (e.g., Lev 26:12; Deut 23;14; 2 Sam 7:7). God’s desire is to dwell among his people and “walk in them” (2 Cor 6:16). Christ promises to walk with his worthy people “in white” (Rev 3:4), referring to fellowship in heaven.

6. So it seems to follow that God’s people walk with God. To walk with God implies a saved (regenerate) spiritual condition. To walk with God amounts to fearing him, obeying him, serving him, and holding fast to him.

B. To walk with God describes the quality of your relationship with God.

1. The prophet Amos asked, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Of course, the answer is “no, they can’t.” Walking together implies agreement, fellowship, and relationship. Cf. Prov 13:20.

2. We might describe the quality of our spiritual condition in terms of how closely we are walking with God. Our walk with God may be very close and personal, or it may be quite cold and distant. The believer may be walking closely by the Lord’s side, as it were, or far behind or ahead of him. Every genuine believer walks with God, but experience varies regarding how close to God we are walking.

C. Behavior and spiritual condition are closely related; thus, the Christian “walk” describes both spiritual life and daily conduct.

III. Your walk should be consistent.

A. Biblical writers frequently contrast the walk of the individual before coming to faith and after.

1. OT: God expected the Jews to live differently from their pagan past and from their pagan neighbors. Cf. Deut 8:19; 2 Kings 17:8

2. NT: The walk of the “old man” is significantly different from that of the “new man” (Eph 4:22-24; 1 Pet 4:3-4). Regeneration is the decisive factor in how one walks in this world. It’s only after the experience of salvation that one begins to walk with the Lord. Those crucified and raised with Christ by faith must “walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). See Col 3:5-10.

B. Unfortunately, some who claim to hold Christian belief deny it by their unchristian behavior—their ungodly walk (cf. Titus 1:15-16; 1 John 3:17, 4:20). One’s walk may contradict his talk. When that is the case, one’s profession of faith either comes into question or proves to be invalid.

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