For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 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.
B5.1 As ye received
Having looked at the danger of enticing words, we move on to consider the answer that Paul gives to us. He says that as we have received Christ so we are walk in Him. In other words we are to continue the Christian life in the same way that we began it. There can be no doubt as to what Paul means for in the first chapter we have seen how the Colossians had begun.
In chapter 1 we see that their faith was in Christ, their love was to the saints and their hope was laid up for them in heaven, knowing the grace of God in truth Col.1:4-7.
This results in believers being partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. This means we are translated from the devil’s kingdom into the kingdom of His dear Son. Thus knowing redemption and forgiveness Col.1:12-14.
During the course of the epistle Paul will reveal more about our great salvation. But the point being made now is that as we began in the faith so we are to continue, and not go off on any tangent. We received Christ, put our trust in Him, and so we must continue in the same way.
B5.2 Walk in Him
As we continue as we begun then we must walk in Him and in no other. In Ephesians Paul exhorts us in a similar manner. Since we are now in Christ, we are to walk worthy of Christ and not as the Gentiles walk Eph.4:17-24.
It is worth mentioning that when we talk of walking in spiritual terms we are meaning our behaviour, our conduct in life. So, in other words, our behaviour is to be worthy of Christ.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
B5.3 Not as the world
One telling passage on walking is found in Corinthians.
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
The Corinthian church was riddled with division, as its first chapter shows. Here, in chapter 3, the apostle defines what a carnal Christian is: one who walks, or behaves as the unsaved do. They had their hearts fixed on their divisions, preferences and so on. Later on in the epistle we see this work out even more. For instance, immorality in the church, brother suing brother in the world’s courts and so on. Walking just like the world in fact! This is the Bible’s definition of the carnal Christian.
The world gets taken up with enticing words and follows them wherever they lead. As Christians we are not to be so taken up with these things. Enticing words appeal to the flesh and to follow them would mean becoming carnal.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk , in the vanity of their mind,
The answer is to walk in the Spirit. We either walk in the Spirit or the flesh, we cannot do both, it is one or the other.
This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
It is a conscious decision on our part. Like Eve in Eden, who had a clear choice, so too we have a real choice: to be enticed by words or to listen to the Spirit and obey Him.
B5.4 God’s way
For we walk by faith, not by sight
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The above verses are very pertinent to the thoughts under consideration. How do we walk? Paul says by faith and not sight. Faith believes the revealed facts from God and lives in them, even though it cannot be seen with the physical eye. God has said he has prepared good works for us to walk in. we need to simply trust Him and walk in those works.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Salvation from sin and new birth is to deal with the basic problem of the human heart. From there onwards that divine life, which has been planted in us, has to grow and mature unto ‘the full measure’ both individually and within the body of ‘The Church’.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Our lives before new birth were ones of walking according to the course of this world (the lust of the eyes, flesh and the pride of life). We were fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind in the same way as everyone else was. But now we have God’s Spirt dwelling within in and we must walk after the Spirit and not the flesh – after Christ and not after the enticing words of men and devils.