Section Ten: The Christian Walk

Section Ten: Survey

The Christian Walk

In the right hand margin, write "true" or "false" after each of the following statements.

1.

A Christian finds it easy to do what is right.

F

2.

All Christians have the same ability to resist temptation.

F

3.

Our heart is described as being purely motivated and righteous.

F

4.

God searches our hearts, motives, and intentions through the.

T

5.

Our desires are a major source of temptation.

T

6.

All desires are evil.

F

Section Ten: "The Christian Walk"

Key/Memory Verse: Colossians 1:9, 10

"For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in knowledge of God."

Introduction

Throughout the New Testament, the believers position, his standing before God in Christ, is emphasized. Positionally, we are absolutely and exactly all we can be because we are in Christ and His righteousness is imputed to us. In Christ we are made perfect - righteous Positionally. That is why we have the right to fellowship with God and receive His unbounded love and kindness forever.

But on the other hand, the New Testament exhorts the believer to develop his "walk", to "grow" 1 Peter 2:2); (2 Peter 3:18); and to "work out your own salvation" (Philippians 2:12).

I. The Christian Walk Described

A. The term "walk" signifies the whale of activity of the Christian's life, the predominate direction, orientation or theme of the believer's life.

According to these verses how is the Christian walk described?

1.

2.

Romans 6:4 raised from the dead to walk in newness of life Romans 8:4 walk according to the Spirit not flesh

3. 2 Corinthians. 5:7 (Positive) walking by faith

4. Ephesians 2:10created for good works to walk in them

5. Ephesians 5:2 walk in id love

6. Ephesians 5:8 walk as children of light

7. 2 John 4 walk in truth

8. 2 John 6 walk according ' to commandments in love

B. List below how a Christian should not walk

1. Romans 8:4 (Negative) according to the flesh

2. I Corinthians. 3:3 walking like mere men

3. 2 Corinthians. 4:2 craftiness a of adulterating the word of God

4. 2 Corinthians. 5:7 (Negative) by sight

5. Ephesians 4:17 walk as Gentiles in futility of their minds

II. The Christian's Position & Walk

You don't have to be a believer for long before you discover by personal experience that being a Christian and living like one are often different things. Like the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15, we find that we want to do the right thing but too often end up doing the very thing we hate.

Scripture on the one hand addresses the Christian positionally as perfect, forgiven, righteous possessor of "every spiritual blessing" (Ephesians 1:3) and on the other, as one who experientially in his daily life and experiences falls short of perfection, righteousness, etc. The believer's position and benefits may be compared to the foundation on which the Christian life is built as a superstructure.

This "walk", "growth", or ‘'building of the superstructure" commonly called "sanctification." Some of the qualities that characterize our growth or sanctification are: (material presented in these four points is take from Victor Matthews, Growth in Grace? Baker, 1980, pp. 47-50)

A. The Benefits Are Claimed

We receive and experience such virtues and abilities only as we learn how to put them into practice by faith and love (Romans 6:16; I Peter 1:22), An illustration of such a benefit would be the ability to resist temptation. We grow in this ability by truly desiring it, by claiming the provision and promise of God a Corinthians. 10:13), and then by making use of it in acts of faith (Matthew. 4:3-11; Hebrews. 2:14-18; James 1:2, 12-14; I Peter 1:6, 7; II Peter 2:9).

B. The Benefits Are With Degrees

That which the believer possesses by way of sanctification is never complete. Whatever the benefit may be, it is only partially known and utilized. One Christian may possess the ability to resist temptation only in a very small degree while another may possess it in a much larger degree. All Christian have some ability to resist temptation, but all in a different degree.

C. The Benefits Are Transitory

By comparison, the virtues and abilities of sanctification are not necessarily permanent. It is very possible to attain a high degree of progress in some area of Christian practice and then to lose it through neglect. It is debatable whether one may lose any benefit of sanctification absolutely. Undoubtedly this would not be true. Every Christian, however, has experienced remarkable growth in some area only to find a stunting of that growth and a decline in ability due to carelessness a Corinthians. 3:1-4; 5:1-13; 6:1-8; 11:18-22; II Thessalonians. 3:6-15; II Tim. 4:10).

Luke 2:52 5

D. The Benefits Are Based On The Person & Work Of Jesus

Christ And The Believer's Cooperation.

The benefits of sanctification depend not only on Jesus Christ and His work, but also upon the spiritual cooperation of the believer. It has been pointed out earlier that one must desire and learn how to utilize these benefits. The provision has been made by Jesus Christ so that His people may life successfully. The Holy Spirit has been sent to teach and anoint the believer. But it is clear from Scripture and from the experience of every Christian that our cooperation is necessary.

III. The Christian Walk: Battling Sin

Several topics already covered are keys to grow as a Christian, i e. Bible study, prayer, confession, etc. Frequently, while knowing that we should grow, we have difficulty like Paul in Romans 7:15. To help us understand better the battle we face throughout our life as a Christian, here are a few important points.

A. The Battle Ground Is Our Heart

Look up and note this truth in Mark 7:21-23; Genesis 6:5; Luke 6:45.

1. What is the heart?

motives

Heart in Scripture is used in various ways. The mind as it reasons, discerns,

and judges; the emotions as they like or dislike; the conscience as it

determines and warns; and the will as it chooses or refuses - are all

together called the heart.

2. According to Jeremiah 17:9-10, what are 2 characteristics of the heart of

man?

 

a. deceitful

b. desperately sick

"Knowing chat indwelling sin occupies a heart that is deceitful and unsearchable should make us extremely wary. We need to ask God daily to search our hearts for sin that we cannot or will not see. This was David's prayer: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there by any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way" (Psalm 139:23-24). God's primary means of searching our hearts this way is through His Word, as we read it under the power of the Holy Spirit. "The Word of God is living and active. Sharper clan any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). As we pray for God to search our hearts, we must continually expose ourselves to the searching of His Word." (Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, NAV Press, pp. 64,65).

B. Sin Works Largely Through Our Desires

Desire has come to be the strongest faculty of man's heart. The next time you face one of your typical temptations, watch for the struggle between your desire and your reason. If you give in to temptation, it will be because desire has overcome reason in the struggle to influence your will.

Not all desire is evil, of course. Paul speaks of his desire to know Christ (Philippians 3:10), of his desires for the salvation of his fellow Jews (Romans 10:1), and the desire that his spiritual children grow to maturity (Galatians 4:19).

1. According to James 1:14, what is the cause of our sin? when we are carried away and enticed by our own lust

2. As we grow, we take steps to direct our desires toward pleasing God.

God's Word is the grid by which we can test and measure our desires.

3. Are there subtle things you can identify in your life that are ungodly desires that cause you to compromise your Christianity?

C. Sin Tends To Deceive Our Understanding & Reasoning

Our reason, enlightened by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, stands in the way of sin gaining mastery over us through our desires. Therefore Satan's great strategy is to deceive our minds.

Deceit of the mind is carried on by degrees:

1. We are drawn away from watchfulness by overconfidence. We come to believe we are beyond a particular temptation. We look at someone else's fall and say, ‘I would never do that." But Paul warned us, ‘If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Even when helping a fallen brother, we are to watch ourselves lest we also be tempted (Galatians 6:1).

2. We are often drawn away from obedience by the abuse of grace. Jude speaks of certain man "who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality" (Jude 4). We abuse grace when we think we can sin and then receive forgiveness by claiming I John 1:98. We abuse grace when, after sinning, we dwell on the compassion and mercy of God to the exclusion of His holiness and hatred of sin.

3. We are drawn away from obedience when we begin to question what God says in His Word. Ibis was Satan's first tactic with Eve (Genesis 3:105).

Just as he said to Eve, ‘You surely shall not die!" so he says to us ‘It is just a little thing!" or "God will not judge that sin."

Conclusion

Having studied this material, how would you describe the Christian life to an inquiring friend?


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