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.
Colossians 2:6-7 (KJV)
We receive Christ Jesus as our Lord by faith. Subsequently, we are called to walk in Him by this same faith. This faith is dependent upon our being rooted in Him, built up in Him and established in Him. The result of faith is a life which abounds with thanksgiving. There are many ways to describe this walk. One of the most useful to me is the characterization given to the walk of faith by G. Campbell Morgan. He describes four components of what it means to walk with someone else. We must walk in the same direction, be in agreement, have mutual trust, and keep in step with one another.
The direction in which we walk with Christ is clearly away from sin and toward righteousness. It is by faith that we receive His righteousness and it is by faith that we walk in and with Christ, who is our righteousness from God. (Romans 1:17, II Corinthians 5:21) It is not by our own effort that His righteousness is manifested in our lives, but by His grace. In Galatians 2:20 and Colossians 3:4 we read that He is our life. If that is true, then, we can have confidence that His life is expected to be manifest in and through us. It is to be experienced by us and expressed through us by the ever present Holy Spirit. That righteousness, which is imputed to us when we first trusted Him, is imparted to us as holiness as we walk with Him, and finally implanted in us at redemption. God does not give us things. He gives us Christ. In Him we are complete. (Colossians 2:10 KJV) All spiritual blessings are in Him. (Ephesians 1:3) We can look to Him to guide our thoughts, our words, and our deeds moment by moment in order that the righteousness of God, which is Jesus Christ, may be experienced and expressed in and through our life. This direction toward righteousness and away from sin was surely what the Psalmist had in mind. “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (Psalm 17:15 KJV)
In our walk with Christ there must also be agreement. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3 KJV) There must be agreement on many things, but as regarding our walk with Him, G. Campbell Morgan has summarized some thoughts which succinctly capture our relationship with Him.
“It is in Christ that God is making us what He would have us to be. The sphere in which God operated to the creation of our lives and the perfecting of His thought in and through us is Christ. By the way of His incarnation man came into conscious nearness to God. By the way of His life there was unveiled before the eyes of men what was in the heart of God when He said, ‘Let us make man.’ In the death of Christ there was revealed that mystery of atonement whereby man’s sin is dealt with, canceled, made not to be, that man may find his new opportunity. By the way of the resurrection of Jesus Christ power was placed at the disposal of man so that he not only finds himself in Christ Jesus a pardoned soul, but a being equipped with all resource for the accomplishment of the Divine purpose. By the way of the reign of Christ over the individual life through the Spirit there is the administration of the will of God and perpetual communication of both pattern and power.” The Westminster Pulpit, Baker Book House, 1954-55, Page 245.
As we walk in His righteousness, and in agreement with Him regarding His purpose for our lives there must also be mutual trust. This trust is seen in the relationship we have with our Lord in I Corinthians 1:9. “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” In fellowship we see the operation of mutual trust. The Greek word “Koinonia”, translated “fellowship” means that we have everything in common with Him. G. Campbell Morgan has described this fellowship by the use of two words, “resources” and “responsibilities.” In fellowship with Him, all His resources are made available to meet my responsibilities. His presence is always with me to guide with each decision. His power is made available to do His will in any situation I face. His Peace directs my heart and mind throughout all the difficulties of life. Likewise, in fellowship with Him, all my resources should be made available to Him to meet His responsibilities. What are His responsibilities? These are stated in Luke 19:10 (KJV). “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Is my time made available to Him for this purpose? Are my talents at His disposal for the accomplishment of His objective? Have I given Him the freedom to use my monetary assets to fulfill His responsibilities?
Finally, to walk with someone means that you walk close together, side by side. To walk on ahead, or to lag behind is not walking with someone. G. Campbell Morgan states that the balance of zeal and knowledge is needed to keep us walking with our Lord. Zeal without knowledge will propel us on ahead of our Lord. We may, on our own, apart from His direction or desire, become involved in responsibilities that are not His will for our lives. We run on ahead with our program, not realizing that it is our activity, not His. Repentance of these dead works, those in which He has no part, will restore us to His side in our journey. Likewise knowledge without this accompanied desire or zeal will cause us to lag behind. As the knowledge of His direction for us is imparted, there must also be a matching zeal to see it accomplished. Failure to match the knowledge of His will with obedience results in a separation from Him in our walk. Again, repentance from sins of omission will restore us to His side as we travel together.
The Holy Spirit has rooted each of us in Christ Jesus. As He imparts the life of our Lord, we are built up and established in Him. To the degree that we are rooted, built up, and established is the degree to which we abound with thanksgiving. It is my desire that your walk with Him may increasingly reflect Him in such a manner as to create this thanksgiving in your heart.
In Christ, Richard Spann