Abiding In Christ & Walking In Christ – Pt. 1
Christ Our Example
“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6) Not as men say He walked, but as He walked. And how shall we know how He walked? By reading and studying His life. That is where we find how Christ walked, and there we will find how we ought to walk. And we will walk as He walked, not wholly as an obligation, but as a result. If one says he abides in Christ, and walks not as He walked, his life is contrary to his profession. We do not get into Christ by trying to walk as He walked; we do not abide in Christ by trying to walk as He walked; but we first get into Christ, and then as a consequence, just as the branch will bring forth the fruit of the vine, so will the Christian who really abides in Christ, bring forth the same fruit that He bore, walking as He walked.
If we abide in Him, we will walk in His steps, and He has left us an example that we should walk in His steps. There are many people who take it upon themselves to point out what are Christ’s footsteps; but His Word is the test, and in it we may find whether they are pointing out the right footsteps or not. There are, in the world today, many false conceptions of Christ which amount really to having a false Christ. It is not what our idea of Christ is, but what He is: That is to be our example; not what we have been taught that Christ is, but what the Word says that He is.
It was revealed unto Simeon “that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ,” (Luke 2:26) and that is what we want to see. Not any man’s idea of what Christ ought to be, but the Lord’s Christ. That is the Christ of the Word, and our idea of how Christ walked should be formed wholly by the Word.
A Practical Test
It is quite likely that as soon as we begin to talk of walking with Christ, there comes up the thought, Christ walked on the water; and you surely do not expect us to walk on water. Let me call your attention to an incident at the beginning of Christ’s ministry: “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Then they immediately left their nets and followed Him.” (Matthew 4:18-20) Before Christ walked on the sea, He walked by the sea on the land; and before He saw Peter on the water, He saw him on the land and told him to follow Him, and Peter left his nets and followed Him.
Later on in Christ’s ministry, we find that after He had fed the five thousand, His disciples took a boat to go across the lake, but “He went up on a mountain to pray. And when evening had come, he was there alone. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.” (Matthew 14:23-25)
Notice that before Jesus walked on the sea, He had spent the night in secret prayer. “But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.” So is our ship. Very likely just now some ship is being tossed by the waves of human tempest. And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them from His season of secret prayer, walking on the sea. “And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost! and they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come’. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Verses 26-31) Christ’s walk on the sea was,
The Walk of Faith
but Peter failed because of his lack of faith. It is contrary to nature to walk on the water, and it is contrary to our nature to walk as Christ walked; but He says to us as He said to Peter, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Whether it be on land or on sea, His Word is a rock; and when He puts His Word beneath our feet, He builds for us a bridge of rock, and it makes no difference whether He puts that bridge on land, or water, or in the sky.
But Peter sank. And the Peter that sank that night on the water is the Peter that sank that other night, in failing to testify for Jesus. The reason in both cases was his lack of faith. In every walk of Christ there is a lesson for us, and as it is unnatural for man to walk on water, so it is unnatural for him to walk as Christ walked – in obedience to the character of God; but power is given through faith in God’s Word, “Come unto Me.”
Resource: The W.W. Prescott Armadale Sermons
Melbourne, Australia, 1895