Most people are led to God through someone they know. Before being introduced to God, some of these people have never picked up a bible before or read the word of God until someone awoke the desire in them to discover Him. By the same token many people have been turned off of God by the actions of Christians. Sadly, they draw their conclusions about Christ through his ambassadors.
As a member of the body of Christ we are ambassadors for Christ on earth and we must act accordingly. 2Co 5:20 Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. The world is cynical of Christians. What we do, what we say, and how we act is no trivial matter. Our actions may have dire consequences to those around us who have not yet embraced the word of God.
Imagine if the only thing you knew about a foreign country was through its ambassadors and this countries ambassadors were rude, short tempered, and known for questionable integrity. If this same ambassador then invited you to visit his country and experience its beauty, charm, and citizens you would probably decline the offer. Why would you want to visit a country full of people like this.
We should not be hypocrites and should live our life pleasing to God. Our life should be led so that there is no doubt to those around us how important Christ is in our lives. 1Co 9:14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. Our number one goal as believers should be to do the will of God. We will not be able to do this perfectly but we should be striving to reach that goal everyday. We need to be a testimony for Christ, declaring the truth about the cross. Phi 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Our “walk” conduct should not be a hindrance to unbelievers or weak believers but a stepping stone. Rom 14:15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Our motivation and actions should not be guided by the desire to impress or be liked by our friends, family, & neighbors but motivated by the love that God demonstrated to us on the cross. 1Th 2:4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. Love is demonstrated by the believer through a thankful and appreciative attitude along with a strong desires to obey or please the Lord. If we feel obligated or come kicking and screaming to God, we will not be able to effectively serve Him. We need to serve Him out of love.
Thankfully God has given us some clear instructions on how to conduct our walk, (live our lives) so that we may serve Him better. Our walk is motivated by the love God showered on us at Calvary when Christ died our death on the cross. We have been freed from the power of sin and are to live in the power of the Spirit. Gal 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Walk in newness of life
The believer is to walk in newness of life Rom 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. The believer is identified with Christ’s death and resurrection and is instructed to walk in newness of life. We are no longer slaves of sin and should no longer serve sin. We have risen as a new creation and should live our life accordingly. As a consequence of our identification with Christ’s death we have been set free from sin. Because we have died to sin God instructs us not to serve or live a life of sinful living but to conduct ourselves in newness of life, the life we now have in the resurrection life of Christ. We are to view and live life from this new perspective.
In our standing with God our old (sinful) nature died with Christ. Christ’s death and resurrection was a victory over sin. This victory is permanent. However, until we physically die or are raptured the sin nature is still active in the believer. The sin nature will continue to do battle with the new nature wrestling for control of our mind. Because of this constant battle it is important that we fill our mind with the word of God and walk in newness of life. If we starve our old nature its influence on our live will be greatly diminished.Upon our death or rapture we will permanently shed our old nature. Phi 3:21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Walk according to the Spirit
The believer is to walk according to the Spirit. Rom 8:3-6 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Believers are dead to the law and free from the condemnation of sin being justified by His grace. The believer here is being exhorted to set his mind upon things of the Spirit instead of the flesh.
If you continually think sad thoughts you will be characterized as a sad person, if you continually think angry thoughts you will be characterized as an angry person but if you continually read and study the bible and pray, you will not as easily be plagued by depression, lustful, angry, type thoughts but will have peace of mind. Next time your mind starts to wander on less then desirable thoughts remember to set your mind on things of the Spirit. This is a great time to pray and thank God. The victory we believers enjoy over sin came at an extremely high cost. God purchased this victory for us with the life of his only begotten son.
Walk in honesty
The believer is to walk in honesty. Rom 13:12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. The believer’s time on earth is short and we need to use it wisely. We are being told to use are time preciously and put off the “works of darkness” and invest our time in works befitting sons of God. We are also warned not to actively think or deliberate on the desires of the flesh.
God informs us that the flesh and Spirit are constantly battling each other (Gal 5:16-18) and then proceeds to list an extremely displeasing, nauseating list of works of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21) He warns in this battle that the believer will find himself not always doing the things that they wish. This would be dreadfully depressing news, except God immediately follows this up with good news. “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The battle has already been fought and Christ was victorious! Our new man, the Spirit living inside us is stronger then the flesh and that is why God admonishes us to put on the “armor of light” The benefits are immediate. Contrast the ugly list of fleshly works to the fruits generated by the Spirit. Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. To enjoy the fruits of the spirit you need to earnestly spend time reading and studying the word of God along with regular prayer. One of the gifts we received as believers from God is the Holy Spirit indwelling us. God’s desire is to have us feed the Spirit rather than our fleshly man. Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Walk by faith
The believer is to walk by faith. 2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. Our salvation, our position in Christ, and the heavenly blessings we have been promised is enjoyed by faith. In this age of grace our faith is based on a firm conviction based upon hearing the word of God. Simply put faith is trusting what God says in His word. The foundation of faith is believing something because God said it is so. God is the authority. We are not to put our faith in something because we wish it to be so, our friends or family believes that, our pastor believes it or a learned scholar or expert in the field believes something.
Through God’s word we learn that Christ’s death on the cross fulfills the demands of God’s justice. Rom 3:25-26 whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. This is great news! We are made righteous by His blood. Our faith in Christ is our avenue for salvation but even better then that, the believer is complete in Christ. By our faith and God’s faithfulness we now have life in Christ. Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Rom 8:22-25 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. And not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Walk in good works
The believer is to walk in good works. Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. God reminds the believer here that we were saved solely by Jesus Christ’s accomplishment on the cross. We contributed absolutely nothing to our salvation. When we were lost we were not capable of producing a single good work but now that we are saved we should allow the Holy Spirit to produce good works through us. (fruit of the Spirit)
We again are reminded to do the will of God (We can only know God’s will through diligent study & prayer and with the aid of the Holy Spirit working in us.) Eph 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. God begins to list some good works and attitudes the believer should follow with the goal “to keep the unity of the Spirit” The idea here is to promote spiritual growth among the members of the body of Christ. Unity can ONLY be obtained by rightly dividing the word. This is not teaching that as long as Christians get along, it doesn’t matter what they believe. We as believers are charged with the duty to know the truth about God’s word and only adhere to that.
Walk in love
The believer is to walk in love Eph 5:1-2 Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. We are to follow or use God as a pattern for our lives. We only have to look to the cross to see God’s outpouring of love. Even while we were enemies of God; God haters who retained no knowledge of God, He through the ultimate sacrifice and gesture of love sent His son to die on the cross so that we may have life. Imagine dying for someone who hates you. Love is not an emotion but an attitude. Love = action. God’s selfless act of love is to be motivation for the believer living a life that is pleasing to God 1Th 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
In these verses God gives some clear instructions of the walk the believer is to imitate.
1Th 4:2-12 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
Walk in wisdom
The believer is to walk in wisdom. Col 4:5-6 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Once more we are reminded that time is precious and we should use it wisely. Wisdom here refers to the spiritual wisdom we received from God. 1Co 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God– and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—
2Co 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Col 1:26-27 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
We have not been given this wisdom about the mystery and the true meaning/value of the cross with its redemptive qualities to hoard to ourselves. We are to share this knowledge with the world. God has declared NOW the time to make this known. We are not to keep silent but God also warns us not to be callous or rude, as this would not be an effective way to communicate the gospel.
Walk in truth
The believer is to walk in truth. 2Jo 1:4-6 I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it The believer is to conduct their life in truth. This includes being characterized as a person who is know for his integrity, honesty, and moral strength but more importantly as a believer who conducts himself according to God’s word and does not spread false doctrine. Col 2:6-8 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Not only are we instructed not to spread false doctrine but to avoid those who do. Rom 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
Truth is important to God. People who spread false doctrine and our hypocrites are an affront to God. 1Jo 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
God urges us on several occasions not to associate with the works of the darkness. But He does not stop there, he exhorts us to expose the lies with the burning light provided by Christ. Where lies spread about Christ we are to stomp it out immediately. The truth must not be silenced or distorted. We are to carry the torch of truth and not let it be snuffed out by the works of darkness. Do not interpret this to mean we are to save the world from the consequences of its sin. This is not our battle; we are not the judge who will dispense out justice. Eph 5:11-17 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Conduct to Avoid
Another way to understand how God wishes the believer to conduct his life is to contrast the above with what God tells us to avoid.
Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Eph 3-4 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Eph 4:17-19 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Eph 4:25-4:32 Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
Eph 5:18-19 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
2Co 4:2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
Our walk will not always be easy but it is a challenge we should face with our chins up, not bowed down in shame. Eph 6:19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, There will be many roadblocks, it may cause hardships or even put us in peril. This should not worry us because God not only equips us with everything we need to ride victorious down this road (Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil), He also provides us with a guide. We only need to look as far as the Apostle Paul for a pattern on how to live our life. The Pauline epistles (books of the bible written by Paul) are full of God’s wisdom on how the believer is to conduct his life.
Phi 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
1Ti 1:16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
We are Christ’s ambassadors! So put on the armor of God and ride forth and present your bodies in the service of the Lord. Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service