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What the Idea of ‘Walking with Jesus’ Can Teach Us About Community

What the Idea of ‘Walking with Jesus’ Can Teach Us About Community

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6).

Christians should always remember that their faith in Christ is never a one-time event. The apostle reminds all of us, “as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” Observe: there is the past experience, “received”, that is, when we first believed the good news about Jesus, followed by the perpetual experience, “so walk in him.” Thus if we have truly taken the Lord Jesus in our hearts, we will in our heart of hearts continue to walk with him through this world by faith. More than that, the verb “walk” implies action. In other words, true faith manifests itself in our daily thoughts, decisions, and plans; it is not limited to a secret, unnoticeable devotion that we keep solely to ourselves.

Some Christians have contented themselves to keep their faith to themselves by making their faith a secret affair of the heart alone. The writer of the Hebrews describes them this way: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Apparently, some Christians in the early church opted to refrain from fellowship with other believers by absenting themselves from habitual gatherings of worship and fellowship. Clearly the apostle does not endorse this, but rather encourages believers to resist this “habit” of dissociating themselves from the body of Christ, their brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Today, things have not changed. Perhaps even more than Christians of previous generations, many that profess the name of Christ do not attend a place of worship and fellowship at all. While some are marked by occasional absences, others do not gather with like-minded believers at all. We often hear them say that they listen to sermons at home through podcasts, TV, or the Internet. They do not feel a need to actually see and converse with other Christians. Would the apostles approve of this? How can they “stir up one another to love and good works” if they fail to even meet with Christians at all?

Christians ought to be a reflection of their master, the Lord Jesus Christ. If we walk in him, then, as we meet with other believers, they will be encouraged and exhorted to do the same; and when we comingle with the world, they also will sense the fragrance of Christ through our words, deportment, and actions. We would be salt and light in the world.

“Walking” also implies advancement. When we walk, we don’t remain indefinitely at the same point from which we began; we move forward; we move on; we make progress in our spiritual life. After all, do we know all there is to know about our wonderful Savior? Do not the writers of the New Testament urge us to cling to Christ, to grow in him and abide with him? Consider the intense prayer the apostle Paul offers up on behalf of the Ephesian church:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).

As we read this passage, does it sound like the apostle Paul is simply encouraging believers to read their devotionals in the morning before they go on to school or work? Does it not rather implore us to diligently seek the fellowship and knowledge of Christ with all our powers? Why? So that we may be “filled with all the fullness of God!” Surely to take in all the fullness of God requires that we get rid of some of that worldly clutter in our hearts that there may be room for our Lord. “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” That is, just like when we first rejoiced when we found Christ, as a man finds great treasure, let us keep gazing at that great treasure that never loses its luster, but grows brighter with each passing day.  

Let us not turn to the fading, dying pleasures of this world with the hope that they would bring us satisfaction like our precious Christ. Christ is the one thing necessary.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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