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Fulton County Gospel News

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Walking with God

By Barry O'Dell

Walk is used for the first time in God’s word in Genesis 3:8 – “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…”  The second time walk is used in Scripture is in Genesis 5:22 – “And Enoch walked with God…”  Barnes’ Notes on Genesis 5:22 says, “Walking with God implies community with Him in thought, word, and deed, and is opposed in Scripture to walking contrary to Him.”  To walk with God means that a person not only knows what God’s word teaches, but also lives according to it.  Both the Old and New Testaments speak of God’s people walking with Him.  This article will, from the pages of the New Testament, examine what it means to walk with God.
   
On his first missionary journey Paul healed a man who had been crippled from birth and those who witnessed it began calling him and Barnabas “gods” (Acts 14:8-11).  Upon refusing this response and telling the people that they were only men like them, Paul stated that God had permitted men to “walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:15).  God will not force anyone to walk with Him.  There have always been those who refuse to walk with God, even within the church.  To the Corinthians Paul wrote, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men” (1 Cor. 3:3)?  Before obeying the gospel the Ephesians had, “…walked according to the course of this world…” (Eph. 2:2).  Man can choose not to walk with God.  But, what does it mean to walk with God and how do we do it?
   
Paul wrote that after a person is baptized into the death of Christ he should “…walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).  That can only be accomplished when a person crucifies himself (Rom. 6:6), dies to the lifestyle of sin (Rom. 6:11), and determines to be a servant of righteousness (Rom. 6:18).  Later in the same letter we are told that the child of God is free from the condemnation of sin because he walks in the Spirit (Rom. 8:1, 4).  Here is what all this means…
   
The person who walks in the Spirit will not “fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16, 25).  The child of God, who has died to sin, will “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith he is called” (Eph. 4:1).  Those who desire to walk with God will have the right attitude (Eph. 4:1-3) and will abide in the right teachings of God’s word (Eph. 4:4-6).  Children of God will “walk in love” because they are followers of God and His Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:2).  The child of God will walk “circumspectly” (Eph. 5:15).  The word translated circumspectly comes from a Greek word (akribos) meaning, “accurately, carefully, or rightly.”  In other words, in our walk with God we must be very careful that we conduct ourselves according to His teaching.  Along this same line of thought, Paul wrote, “…let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing” (Phil. 3:16).  He was speaking of mature Christians in verse 15 and commanded them to walk by the same standard or measure.  That can only be a reference to the word of God because that is the standard by which the Christian lives.  The Christian is told to “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (Col. 4:5).  This thought is comparable to the teaching of Jesus that we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16).  John wrote, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7).  He also wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 Jn. 4).
   
How is your walk with God?  In the opening paragraph it was noted that Enoch “walked with God” (Gen. 5:22-24).  Of this man we later read, “By faith Enoch was translated (literally, put in another place) that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Heb. 11:5).  Walking with God is equated by the Holy Spirit to pleasing God in Hebrews 11:5 and we know that without faith we cannot please Him (Heb. 11:6).  The only way we can walk with God, that is, please Him, is by walking in the standard of His holy word (Phil. 3:16).
 

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