A Worthy Walk
A Walk Worthy of the Lord
A. The Terms:
1. Walk: περιπατέω – peripateo –
a. Literally = to walk (πατέω – pateo) around (περι – peri);
b. Used in a figurative sense by Paul – with a moral emphasis: to live; to conduct one’s self; to pass one’s life; one manner of life.
a. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: bringing into equilibrium.” and therefore “equivalent.”
b. It means “of equal weight, value, or worth”
c. Luke 10:7 – the workman is worthy of his hire…
d. Rom. 8:18 – the sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us. They are not equivalent… unbalanced!
e. Rev. 4:11 – thou art worthy to receive glory, honor, and power…FOR thou hast created all things.
3. Worthy of the Lord.
a. A walk worthy of the Lord is a walk whose moral quality and weight is equal to the Lord Himself!
b. The Lord is put on one side of the scale, and our walk is put on the other side, and the scale balances out… equivalents.
c. Anything LESS than that is unworthy of the Lord.
d. When you put the Lord Himself on one side of the scale, how much moral weight and value do you suppose is there?
B. Its Impossible Nature
1. How could our walk ever be worthy of the Lord? Isn’t this an impossible command?
a. Yes it is! Nevertheless, it IS what God requires.
b. God’s commands to us are way beyond our ability to perform.
c. Consider what God requires of the sinner in order to be saved:
• Matt. 5:48 – Be ye perfect as your father which is in heaven is perfect!
• Matt. 5:20 – exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.
• Gal. 3:10 – cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them. (Continuous perfect obedience to ALL the law or a curse!)
• Phil. 3:9 – No wonder Paul wanted to be found in the righteousness which is of God!
• God requires a righteousness that is equal to HIS righteousness. Nothing less is acceptable to God.
• For a person to be SAVED, God requires something of the sinner that he is totally unable to produce: Righteousness! Perfection!
• The standard is impossible. It will NEVER be produced by the sinner… and God knows it.
• But God in His perfect justice refuses to lower the bar.
• Instead, He waits for the sinner to realize that he could never produce a righteousness equal to God’s and cry out for mercy and grace.
• And God is DELIGHTED to GIVE His own righteousness to the sinner who does so in faith.
• Rom. 3:22 – By faith we receive God’s righteousness.
• Hence, the sinner is ROBED in righteousness—God’s righteousness.
• The sinner’s righteousness is now equal to God’s righteousness… because it IS His righteousness.
• God accepts nothing less. Anything less would be unworthy of the Lord.
• So if YOU want to be saved, quit trying to produce a righteousness that will never suffice; admit you are completely unable because of your sin; and come to God in faith – ask HIM to save you and GIVE you His righteousness… and He will!
• In Christ, we are as righteous as God Himself… not because of self, but rather because of God’s marvelous gift of grace.
• What the sinner could never produce, God provides… if the sinner will just receive it by faith!
d. Now that we are saved, God’s impossible requirements continue!
• Now God demands that our walk as a Christian be WORTHY of Him… the moral quality of our new life in Christ is to be of equal weight with God Himself.
• It kind of makes you want to quit doesn’t it? It’s hopeless. Impossible.
• If God is infinitely holy (and He is) then how could our walk ever be worthy of Him?
• Nothing we could ever do would qualify as being worthy of Him!
• If that’s the standard, we are doomed to failure.
2. Eph. 4:1 – our walk is also to be worthy of our vocation wherewith we were called.
a. Vocation and calling are the same Greek words… (noun and verb)
b. Here God requires that our walk as a believer be of equal weight and moral quality to our high calling in Christ.
c. What IS our calling? If we are going to walk worthy we must have knowledge… knowledge of God’s will. It is God’s will that our walk be worthy or of equal weight to our calling. What IS our calling?
• Eph. 1:4 – chosen; holy; blameless…
• Eph. 1:5 – adopted as a full grown son
• Eph. 1:6 – accepted in the Beloved…
• Eph. 1:7 – redeemed; forgiven;
• Eph. 2:6 – raised into heavenly places… alive unto God
• Eph. 2:8 – saved…
• Eph. 2:10 – ordained to walk in good works…
• Eph. 2:13 – nigh to God…
• Eph. 2:16 – reconciled to God…
• Eph. 2:19 – fellowcitizens of heaven; saints; the household of God;
• Eph. 2:21 – a holy Temple indwelt by the Lord
• Eph. 2:22 – the habitation of God through the Spirit
• And this is just two chapters in one book!
• God expects that our earthly walk be EQUAL to our position as a holy, blameless saint, seated in heaven, and indwelt by God Himself.
• Our position is as high and as holy as heaven!
• How could our walk down here ever be worthy? In equilibrium with?
• Are you discouraged yet? Are you ready to throw in the towel? Have you decided that this kind of life is impossible? Have you concluded that you’ll never make it?
• If so, then you are right where God wants you.
d. If God’s calling is as high as heaven (and it is) then how could we ever live up to it? How could we ever walk a walk that is worthy… of equal weight? Isn’t that an impossible standard?
• Yes it is impossible for us.
• And just like the unsaved sinner who has to come to the place where he realizes that the righteousness God requires is totally beyond him to produce, we too as Christians need to come to the place where we also realize that the high and holy walk God expects of us is totally beyond our ability to perform.
• The sinner must come to Christ and say, “Lord, I can’t produce a righteousness equal to yours… Lord I can’t save myself. I need YOU to save me!
• So too, we as Christians must come to the Lord and say, “Lord, I can’t manufacture the kind of life you require. I can’t even walk without you. I need YOUR power… YOUR presence… YOU to work in me…
• Col. 2:6 – AS we received Christ Jesus (by faith; not trusting in self but in Him), EVEN SO we are to walk in Him. (by the same kind of faith… that recognizes our total inability and rests completely on Him to work in us.)
• THIS is the worthy walk… a walk of faith… not trusting in our own understanding or our own strength… but relying completely upon the Lord…
e. Knowing that God’s standard for the Christian life is heaven-high… equal in moral weight to God Himself makes us want to quit trying! We’ll never do it, so why bother trying? It is impossible.
• In fact, that is exactly what God’s infinitely high standards for the Christian life are DESIGNED to do!
• Heb. 4:9-11 – we are to LABOR to enter into rest… God’s rest.
• Rest = work has ceased; work is the opposite of rest.
• In other words, rest means no more work!
• If you are still working and struggling, in hopes of pleasing God, then you are not resting.
• It is one or the other. (rest and work are mutually exclusive)
• There are 3 different aspects to God’s rest (salvation; glorification; and sanctification). The author is referring to the rest of sanctification here.
• We need to learn to STOP struggling and striving to produce holiness… and admit that it is beyond us… impossible…
• We are to CEASE from struggling in the flesh to produce fruit on our own, and are to REST in our position in Christ…our position was eternally settled at the cross… abide in the Christ the Vine… and allow God to work in us… both to will and to do of His good pleasure… and produce the kind of fruit that only He can produce.
3. How impossible can it get?!
a. We are to walk a walk that equal in weight to the infinite power of God… a walk that is worthy of God Himself and our heaven-high calling in Christ!
b. We are to walk (that speaks of the earthly condition of our lives) in such a way that it is equal to our calling (our eternal, heavenly position).
c. We are exhorted to lead a life whose standards are humanly impossible.
d. We are required to bear fruit that we are unable to produce…
e. And the harder we try, we quicker we fail… like a man struggling to get out of quicksand… who only sinks deeper with every movement…
f. We have been commanded to walk a walk that requires supernatural power…
• Remember what we said earlier about the unsaved sinner seeking salvation?
• God commanded of him a righteousness he could never produce…
• What the sinner could never produce, God provides… as a GIFT of grace…SALVATION… if the sinner will simply and humbly receive it by faith!
• What the saint could never produce, God provides: SANCTIFICATION! This too is ours by grace through faith.
• The impossible, supernatural, resurrection life in Christ that God demands of us, which we could never lead on our own, God provides all we need as a GIFT through grace… if we keep on coming to the throne of grace for help in time of need…
An Impossible Walk Made Possible
1. A worthy walk is an impossible walk on our own. Hence, the need for prayer. A worthy walk begins with prayer.
2. Paul’s desire for the Colossians that they would be filled with knowledge SO THAT they might walk worthy of the Lord.
a. Therefore he prayed! (Vs. 9)
b. How else could this supernatural walk be manifested?
c. Those who want to walk worthy of the Lord will be faithful in praying for this every day… and often throughout the day!
d. Pray when you sense you especially need God’s help—when you are about to get mad at a co-worker: “Lord, give me strength. Help me to control my tongue. Lord, fill me with the Spirit… self control!” You don’t have to say it out loud…
3. The worthy walk always begins in the prayer closet… seeking God… God’s guidance… God’s power… God’s strength… God’s wisdom… God to work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
a. If the requirements were humanly attainable, then all that would be required would be a pat on the back… or some self-confidence…
b. But since the worthy walk is supernatural and impossible in the flesh, we need to start with God in the prayer closet!
4. Eph. 3:16 – Paul prayed similarly for the Ephesian believers, that God would GRANT to them to be strengthened with might in the inner man BY HIS SPIRIT…
a. Spiritual strength is granted… given…(committed; handed over; supply; furnish; to give as a gift of grace…)
b. It is not for the proud, self-confident believer who thinks he can handle the trials and troubles of life on his own. He’s left to his own self… to discover how weak he really is.
c. It is rather granted to the weak believer – the one who acknowledges his weakness, and comes as a child to ask his heavenly Father… for HIS strength.
d. God thus “grants” DIVINE power and strength to his weak, humble children who walk by faith and SEEK His strength…
5. And remember that the God who set these heaven high standards is the same God who said, “Ask and ye shall receive!”
a. I John 5:14 – we can have confidence that when we ask according to His will, He hears us and answers our prayers.
b. Is praying for a worthy walk according to His will?
c. Remember the context on Col. 1:9-10 – prayer to be FILLED with the knowledge of His will… SO THAT we might walk worthy!
d. If we are sincere and honest with God – and willing to yield our all to Him, He will answer this prayer… and enable us to walk worthy of Him!
B. The Knowledge of His Will
1. The first part of Paul’s prayer was that the believers would be FILLED with the knowledge of God’s will…
2. The goal of that prayer was not actually just the knowledge, but the worthy walk that emanates from the knowledge of His will!
a. Lightfoot wrote, “The end of all knowledge is conduct.”
b. Spiritual knowledge is not an end in itself… just to make us sound smart. It is to be practical… incorporated into our spiritual lives.
c. In fact, knowledge without conduct only makes us more accountable to God and more worthy of chastening… for it is far worse to know and not do than it is to not do because of ignorance.
d. When God gives light and knowledge of His Word and will He expects us to act upon it… to walk accordingly.
e. Spiritual knowledge should affect the way we walk.
f. We need to pray for this… AND study the Word… learn of His will.
3. And as we said last week, this is not merely a cold, academic, intellectual pursuit. It is exceptionally practical!
4. We are to pursue the knowledge of His will SO THAT we might walk worthy of Him!
5. If we don’t KNOW His will, we will never be able to walk in it.
6. Ps. 86:11 -?Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
a. If you are going to ever arrive at where you want to go, you need accurate directions.
b. If you don’t know the right way, you can’t walk in it!
c. We need to LEARN God and His ways and His will… only THEN will we be able to walk therein.
d. And note that David includes the concept of a “united heart”—similar to the concept of a single eye… united and singularly focused… not off in all directions at once.
e. They say, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” But Paul DID know where he wanted the Colossians to be headed… and he knew the way. Hence, he PRAYED that they would be filled with the KNOWLEDGE of His will and ways.
f. If you are lost in the woods, your heart is not going to be united. It will be scattered. You will be full of anxiety… and waste time and energy wandering.
g. But if you have the KNOWLEDGE of where you’re headed… and you know how to get there, the walk is so much easier… you don’t have to worry, panic, run and fall… you can relax… rest and walk… even enjoy the walk!
h. Knowing where you’re going and HOW to get there will set your mind and heart at ease.
i. So let’s pray for one another – that WE would be filled with the knowledge of His will… SO THAT we might walk worthy… a walk of faith… resting in the Lord… single-mindedly focused on Christ… our heart united…
C. Power (Col. 1:11)
1. What could be more frustrating than being commanded to do something that is totally beyond our ability to perform!
a. If God is infinitely holy (and He is) then how could our walk ever be worthy of Him?
b. If God’s calling is as high as heaven (and it is) then how could we ever live up to it?
c. Nothing we could ever do would qualify as being worthy of Him… of equal weight and worth as our heavenly position… of equal weight and worth as our heavenly Father!
2. The resurrection life may be impossible on our own, but God has not left us on our own.
a. God has not left us to struggle in vain on our own and try to produce a life worthy of Him.
b. Rather, God LIVES IN US… and EMPOWERS us to live that otherwise impossible resurrection life!
c. A worthy walk would be impossible in our own puny weakness… but rather, we are strengthened with ALL might… according to HIS glorious power!
• This does not mean that we become almighty. Only God is almighty.
• But it does mean that we have the power of the ALL mighty in us… Christ is in us… we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit…
d. Hence, those commands which seemed so impossible before (love your enemies; love one another as I have loved you; walk worthy of your calling) are no longer impossible… not when we have access to omnipotence!
e. Those old commands are no longer impossible… and that means that our old excuses are no longer plausible! (I can’t! It’s too hard! I’m not strong enough for that!”)
f. We CAN walk worthy when we are strengthened with HIS might.
• If we are trusting in self, then weakness prevails.
• But nothing is too hard for the Lord. Trust in Him. Lean on Him. Walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh!
• When we by faith keep that old self-life on the cross, our new man – empowered by the Lord Himself is manifested.
• Any command God gives – the new man empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit is ABLE to obey. He is ABLE to walk in newness of life…
3. And this kind of a walk really is WORTHY of the Lord.
a. Eph. 6:10 – (His strength) – A walk worthy of the Lord is a walk whose moral quality and weight is equal to the Lord Himself!
b. The Lord is put on one side of the scale, and our walk is put on the other side, and the scale balances out… equivalents.
c. How can OUR walk be equal in weight and worth to the Lord Himself? When it is the Lord Himself who is working in us… but to will and to DO… He provides the desire to do His will… and the POWER to do it…
d. When we walk by faith, yield ourselves to God, filled with the knowledge of His will and filled with the Spirit… God’s power in us enables us to DO those impossible commands under grace.
e. So on one side of the scale is the infinite value, weight, and worth of the Lord Himself… and on the other side of the scale is the infinite value, weight, and worth of the very same Lord in us! Equal! It is truly worthy… equilibrium has been achieved.
f. A supernatural worthy walk (equal in moral character to the Lord Himself) is not hyperbole or exaggeration. It is a spiritual reality in the lives of yielded believers…
g. It is Christ manifesting Himself in our weak, mortal bodies… to His honor and glory.
h. The worthy walk is not only our work for Him, but it is even more so, His work in us… and hence, HE gets all the glory.
i. HE is the One who opens our eyes and illuminates our way so that we can be filled with the knowledge of His will… and know which way to walk…
j. HE is the One who fills us with His power and enables us to walk in newness of life… giving victory over sin… and manifesting Christ’s life through us…
k. HE is the One who guides our every step… keeps our feet from slipping…
l. As believers we have the awesome privilege of the indwelling presence and power of Christ and the light of the knowledge of God in earthen vessels SO THAT the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us! (II Cor. 4:7)
m. The resurrection life or the worthy walk requires supernatural power without which, is impossible. But that indwelling supernatural power is just what God supplies for each one of us (II Cor. 4:9-10).
n. Christ’s life IN US is equal in every way to the moral character of the Father…
o. When Christ’s life is lived through us, our walk is worthy… and powerful…
p. When the flesh is in control however, there is nothing at all equal – not even close. The scale is hopelessly tipped!
4. And yet, when we are filled with the knowledge of His will and filled with the Spirit… and strengthened with all might according to His glorious power, we will not be aware of the power, but of our weakness.
a. Divine power isn’t something that we will FEEL.
• Don’t wait until you FEEL strong enough to take that step of faith in obedience to an impossible command. Those feelings may never come!
• And if they DO come, and we begin to FEEL strong, then we are even WORSE off. When we think we are strong, we are in reality, spiritually weak! (II Cor. 12:9)
b. We walk by faith, not feelings. Feelings will often lead us astray. We walk by FAITH which rests upon the immutable and infallible FACTS of Scripture… not by passing feelings which come and go.
c. Even when we are strong, we are going to FEEL quite weak.
d. Paul made it clear that when the believer is strong… strengthened with all might according to God’s glorious power… he is going to be conscious of his own personal weakness. (When I am weak, then am I strong…)
e. I Cor. 2:3-4 – Paul came preaching in the power of God.
• His words were filled with supernatural power…
• Yet he FELT weak… afraid… trembling…
• But his ministry was one of great power regardless of how weak he FELT.
• He did not allow his feelings of weakness and inadequacy to prevent him from doing what God wanted him to do.
• He served the Lord – cognizant of his own weakness… and unaware of the power of God working in and through him.
• The man who is strengthened according to His glorious power FEELS weak, but he takes a step of faith… (weak, fearful, and trembling) and God holds him up… empowers… and blesses that feeble effort…
• The man who takes a step of faith in obedience to the known will of God may FEEL weak, but in reality, by faith, he is undergirded by omnipotence!
• I’m sure Peter felt a little timid stepping out of the boat in the midst of a storm to attempt to walk on water…
• Ex: we have had folks sing in the choir who have felt terrified standing before the congregation to sing… they FELT weak and inadequate… yet because the Lord led them in that ministry, they marched up in weakness, fearful and trembling, but they sang to the glory of God – and God used the message of that song in a supernatural way to touch the hearts of His people…
• Ex: most of us are afraid to speak up for Christ and witness in the office, in the neighborhood because we are painfully aware of our inadequacies. (I don’t know enough; what if I can’t find the verse?) The power of God is not seen in our eloquence or brilliance… but in the message itself!
• God prefers to use weak, frail vessels for His glory!
• If He can use a little boy’s lunch to feed 5000, He can use you and me!
• God isn’t looking for beautiful gold vases… He’s looking for old clay pots… in which Christ dwells by faith—so that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us!
• Heb. 11:32-34 – The heroes of the faith were weak men in themselves who trusted in an omnipotent God for deliverance!
5. The believer who is strengthened with all might according to HIS glorious power truly is walking WORTHY (of equal weight) of the Lord.
a. The power of the Almighty God is on one side of the scale – and as we walk by faith, we are strengthened with ALL might on our side of the scale too… omnipotence made available to us as we walk in the Spirit… walk by faith… The power on both sides is truly equal.
b. Hence, when God says, “Be ye holy for I am holy” – He expects us to walk in the kind of holiness that is equal to or in harmony with His holiness.
c. When God says, “Walk worthy of your heaven-high calling… walk worthy of the Lord Himself – He means it!”
d. For with Almighty God on our side, nothing shall be impossible!
• That besetting sin that you have been struggling with is not impossible to defeat… as we walk by faith we are more than conquerors in Christ!
• At the cross Christ has already defeated our enemies – the world, the flesh, and the devil. By faith we can experience that victory in our daily lives. That’s the worthy walk!
• That bitter experience that has caused you such internal torture does not have to dominate your mind and heart forever… there is great freedom in Christ… when we are strengthened with ALL might according to HIS glorious power!
• Our minds can be renewed… our affections can be on things above… it is possible for the peace of God to rule in our lives.
• If we have been struggling and failing over and over, perhaps it’s time to STOP struggling and START trusting.
• Stop doting over your own personal weaknesses and failures… and starting resting in His omnipotence… available to us by faith.
• Walk worthy of the Lord.
• We can never use that old excuse again: it’s impossible! I can never have victory over this or that. It’s too hard!
• Nothing is too hard for the Lord. And nothing is too hard for the believer who by faith is strengthened with ALL might according to HIS glorious power!
• All things are possible with God!
• I can do ALL things – through CHRIST who strengtheneth me!
• We can even have a walk that is truly WORTHY of the Lord.
A. A Walk That Manifests Faith in Him (Col. 2:6)
B. A Walk That Manifests His Wisdom (Col. 4:5)
C. A Walk That Manifests His Life (Rom. 6:4)
D. A Walk That Manifests His Love (Eph. 5:2)
E. A Walk That Manifests His Message (Phil. 1:27)
F. A Walk That is Separated Unto Him (Ps. 1:1-3)
Issues for NEXT week:
Vs.11 – strengthened with all strength (repetition of same term in Greek. It indicates that we are strengthened within with a strength that comes from without.