December 18, 2017

A Worthy Walk – Part 2

Jim Oesterwind

Part 1 is here.

“You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2.10-12). These three verses of Scripture outline the character, conduct, and catalyst of a Christian. Character precedes conduct, but it also finds incentive in the kingdom and glory of God. Part one of this series defined the first aspect of a Christian’s character. He is devout. A worthy walk is devout or holy. Therefore, it must be produced by the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5.22-23).

A Worthy Walk is Just

This is the second of four characteristics found. When Jesus was crucified, the repentant thief on the cross rebuked the mocking thief saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds” (Luke 23.40-41). The perceptive thief was clinging to hope. He was saying that it was right for both of them to die; it was not right for Jesus Christ to die. It was not just. It was not fair. It was wrong. Those who walk worthy are on the side of right and not wrong. There is a certain stability in knowing that other brothers and sisters will always seek to do the right thing. A worthy walk fosters security in the church. A worthy walk is just.

A Worthy Walk is Blameless

Christians are without fault. Our character is impeccable. It’s bracing to make statements like this. It’s impossible to write the first two sentences of this paragraph if I did not have the righteousness of God in Christ. My conduct might not always line up with my position. However, I am a child of God. My conscience is clear. I am not perfect or sinless. But I seek to walk regularly in the Spirit of God. As I do, other people will find it very difficult to find an area in my life that they could pick apart and use against me.

While people may find it difficult to tear down the Christian’s reputation and render his testimony ineffective, it doesn’t mean they will not try to do so. But if our walk is blameless, others will find it hard to believe the mud-slinging which goes on in the form of gossip and discouraging communication. A worthy walk is blameless.

A Worthy Walk is Sacrificial

This idea is inherent with in verse 11, but it is introduced in verse 7: “We were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.” And again: “You know how we exhorted, comforted, and charged everyone of you, as a father does his own children.” A mother and a father are good parents if they are gentle, encouraging, loving, and comforting. But good parents exhort and insist upon a worthy walk. They sacrifice to insure this for their children by exemplifying it themselves. Our walk is filled with God’s sacrificial love, which is poured out in our hearts. Therefore, we always have sacrificial love for the people around us.

A worthy walk is devout, just, blameless, and sacrificial. It is not a list of characteristics for which we strive. We are these things if we walk in the Spirit. They are marks of a worthy walk. The condition of your life may not line up with your position as a child of God, but God will change all of that sooner or later. Christian character is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Our part in this is to merely depend upon Him and what He has revealed about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Godly, Spirit-filled lives are the product of genuine, loving relationships with our Lord Jesus. They are never the product of keeping a list of rules. But Spirit-fed and Spirit-led believers hear and obey the commands of their Master. And good character always flows into good conduct.


Jim Oesterwind is the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Antioch, CA. He blogs at Sun and Shield.


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