Walk as Jesus Walked
(Sermon Notes) By Warren Zehrung 8/21/2021
We all profess to be Christians, but who is a Christian? A Christian is one who believes in Jesus Christ and walks in all His ways. There are other good definitions for a Christian: A Christian is one who is led by God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).
It is important that we get on the same page God is on – and not expect Him to be like us. If we will admit it…, if we have the discernment to see…, we have all walked where Jesus would never tread. We have said things, been in situations, and done things, Jesus would never do.
Our repentance has taught us to turn around and walk as Jesus walked. How do we go about it? Let’s look at some of the steps we can take to walk as Jesus walked.
Those who walk as Jesus walked, strive to know God:
1John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
We are not going to number these – nor put them in some special order:
1John 2:4 He that says, I know him, and keeps not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1John 2:5 But whoso keeps His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.
The Title comes from this verse:
1John 2:6 He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
In order to walk, even as Jesus walked, we certainly must be abiding in Christ.
Abide in Jesus
How do we go about abiding in Jesus? John had already recorded where Jesus said:
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
We are totally dependent on our secure connection to Jesus Christ.
Bring Forth Much Fruit
John 15:5 I am the vine [Jesus says], ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
“Good fruit” is produced in us—ONLY—when we abide in Christ.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain [that is the same word that is translated abide]: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Jesus uses this word, “abide” also translated abode, presence, remain, continue, dwell, even “mansions,” some 17 times or more in John chapters 14 and 15. The King James Translators tired of writing, “abide” “abide” “abide” “abide,” so they found as many synonyms as they could. How much more emphasis on the importance of abiding in Him could there be?
Abiding in Christ, Walking, even as He walked is HOW we become spiritual. The apostle Paul summed it up this way:
2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be IN Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
In today’s sermon we are speaking of Jesus Christ, and how we are to walk in His steps. Those verses only begin giving us examples about walking with Jesus. We keep His word, including the Ten Commandments, and we abide in Him.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but walk after the Spirit.
Walking with Jesus means that we actually delight in the law of the LORD. David said, Oh, how love I thy law.
Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.”
Brethren, Jesus is the Light, the Way, the Truth. This present evil world walks in darkness – the way of death.
1John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with [Jesus Christ], and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, [walk, even as Jesus walked] as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.
How does that work? The answer is that when we are walking with Jesus, we are learning not to sin. If we cease abiding in Him, we join the world walking in darkness – the way of death. We see in 1John 1:7 that we have fellowship one with another. The Gospel message always includes that we have fellowship one with another.
1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and His word is not in us.
We see the importance of abiding in Jesus and His Way of life.
Attributes of Jesus
Jesus is forgiving. Every act of forgiveness on our part is a sacrifice unto the LORD – a sweet savor unto Him. Jesus is Holiness personified. Jesus is Goodness. Jesus is merciful:
1Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for His mercy endures forever.
Isaiah also describes the attributes which the Messiah, Jesus Christ would possess. The Messiah will usher in everlasting order and peace with righteousness and justice. Brethren, do those characteristics describe us? They should – and they must – if we are to be given eternal life. The eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
In writing to the Colossians Paul was warning them then, and subsequently us today, that we must abide in Jesus Christ, and He must abide in us – in our thoughts, actions, feelings, and every part of our being. Turn over to Colossians 3 and we’ll see examples of what a high goal this is to attain to.
Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
We must become like Jesus Himself:
Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:
We are being transformed by renewing our mind – and through correction. We invariably experience a transformation of character (who and what we are) through this process.
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
What if we possess a degree of arrogance and pride – and we cannot see it in ourselves. Thankfully, God sees us as we actually are – and He is faithful to correct us.
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
We have all been abused, violated, hurt, and injured. Sometimes by our superiors, relatives and ministers in God’s Church. How do we find it in our heart to forgive those who are so dangerous to God’s people? What do we do about all the false ministers who are among god’s people? Jesus gave us the example:
Luke 23:34 Jesus said Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
Sometimes, that is what we have to say also, Father forgive them for they know not what they do. But we must have an attitude of forgiveness.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on the [love of God], which is the bond of perfectness.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peacefulness [and richness] of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in[to] one body; and be ye thankful. [That is the Body of Christ, and the Church body.]
And then Paul comes back to reiterate the importance of Christ abiding in us—living in us.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Paul – who penned these words – was relentlessly persecuted. Let’s realize as Paul did that human life is worthless and spiritual life is priceless.
Let’s face facts, The Church of God is not yet prepared to reign and rule with Jesus in the Millennium. Brethren, I freely admit, I am not yet prepared to reign and rule with Jesus in the Millennium.
Walking as Jesus walked is a lifetime goal.
Pray God we have the time to become all that He knows we can become. We have seen some of the characteristics and attributes of Jesus Christ that we must put on before we Walk, even as He Walked, and are given eternal life. Jesus’ character must become our character. That takes place when God’s characteristics are emulated by us – and we also begin to resemble our Father in heaven. That is when “Good fruit” will have been produced in us. As we go on to perfection, there is another set of Godly characteristics listed that when anyone has made them a part of themselves, they have begun to Walk, even as Jesus Walked:
Brethren, we have all seen this list – a hundred times, or more. To what extent do these attributes define who we are?
Galatians 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
God’s character, epitomized by His Holy Spirit, is perfect and unchangeable. When we walk as Jesus walked we will love others as He loved them. Jesus is our model for service and selfless love being lived out in our daily lives. Jesus gave His all for us – that is how much He loves us.
John 13:34-35 A new Commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have [that kind of] love one for another.
God the Father desires that we walk as Jesus walks:
We Walk with Jesus by Doing Good Works
Ephesians 2:10 For we are [God the Father’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are being created by God to Walk with Jesus, by doing good works. When Jesus called His disciples, He said, “Follow me” – He is saying the same thing to us, “Abide in me as I abide in my Father” (John 15:10). That is Jesus’ invitation to us – Abide in me!
Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
There are other examples of walking as Jesus walked. It is important that we understand where we are in the Plan of God right now. Time is very short. We are at the time when God is calling some out of the world at the last hour to be in the first and better resurrection. We are all familiar with the parable of the vineyard workers gathering the harvest (Matthew 20:1-16).
Those being called at this last hour will receive the same reward as we who have borne the burden and heat of the day for many years.
Matthew 20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.
Matthew 20:2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a day’s wage, he sent them into his vineyard.
Matthew 20:3 And he went out about the third hour [9 am], and saw other laborers standing idle in the marketplace,
Matthew 20:4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
Matthew 20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour [noon and 3pm], and did likewise.
Matthew 20:6 And about the eleventh hour [it’s 5pm almost evening] he went out, and found others standing idle, and said unto them, Why are you standing here all the day idle?
Matthew 20:7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right [I’ll treat you fairly], that shall ye receive.
Matthew 20:8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
Matthew 20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they all received every man a [day’s wage].
Matthew 20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
Matthew 20:11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
This murmuring represents a wide spread attitude in God’s Church today – Snobbery, Self-righteous, Elitism—Not Godly joy. Too many congregations are too self-satisfied to care about the scattered brethren— because they are rich and increased with goods (Revelation 3:17).
Brethren, let me share with you a situation I run into all the time – and in all parts of the world. Poorly trained men are being sent out and set up as pastors in many countries around the world—supposedly representing God’s way of life. To hear how they abuse the brethren, you would think – they have been given their own little serfdoms to rule over. The congregations are like little fiefdoms over which those cruel shepherds exercise control as in the manner of a feudal lord. Too often, our brethren are exploited, misused and mistreated as Serfs or peasants who only attend services and are at the mercy of the lord of the manor.
Those congregations are not being taught true Christianity – nor to walk as Jesus walked. Brethren, do not forget to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who live in virtual slavery to abusive pastors. What must we do to cherish rather than despise our far more glorious inheritance of being called into God’s family? Continuing with the parable…
Matthew 20:12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
Matthew 20:13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
Matthew 20:14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
In other words:
Matthew 20:14 [Jesus said] … I will give unto these last [laborers], even as unto [us].
The point is that God will give unto those brethren being called at this late date – just before Christ’s coming – the same reward that all Christians will receive – they will not receive a lesser remuneration.
Walking as Jesus Walked, Requires that we Seek Him
This is from A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
Psalm 63:1-2 O God, You are my God; early on and earnestly I will seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water To see thy power and thy glory.
Deuteronomy 4:29 From there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find Him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Other Scriptures reveal that there are some who will be called to salvation shortly before Jesus returns:
Luke 14:23 The lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
God has a number, and that number of overcomers will be filled, and then Jesus will return (Revelation 6:11). Overcomers walk as Jesus walked. Following in Christ’s steps is another way of saying, “Walk as Jesus Walked.” It is a narrow way that leads to eternal life. We are a part of the Church that Jesus Christ is building, but we are nearing the end. The end will come when the number of saints is filled.
Christianity is more difficult than it appears. Why is the life of a Christian so challenging and difficult? Are we willing to forsake all that we have? Jesus said, “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) Jesus said:
John 15:20 If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
Acts 14:22 … exhorting the disciples to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God does not come without a great price. Jesus tells us to contemplate the difficulty of the Christian challenge before we even get started.
We are told, “Many are called,” but they want their conversion process to be a cake-walk, not the difficult test that is the Christian’s lot, and that is why, “few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) Those should be scary words for us to contemplate.
It is God’s intention that we fully realize that the life of a Christian is not a piece of cake – nor is it a surprisingly easy task. In other words, the price a Christian is going to pay is far in excess of what can be imagined when one is first called – called by God – called to the truth.
1Peter 2:20 What glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
It is when we are chastised for doing rightly, and are chastised and condemned for it, that it is most difficult. God tells us that a Christian is to accept that reprimand patiently, because this is acceptable to God. Peter tells us that this is the reason that God has called us – so that we are able to learn to deal with suffering and persecution. It is the example that Christ left for us to experience:
1Peter 2:21 Hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.
Our Christian calling is not a downhill slide into the Kingdom of God. Christianity is much more difficult than it appears to be to many. Why is the life of a Christian so challenging and difficult? There is no way that a novice in the faith can accurately evaluate the complexity of the trials and anguish he will experience during his course of conversion.
But for those of us who have been around a little while, it is good that from time to time we be reminded of what a Christian’s life entails. Jesus tells us to contemplate the struggle of the Christian challenge before we even get started (Luke 14:28).
In other words, the price a Christian is going to pay is far in excess of what can be imagined when one is first called. Before one makes the greatest commitment of their life by surrendering to God and being baptized, it is important to endeavor to realize the severity and critical nature of the course which is about to be embarked upon.
Each must make an extraordinary pledge to stay the course no matter what impediments, obstacles and hurdles are encounter in the quest for the Kingdom of God. Living the Christian life is more difficult than a novice to the faith is able to conceive of. In fact, it is so challenging that without God’s continuous guidance through His Holy Spirit, it is impossible for one to succeed (Romans 8:14).
2Timothy 3:12 All who will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Jesus said the demands of Christianity are immense when He said:
Luke 14:33 Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.
God’s way comes first and foremost, above all things. The Christian life demands that we enter into a total commitment to battle to the end, knowing the tremendous personal sacrifices that must be made. God’s Way is more important than family or security because it involves our eternal life. Jesus tells us to be sure that we will be able to finish what we begin:
Luke 14:26-27 If any man comes to me, and does not love-less his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Knowing that our goal is eternal life; do we have the determination, mind-set and resilience it takes to stick it out to the end? Have we thought it out? Have we made the commitment in our mind and heart that we will seek God’s will and way above everything else in life – regardless of the consequences we must endure?
How many of us embraced Christianity for the long haul – through suffering, persecution and to death if necessary? We are warned over and over that the life of every Christian is a very difficult pursuit. The easy part of our calling comes in the next life:
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
As Christians we covenanted with God to accept the changes in us that come with conversion, though we may be tried by fire, and faithfully accept the consequences with joy that come our way, knowing all the while:
1Peter 1:7 The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
1John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
1John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
1John 2:25 And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Brethren, when we Walk as Jesus walked – it always comes down to this – love one another.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Brethren, let’s Walk, even as Jesus walked
End: Walk as Jesus Walked