We become like those we are around. For instance, as I grew up, without realizing it, I began to walk like my father. I have also picked up many other characteristics from him, some desirable, others no so much so. Now that is from a physical point of view. However, from a spiritual point of view, there is another in Who’s steps we are to walk, and His name is Jesus Christ.
When a person first comes to Jesus for salvation, there are some instantaneous changes that take place, yet it is very natural for them to retain some of the characteristics from their old life. However, as they grow and mature in the Lord, there should be changes that begin to take place. These changes are produced as we learn more about God, Christ, and the Bible, and as we yield to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Hopefully, as these changes take place, we will find that our attitudes, our actions, our attractions, etc, become less like the old, pre-salvation person and more like the Lord Jesus.
It is perfectly natural for a baby to act like a baby. They cry, suck on bottles, soil their diapers and play with their toes. But, as they begin to grow, they begin to change and start to take on the characteristics of those around them. They begin to act more like people and less like babies. (Not that babies aren’t people, they are just little people with weird habits!) So it is with God’s children! When we are first saved, it is natural for us to stumble as take those first baby steps on wobbly spiritual legs. But, as time passes, we should begin to mature and to take on the characteristics of the Savior. That is what John means when he says that we are to walk like Jesus.
I. A PROFESSION DECLARED
The word “saith”. Those referred to in this passage have a profession of faith. That is, they have said that they are saved. Let’s examine their claim, as well as our own today. When they make the profession that they “abide in Him”, they are saying a mouthful!)
A Declaration Of Salvation – Those referred to in this passage claim to be “in” Jesus. There is only one way into Him and that is through receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, Acts 16:31.
To be “in” Jesus is the only place of salvation, of safety, of security. Of peace, of happiness, of being right with God, of being delivered from Hell, of being certain of Heaven. The benefits of being “in” Jesus are enormous, but the consequences of not being “in” Him are catastrophic! Where are you?)
Just in case there is those present who have never been saved, let me take a moment to tell you how you can be. Actually, getting saved is about the most simple thing a person can do. There are only a few things you need to know and accept and one thing you need to do. Allow me to share them with you.
1. You Must Know That You Are A Sinner – Rom. 3:10; 23
2. You Must Understand That There Is A Penalty On your Sin – Rom. 6:23; Rom, 5:12; Psa. 9:17.
3. You Must Know That God Loves You And That He Has Made A Way For You To Be Saved – John 3:16; Rom. 5:8.
4. You Must Believe The Gospel – Rom. 10:10-11; 1 Cor. 15:3-4.
5. You Must Be Willing To Turn From Your Sins – Luke 13:3. (This doesn’t mean that you must be perfect before you can be saved. It just means that you are aware of your sins, that you are sorry for your sins and that you are willing to let the Lord take your sins away, along with your desire for them. It means simply, that you are willing to be changed, 2 Cor. 5:17.)
6. You Must Be Willing To Call On Jesus Christ Alone For Salvation – Rom. 10:13. (This is the one thing that you must do. Salvation can never become a reality in your life until you make that decision to bow before the Lord and ask Jesus to come into your heart and life.)
7. You Must Know That You Should Not Wait – 2 Cor. 6:2.
8. Are you saved? If not, why not come to Him right now while He is calling you to come, Rev. 3:20? Please do not wait and allow the devil time to talk you out of it. Come now and be saved!
A Declaration Of Surrender – The word “abide” means “to tarry, or to dwell.” This brings to mind another passage where John used this word. In John 15:1-11, John records the words of Jesus, where Jesus says that He is the True Vine and that we, who are saved, are the branches. Just like a branch on a literal vine, our duty to our Savior is to abide in Him. This means that we are to draw our very life from Him. We are to surrender to His will and to His power in us. We are to bear fruit, but we cannot make fruit happen. We are to yield everything up to Jesus in absolute and total surrender, Rom. 12:1-2. Is your life totally surrendered to the will of God? Are you truly abiding in the vine? How do you go about abiding in Jesus? The only possible way for us to abide in Him is to spend time with Him in His Word and in prayer. As we spend more time with Him, we will learn more about Him, we will learn to love Him more and we will find more areas of our lives to yield to His will and control.)
A Declaration Of Service – The concept of abiding also carries the idea of service. Not only does one need to be saved and surrendered, but that person also needs to be serving. Love for Christ that manifests itself in service to Christ is as natural to the Christian as is breathing.
When we are saved and abiding in Him as we should be, then the natural outcome of that is fruit-bearing, John 15:5. When a person is saved and surrendered they will naturally serve the Lord and will bear much fruit for His glory, Matt. 7:17-20; Gal. 5:22-23. Are you bearing much fruit?)
While 1 John 2:6 is a small, short verse. The people John refers are making quite a boast. They say that they are saved, they say they are surrendered and they say they are faithfully serving God. They say what many in our day say. Yet, people can say anything they like! The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. John is about to tell us that it doesn’t matter much what you say, the reality of your life exists in what you do!)
A Profession Declared
II. A PERFORMANCE DEMANDED
A Reasonable Expectation – (“Ought” = “to be indebted to”) (Himself refers to the one making the profession. John is telling us that every person who claims to be saved should recognize that he has a personal responsibility to discharge a debt he owes to God. I do not mean to imply that we could ever pay God back for our salvation, however, we should all recognize that God didn’t save us just to keep us out of Hell. We have a serious obligation to the Lord!)
Every saved person owes God 100 % surrender and effort. But, let’s face it, many are doing nothing to serve the Lord and to discharge this debt. Some people feel that it is enough for them to just come to church on Sunday morning, or to drop in when they feel like it. Others fill up their lives with everything under the sun and leave no time for God or His work. Maybe we need to read Rom. 12:1-2 again! Our reasonable service is to give him everything we are in total sacrifice and surrender. If our lives are really sacrificed to Him, then we will have no rights, but all we are and do is left totally up to Him. That is biblical, 1 Cor. 6:20! By the way, your service to the Lord, or the lack thereof, says all that there is to say about your spiritual condition – James 2:18.)
According to our text, this is what you “ought” to so, but what is the real story? Does Jesus come in a distant second or worse to your activities and the plans of your life? Who are we really walking to please, us or God? It ought to be Him! Remember the terrible price Jesus paid to save our soul! Our love for Jesus is told by what we do rather than by what we say! (Calvary and the infinite love of God for you! The least you and I can do is walk for Him!)
A REMARKABLE EXAMPLE – (This verse tells us that every person ought to walk like Jesus. He is to be the standard for which we are to all reach. Every step we take should be patterned after Him and after His walk. How did Jesus walk? A few examples from His life may answer this question and teach us how we need to live.)
1. He Placed God’s Will Ahead Of All Things – John 4:34; John 6:38; Luke 22:42. (Matt. 6:33)
2. He Loved All Men Equally – (He never turned anyone away – Matt. 12:15.) Mk. 10:21 (Ill. Matt. 22:37-39; John 13:15.)
3. He Always Did Those Things That Pleased God – (In other words, He did not live for himself, but for the glory of God. (John 8:29) (Ill. John 14:15)
4. He Was Compassionate Toward Others – (Matt. 9:36; Mt. 14:14; Mk. 1:41) (Eph.. 4:32; Phil. 2:4)
5. He Was A Man Of Faith – John 11:41-42 (Mk. 11:22; Rom. 14:23; Heb. 11:6)
6. Above all, He was a man who walked with God! Jesus was the perfect revelation of God to man – John 14:9; John 10:30. His very life could be summed up by 2 verses, Gal. 5:22-23. This should also be true of us! (Ill. This is possible for us only when we yield totally to the Holy Spirit! Jesus was a Spirit-filled man!)
Just as Jesus was the manifestation of God to the world. We are to be the manifestation of Jesus to this world. When they see us, they should see Him. When we walk as He walked, they will!)
Where do you stand today? Are you “in Him”? Are you walking “as He walked?” These are reasonable, honest questions! How about an honest response today? I know that the Lord has dealt with hearts, so why not come and make right those things that are found to be lacking this morning? Some of you haven’t met with the Lord in His altar for a long time. Some of you aren’t walking as you should be. You aren’t faithful to His house, you aren’t tithing, you have begun to allow little things to slip into your life that you know displease the Lord, you aren’t witnessing. Simply, you aren’t living like the Lord wants His people to live. Some of you aren’t even saved! Now is the time to take care of all these things. Won’t you come and let the Lord have His way in your life?