Have you ever noticed that the way a person walks quite often reveals his character? A coward will often slink away or perhaps walk along with a smug, blustery air.  The way people walk reveals something of their ambition, state of mind, and values. It’s for this reason, perhaps, that Christians are called to an exemplary walk in the Bible. They are told to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Eph. 4:1). They are to walk “wisely” (Eph. 5:15, “with respect” (1 Thess. 4:12), and “in the light” (1 John 1:7). In Philippians 3:16-19 Paul speaks twice of the Christian’s walk and once of the unbeliever’s walk, teaching that the walk of the believer in Jesus Christ is to reveal the true nature of his calling.

The first thing that we must understand about the walk of the Christian is that it is to be different from the walk he had before becoming Christ’s follower. In other words, the standards you had before you became a Christian are to be replaced by new standards now. Why is it that Paul speaks here of those who are enemies of the cross of Christ? It’s because Paul knew that this is the way we all were before we became followers of Jesus Christ, and he wished to stress it. He wanted his readers to know that their new calling was to be entirely different. This is the true meaning of conversion, to turn around. Before you believed, you were going down a path that led away from God. Then God saved you. He reached down and in grace turned you around, reversing your values to His values, and setting you on a path of His choosing. Because of this reorientation “the old has gone the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17); if you are to walk as a Christian, you must begin with this primary reversal of your standards.

A second important thought about the proper walk of a Christian occurs in verse 17.Here the apostle says clearly as he can that the walk of the believer must always be a walk with, and therefore in harmony with, other Christians. The successful walk of the Christian depends not only on his own goals or on his own doctrine; it also depends upon the success of his walk with other Christians. This doesn’t mean that the Christian ceases to be an individual before God, of course. But it does mean that he must be conscious of the other individuals. He must be concerned for them and cooperate with them in common objectives.

Then we must also walk with the Lord, for we take our orders from him and not from one another. The ship sailing in formation does not take its directions from the ship beside it but from the admiral on the deck of the flagship. Similarly, Christians must take their orders from the Lord Jesus Christ. This will not come through a mystical experience. It will come only through knowledge of God’s Word. Think of the blessings that are promised to an individual as the result of a personal and prayerful study of God’s Word. First we become Christians by exposure to the truths in the Bible. Peter said that we are “born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). The second is our sanctification, for it’s by a study of the Bible and fellowship with God that we are made increasingly as He would have us to be. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by truth; your Word is truth.” Third, the Word of God is the primary means by which God reveals His will to us. God’s Word contains unshakable facts and great principles, and through these God teaches us that certain things are His will for us and other things are not. You must spend time reading the Bible daily. If you are a Christian, God has a path marked out for you. You will find it only as you discover His will for you through Scripture.

A final function of God’s Word, as we fellowship with Him in it, is to keep us from the counterfeits of truth. Whenever the truth of the gospel is preached, the devil will immediately set about to erect a counterfeit beside it, an idol that looks like the real thing but that is dead because it omits the life-giving heart of the gospel. There is much we need to know, but we do have the Bible. Shall we neglect it or not? Christian friends, let us fill up our souls with the Bible. For only then shall we see clearly the way we should walk.

Philippians 3:16-19 Reflection Questions:

Is your walk as a Christian harmonious with other Christians regardless of denominational and doctrinal differences?

Do you know how relevant the Bible can be to your life and how God can use it to reveal His will to you? If so, How.

Do you read and meditate on the Bible daily?


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