Walk And Beware

Young parents holding their baby near a window and smiling

The life of a Christian is indeed blessed.  Having obeyed the Gospel, the child of God enjoys all of the privileges that come with such.  Take for instance the following examples:  forgiveness of sins, reconciliation, redemption, sanctification, justification, and all spiritual blessings.  However, with all of the blessings, the Christian must remember that obeying the Gospel is merely the beginning of his new life.  As Jesus taught Nicodemus, “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).  By being “born again”, the child of God becomes a “babe in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1).  As a baby must grow and develop physically, the “babe in Christ” must grow and develop spiritually.  Peter wrote, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” (2 Pet. 3:18).  With time and effort, the child will be taught things that he should and should not do.  The same is true for the Christian.  Peter also wrote, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Pet. 2:1-2).  Part of the maturation process involves distinguishing from the things that are good for him and the things that are bad for him.  God and Paul understood this.

            When writing to the Christians in Colosse, the apostle Paul took the time to discuss some things that are good for the child of God and some things that are bad for the child of God.  “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6-7).  Those are things that the Christian should strive to do.  However, Paul also wrote, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Col. 2:8).

            A Christian must understand that he is to remain faithful to His Lord.  Many times in the New Testament, there are references to the need of faithfulness.  One of the most well-known, and often used, verses to emphasize faithfulness is found in the book of Revelation.  “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:  behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days:  be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).  A great example of someone that did that very thing is Paul.  Near the end of his life, the apostle wrote, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:  and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:6-8).  Paul had “walked” faithfully in the Lord, and as a result, he was going to receive his reward.  In order for any other Christian to receive his reward, he must imitate Paul (1 Cor. 11:1).

            The child of God must also prepare himself for a fight.  This is not a physical fight, but rather it is a spiritual one (Eph. 6:10-17).  Timothy was charged to “…war a good warfare” (1 Tim. 1:18).  In this “war”, the soldier of Christ should equip himself to determine the enemy and his ways.  In the first century, the Christians were having to deal with “attacks” that could lead to them losing the fight.  Paul used the term “spoil” to emphasize how man’s philosophies, empty falsehoods, and traditions could impact the child of God.  When something is “spoiled”, it is no longer good.  Instead, it is regularly discarded.  A child of God does not need to become “spoiled”.  Jesus taught, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:8-9).  Paul also explained, “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men” (Col. 2:20-22)?

            A child of God must learn to “walk in the Lord” and “beware” of those things that are “not after Christ”.  By so doing, the Christian will mature and develop as God would have him to be.
~Corey Barnette