1 John 2:6
He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
The first thing about a Christian is initiation into Christ; the next thing is the imitation of Christ. We cannot be Christians unless we are in Christ; and we are not truly in Christ unless the life of Christ is lived over again by us according to our measure.
I. CONSIDER HOW THIS OBLIGATION IS PROVED. Why ought we to walk as Jesus did?
1. First, it is the design of God that those who are in Christ should walk as Christ walked. It is a part of the original covenant purpose; for "whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son."
2. Observe, again, another point of this necessity: it is necessary to the mystical Christ that we should walk as He walked, for we are joined unto the Lord Jesus in one body.
3. And this, again, must all be the fruit of the one Spirit that is in Christ and in us. The Father anointed Christ of old with the same anointing which rests on us in our measure. The Holy Spirit descended upon Him, and we have an unction from the same Holy One.
4. I would have true Christians remember that this is one article of the agreement which we make with Christ when we become His disciples. We put ourselves into Christ's hands unreservedly, and we said, "Lord, sanctify me, and then use me. Reign in me; rule me absolutely, sovereignly, always and alone. I do not ask to be my own, for I am not my own, I am bought with a price."
II. CONSIDER WHEREIN THIS WALKING WITH CHRIST AS HE WALKED CONSISTS.
1. To put it all together in one word, the first thing that every Christian has to see to is holiness. You know what wholeness is — a thing without a crack, or flaw, or break; complete, entire, uninjured whole. Well, that is the main meaning of holy. If you wish to see holiness, look at Christ. In Him you see a perfect character, an all-round character. He is the perfect one; be ye like Him in all holiness.
2. We must go a little into detail; so I say, next, one main point in which we ought to walk according to the walk of our great Exemplar is obedience. It is the Lord's will that in His house His word should be the supreme law, for so only can our fallen natures be restored to their original glory. It is ours to walk in cheerful subservience to the mind of the Father, even as Jesus did. Does this strike you as an easy thing? It is child's work, certainly; but assuredly it is not child's play.
3. Such a life would necessarily be one of great activity, for the life of Jesus was intensely energetic. There is never an idle hour in the life of Christ. It is wonderful how He sustained the toil. Perhaps He measured out His zeal and His open industry by the fact that He was only to be for a short time here below.
4. Next we ought to walk as Christ did in the matter of self-denial. So walk as He did who made Himself of no reputation, but took upon Himself the form of a servant, and who, though He was rich, brought Himself down to poverty for our sakes, that we might be rich unto God. Think of that.
5. Another point in which we ought to imitate Christ most certainly is that of lowliness. You never detect in the Lord Jesus Christ any tendency towards pride or self-exaltation. Quite the reverse: He is ever compassionate and condescending to men of low estate.
6. And then note again another point, and that is His great tenderness, and gentleness, and readiness to forgive. Did He not set us an example of bearing and forbearing?
7. There is one word which tells us more than all this about how Christ walked, and that is the word "love." Jesus was incarnate love. Only he that loves can live in heaven, for heaven is love; and you cannot go to glory unless you have learned to love and to find it your very life to do good to those about you. Let me add to all this, that he who says that Christ is in him ought also to live as Christ lived in secret. And how was this?
8. His life was spent in abounding devotion. He was pure and holy, and yet He must needs wait upon God all day long, and often speak with His Father; and then when the night came, and others went to their beds, He withdrew Himself into the wilderness and prayed. If the Lord Jesus be in you, you must walk as He walked in that matter. And then think of His delight in God. He was, it is true, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief"; but still there was a deep spring of wondrous happiness in the midst of His heart, which made Him always blessed. And you and I also must delight in God. This charming duty is far too much neglected. Strange that this honey should so seldom be in men's mouths!
9. We ought to walk in holy contentment. The cravings of covetousness and pinings of ambition never touched our Lord. In a word, Christ lived above this world; let us walk as He walked. Christ lived for God, and for God alone; let us live after His fashion. And Christ persevered in such living; He never turned aside from it at all; but as He lived so He died, obedient to His Father's will. May our lives be a mosaic of perfect obedience, and our deaths the completion of the fair design.
III. CONSIDER WHAT IS NEEDFUL TO ALL THIS.
1. It is needful to have a nature like that of Christ. You cannot give out sweet waters so long as the fountains are impure. "Ye must be born again."
2. That being done, the next thing that is necessary is a constant anointing of the Holy Spirit.
3. Then, again, there must be in us a strong resolve that we will walk as Christ walked; for our Lord Himself did not lead that holy life without stern resolution.
4. I add that if we want to walk as Christ walked we must have much communion with Him. We cannot possibly get to be like Christ except by being with Him. A person has written to me to say that he has painted my portrait, but that he cannot finish it until he sees me. I should think not, Certainly you cannot paint a portrait of Christ in your own life unless you see Him — see Him clearly, see Him continually.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.