Walk In Love
By Dr. Tom Walker
Ephesians 5:2 says we are to “Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”
“Walk in love” is a very important consideration for God’s people. It is possible for us to walk in this way because love is a product of the Spirit of God (Gal.5:22,23). If the Spirit of God dwells within you, what seems to be impossible can become possible. The Spirit comes to dwell in these human bodies when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. He indwells every believer. The Bible clearly says, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).
We have learned already that our walk is synonymous with our lifestyle or the way we live. You tell me how a person lives his or her life and I will tell you how He is walking.
When we go to the Greek text from which our King James Bible came, we discover the word for “walk” is in what we call the imperative mood. That simply means this is not a suggestion or just something good to do, it is a command, a necessity, and a must.
I learned when I was just a young boy that when my dad gave me a command, that is exactly what he expected me to do. Although I did receive a few spankings when I was young, he corrected me in other ways when I did not do what he told me to do.
For the Christian that is called chastisement. All who are saved receive it when our actions and attitudes are contrary to the commands and will of God for our lives.
When God orders us to do something, it is for our benefit and the good of others. The Bible says His commandments “are not grievous” (I John 5:3). The word “grievous” is translated two other ways in the KJV. One way is with the word “heavy” (Matt. 23:4) and the other is “weightier” (2 Cor. 10:10). Instead of doing His will being grievous, Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt.11:30).
Obedience is an essential mark of one who is redeemed (Acts 5:32; Rom.5:1; Rom.15:18; Rom. 16:25-26; Heb.5:9; I Pet.1:1-2). Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn.14:15). If we love Christ, we manifest an obedient following to all of His orders. We are soldiers in His army so we must obey the Lord. Saints obey out of loving adoration not out of dread.
“Walk” in our text is in the present tense, which suggests it is to be an ongoing, uninterrupted matter. It is to be persistent and continual when it comes to God and others.
When we walk in love, we are allowing it to control us instead of hate, revenge, and bitterness. Although there are many obstacles along the pathway that face us as we seek to walk in love, we cannot let any hindrances get in our way as we endeavor to make progress spiritually.
Along with the new nature we receive when we were saved (2 Peter 1:4), we still possess an old nature that plagues us every waking moment of our lives (Rom.7:15-18). The only way to overcome its wayward and downward pull is through the Holy Spirit of God as He works through that divine nature we received when we were saved (Rom.8:9).
There is a great need for consistency in the daily lives of God’s people. When we are not consistent in revealing love, it lessens the effect of our witness to the lost. How can we rescue the lost when they do not see the love of Christ in us?
Whose love is it in which we are to walk? It is that same love that Jesus has for His born-again people, the church. When the Bible says, “God so loved”, it speaks of a love that is above and far superior to any other form of love.
The Bible says, “Walk in love, as Christ hath loved us.” The little word “as” ties the two preceding clauses together. Our walk should be demonstrative. It should manifest the same kind of love that Christ showed toward us, an unselfish love. It is the kind of love that desires the best for the object loved. Even though we still have our old Adamic natures, through God’s indwelling Spirit, we can manifest to others the same kind of love that Christ showed toward us. Calvary is the proof of that sacrificial love, in that Christ became something that He was never guilty of in all of His eternal existence; He was made to be sin for us (2 Cor.5:21) so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ.
What kind of love are you manifesting? Is it a selfish kind of love or a selfless kind of love? Is it one that looks after yourself or one that has a desire to look out for others? To manifest the right kind of love two things must be true. First, you must be a child of God to truly manifest the divine love of God. Secondly, you must be filled or controlled by the Holy Ghost (Eph.5:18).
What should move us to show forth the love of Christ? The Bible says Christ, “Hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God.” Why do I want to offer my body for Him to show this world what the love of God is like? It is very simple and yet profound. Christ gave himself in two extreme ways that you and I could be saved and walk with God in love.
Our love walk is our response to Christ’s love for us. Two main words are used to describe what Christ in love gave to us; the words are “offering” and the word “sacrifice.” The idea of sacrifice to the Jewish and pagan minds of early New Testament days was the idea of a life given in another’s place, while the word “offering” refers to the Burnt Offering of the Old Testament. It was given to God not merely because of sin, but because a person wanted to glorify and honor God. In Christ giving himself as an offering to God, Christ was looking beyond our need to the responsibility of glorifying God. The truth of the matter is that Christ laid down His life for His enemies (Rom. 5:10). I wonder how many of us would lay down our lives for our friends, nevertheless for our enemies?
As we walk in love, our lives become as a “sweet savor” unto the Lord. God regards us as the sweet aroma or fragrance to God among them who are saved and also among those who are lost.
When we consider Romans 12:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 6:19, it is clear that if we offer our bodies to the Lord and realize at the same time that the body of the saved person is the temple of the Spirit of God, we are in a spirit of cooperation with God.
As we understand those two facts, we will make sure and glorify God in these bodies wherein we live. When we cooperate with the Lord, we seek to avoid fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness.
The choice is ours as to how we will conduct our lives. We are wise to walk in the ways God tells us to walk because that will always bring blessing from the hand of the Lord.