Question: "What is the Christian walk?"
Answer: The Bible does not use the exact phrase Christian walk at all; however, the New Testament does explain to Christians how to “walk” in faith. A “walk” in this context is a metaphor for practical daily living. The Christian life is a journey, and we are to walk it—we are to make consistent forward progress in our faith.
The Christian walk involves Christlikeness. Christians are people who follow Christ. “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6, ESV). Speaking of suffering, Peter said, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Believers have God the Holy Spirit indwelling them, and He will lead them in the way they ought to go.
The Christian walk involves righteousness. Romans 8:4 explains God’s purpose “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” When we walk by the Spirit, we “will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). So the Christian walk requires saying no to the lust of the flesh. The Christian walk should be characterized by good works (Ephesians 2:10).
The Christian walk involves obedience. The apostle John taught that we show our love for God as “we walk in obedience to his commands” (2 John 1:6; cf. John 14:15). There are many paths open to us as we travel through this world, but God’s commandments direct us away from the harmful paths and onto the path of life (Psalm 16:11). God’s Word, the Bible, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).
The Christian walk involves faith. Second Corinthians 5:7 teaches, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (ESV). This is a foundational truth for believers. We live in light of eternity; we focus on unseen realities such as Jesus and the rewards of heaven. We live according to what God has revealed to us, rather than trust our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5–6).
The Christian walk involves a new way of thinking. When we follow Christ, we put away the old ways and embrace the new: “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds,” Paul said (Ephesians 4:17). The command for those on the Christian walk is “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23–24).
The Christian walk involves fidelity to the Lord—our character should “match up” to His. Ephesians 4:1–3 lists some of the qualities that will result: “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” In Colossians 1:10–12, walking “worthy” is tied to four personal characteristics:
1) being fruitful in every good work
2) steadily increasing in the knowledge of God
3) using the power of God to joyfully endure and patiently persevere, and
4) giving thanks to the Father.
If you are a Christian seeking to walk more closely with Christ, pray and ask for direction. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Don’t feel as though God is “too busy” or has more important things to do. When you are a child of God, He always has time for you. Know that the Christian walk is blessed: “The LORD watches over the way of the righteous” (Psalm 1:6).
If you are not yet a Christian, we encourage you to pray to God, confessing your sin and placing your faith in the crucified and risen Lord Jesus. Begin your Christian walk and have the assurance that you have eternal life.