Abide In Christ – Walk Like Christ
By Andrew Murray
The Apostle John wrote: "He that saith he abideth in [Christ], ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1 John 2:6). The fruit of a life in Christ is a life like Christ.
He that seeks to abide in Christ must walk even as He walked. We all know that it is a matter of course that a branch bears fruit of the same sort as the vine to which it belongs. The life of the vine and the branch is so completely identical that the manifestation of that life must be identical, too.
When the Lord Jesus redeemed us with His blood, and presented us to the Father in His righteousness, He did not leave us in our old nature to serve God as best we could. No; in Him dwelt the eternal life, the holy divine life of heaven, and every one who is in Him receives from Him that same eternal life in its holy, heavenly power. Hence nothing can be more natural than the claim that he that abides in Him, continually receiving life from Him, must also so walk even as He walked.
This mighty life of God in the soul does not, however, work as a blind force compelling us ignorantly or involuntarily to act like Christ. On the contrary, the walking like Him must come as the result of a deliberate choice, sought in strong desire, accepted of a living will. With this view, the Father in heaven showed us in Jesus' earthly life what the life of heaven would be when it came down into the conditions and circumstances of our human life.
And with the same object the Lord Jesus, when we receive the new life from Him and when He calls us to abide in Him that we may receive that life more abundantly, ever points us to His own life on earth, and tells us that it is to walk even as He walked that the new life has been bestowed. "Even as I, so ye also." That word of the Master takes His whole earthly life, and very simply makes it the rule and guide of all our conduct. If we abide in Jesus, we may not act otherwise than He did. "Like Christ" gives in one short all-inclusive word the blessed law of the Christian life. He is to think, to speak, to act, as Jesus did. As Jesus was, even so is he to be.
The second lesson is the complement of the first: He who seeks to walk like Christ must abide in Him.
With some there is the earnest desire and effort to follow Christ's example without any sense of the impossibility of doing so except by deep, real abiding in Him. They fail because they seek to obey the high command to live like Christ without the only power that can do so – the living in Christ.
With others there is the opposite error. They know their own weakness and count the walking like Christ an impossibility. As much as those who seek to do it and who fail do those who do not seek because they expect to fail – need the lesson we are enforcing. To walk like Christ one must abide in Him; he who abides in Him has the power to walk like Him – not in himself or his own efforts, but in Jesus who perfects His strength in our weakness.
It is when I feel my utter impotence most deeply, and fully accept Jesus in His wondrous union to myself as my life that His power works in me. I am able to lead a life completely beyond what my power could obtain.
I begin to see that abiding in Him is not a matter of moments or special seasons, but the deep life-process in which, by His keeping grace, I continue without a moment's intermission, and from which I act out all my Christian life. I feel bold to take Him in everything as my example because I am sure that the hidden inner union and likeness must work itself out into a visible likeness in walk and conduct.
What Abiding Is
Therefore, let us abide in Him! Every believer is in Christ, but not every one abides in Him in the consciously joyful and trustful surrender of the whole being to His influence. You know what abiding in Him is. It is to consent with our whole soul to His being our life, to reckon upon Him to inspire us in all that goes to make up life, and then to give up everything most absolutely for Him to rule and work in us.
Abiding is the rest of the full assurance that He does, each moment, work in us what we are to be and so Himself enables us to maintain that perfect surrender in which He is free to do all His will.
Let all who do indeed long to walk like Christ take courage at the thought of what He is and will prove Himself to be if they trust Him. He is the True Vine. No vine ever did so fully for its branches what He will do to us. We have only to consent to be branches.
Honor Him by a joyful trust that He is, beyond all conception, the True Vine, holding you by His almighty strength, supplying you from His infinite fullness. And as your faith thus looks to Him, instead of sighing and failure, the voice of praise will be heard repeating the language of Faith: Thanks be to God! He that abideth in Him does walk even as He walked. Thanks be to God! I abide in Him, and I walk as He walked. Yes, thanks be to God! In the blessed life of God's redeemed these two are inseparably one: abiding in Christ and walking like Christ.
To walk like Christ! For this I consecrate myself to Thee. To abide in Christ! For this I trust in Thee with full assurance of faith. Perfect in me Thine own work.
– From Like Christ.