Walk Worthy of God
James Smith, 1861
"Walk worthy of God, who has called you unto his kingdom and glory." 1 Thessalonians 2:12
Distinguishing mercies, require us to be distinguished people. Great favors conferred, lay us under great obligations. If the Lord has done more for us, than he has for others — he expects us to do more for him. We are required to act becomingly, or answerably to what God has done for us. This the apostles always inculcate. Hence Paul writing to the Thessalonians says, "Walk worthy of God, who has called you unto his kingdom and glory."
He had conferred a special FAVOR on them.He had called them from heathenism, and idolatry — by his gospel, and by his Holy Spirit. He had called them into his kingdom, the kingdom of his dear Son. This kingdom was set up in the world, and was endowed with special privileges and immunities. In this kingdom — grace reigns, mercy triumphs, and God resides. They were called . . .
They were called into the kingdom of grace — as introductory to the kingdom of glory. They were to be identified with Christ in his humiliation — that they may be exalted with him in his exaltation. He called them unto his glory — to receive information respecting it, to experience a desire to possess it, to be prepared to enter upon it, and eternally possess and enjoy it. What wondrous grace, to call such people, from such a state — to such privileges and prospects.
He required suitable conduct from them.They were exhorted to walk worthy, or befitting their dignity and profession. Believers who are in Christ's kingdom now, and expect to be in Christ's glory soon — should walk in separation from the world — as those who are delivered from it. They should walk in union with the saints — as those who are one with Christ. They should walk in obedience to the Savior's precepts — as those who love his authority. They should walk copying his example — as those who wish to be like him, in order to be with him, and enjoy his society forever. They should walk advancing his cause — as identified with it, and to whom it is in a measure entrusted.
We should walk worthy of God — or answerable to the grace shown to us, the dignity conferred upon us, the distinction made between us and others, and the glorious destiny appointed for us! Where much is given — much will be required. If there is any gratitude in our hearts, any love to God in our souls, or any sense of consistency in our minds — let us walk worthy of God, who has called us to his kingdom and glory.
God's kingdom is spiritual — therefore we are called to be spiritual people. Influenced by spiritual principles, acting from spiritual motives, guided by spiritual truth — we should make it manifest that we are renewed in the spirit of our minds, and are being trained up for glory. Let us seek a deeper spiritual experience of divine things, a deeper insight into spiritual subjects, more spiritual enjoyment in God's ways, and ability to speak to edification on spiritual matters.
God's glory is pure — therefore we are called to be holy in all our behavior. Called to glory — we must be trained in purity. If Heaven is to be our home — holiness must be our element. Our walk now, must be answerable to our expectations at the end. He who lives in sin — is very likely to die in sin; and he who dies in sin — will be surely damned for sin. Only the pure in heart will see God.
Let us then walk wisely, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. God is peculiarly related to us, therefore we should walk befitting so great a privilege. If God is our Father, let us walk as his children — so walk that he may not be ashamed to own us. Let us so walk, that he may be pleased with us, and commend us. Let us walk humbly with him, cautiously before him, in all things seeking to commend ourselves unto him.
We ought so to walk as to please God. Let us therefore walk with his people, as his people, so that all who see us may acknowledge us, as the seed which the Lord has blessed. Often let us ask: Is this befitting? Ought I to be here? Ought I to act thus? Should I go into the world so far? Should I be on such good terms with those who are on such bad terms with God? Shall I take my Father's enemies — to be my friends? Is it fit to requite the Lord's kindness thus? Ask this, when the Bible is neglected, when the closet is not regularly frequented, when the means of grace are not prized, when you do not make God's glory, your great end in all you do.
How humbling the thought, that God should do so much for us — and that we should do so little for him; that God should manifest such great kindness to us — and that we should manifest such unkindness to him. Holy Spirit, convince us of sin, correct us for our folly, and give, O give us grace, that we may "walk worthy of God, who has called us unto his kingdom and glory!"