Winter 2002 Newsletter: Walk Worthy
Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
Publish date:
When sin came into the world, God did not forsake humanity. He chose to pay the price Himself, to come down and redeem us Himself. He placed in our hands the Bible—our roadmap to heaven—and through the ages, He spoke through His prophets, trying to bring the people onto the road that ultimately would lead to final redemption, so we can someday be where He is also.

But there was and still is an enemy that likes to cloud the issue and destroy that road. The enemy has fragmented the Church, and people all over the world. In fact, he tries to make so many roads that nobody knows which one is the highway to heaven. And everywhere in the world, we have religion upon religion. Christianity, which is the receptacle of God's grace, where Christ Himself—God in the flesh—revealed Himself, has been fragmented into over 2500 fragments, all of them claiming to have the truth, and, in fact, all of them having some truth. That's the tragedy of it. Once someone is hooked on the some truth, they don't know what the total truth is anymore.

Is it possible that there are so many truths? Ephesians says no, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:4-6). There is only one true faith. Only if we walk in obedience and humble submission to God can we permit the Spirit of the Lord to lead us in such a way that we do not digress onto false roads.

Wouldn't you hate to find out one day that you've been deceived? How do we know we are on the right road? It is important that we as Adventists know why we are what we are today. Great prophetic moments came around 1844. The great celestial signs of the Dark Day and showers of stars came tolling the time for the end, and the Advent message was proclaimed to the world. When this occurred, the ministry of Christ was rediscovered, and God called for Himself a people. The amazing thing is that the truth as it unfolded before the people was not acceptable to the majority. And it's been like that throughout the ages. We should not be surprised if the majority is not willing to accept what we are saying.

When the right time came, at exactly the right moment, as the truths were being established, God gathered His people together. He raised up the flame and the spirit that would fan the flame—the Spirit of Prophecy in our church.

When I became an Adventist, the one thing I hated most of all was the Spirit of Prophecy. But it was through a very painful experience that the Lord showed me that I needed this additional information, because the roadmap had become so distorted with different paths and drawings all over it, that it was difficult to discern which was the right one. Being a scientist and reading some of the statements in the Spirit of Prophecy, I could hardly believe the statements made.

And then more and more as I studied and got back into the scientific sphere, I found places in the literature of science that told me that this was the right way after all. Statements that had been made more than 100 years ago, are found to be truth today and today only. And so I discovered, if we want to make sure we are on the right way, then it is essential that we accept the Spirit of Prophecy as it is.

The faith that we have stands on the twin pillars of faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His law. That's the only faith that has been from the very beginning. The law and allegiance to Jesus is incredibly important. And if we look at the message of the sanctuary telling us that Jesus Christ is amongst His people, He says to us, "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant...I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be My people" (Hebrews 8:8,10 NKJV).


The sanctuary represented the ministry of Jesus Christ. In that sanctuary, the law was in the Holy of Holies, and yet the Lord says "I will put my law into their hearts." The Bible tells us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are the receptacle of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 3:16 asks this:

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

The Shekinah glory was revealed in the Holy of Holies. The innermost soul temple of the human being is the heart—the center of our feelings and relationship to others. There we should have the law. And in this "Holy of Holies," nothing unclean should ever enter. This is the place where the Shekinah glory of God is revealed to us.

People today have the notion that Jesus Christ came to make things easier, to pay the price, and now everyone is safe. When I hear these Gospels of cheap grace I cringe. There is no such thing as cheap grace. Grace is not cheap. It cost the life of the Son of God. It is the most expensive gift ever paid for humankind. Jesus didn't come to lower the standards. He came to raise the standards.

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven (Hebrews 12:25 NKJV).

I call this the “more and more principle.” We find it often in the writings of Paul, for example:

Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God (1 Thessalonians 4:1 NKJV).

When on this earth, Jesus also expounded this principle. Jesus says, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28 NKJV).

Jesus says that even that sideways glance and that up and down look are already adultery in the heart. Was He lowering the standards or raising them? The “more and more principle” is at work here. The standards have not been lowered. There is a certain way God wants us to walk when He calls us out of the world.
So how do we walk worthy before the Lord?

What does it mean to us to be saved? To belong to God's Church and to allow Christ to write the law in our hearts—to ratify that new covenant with us? If we don't want to be illegitimate children, we must take chastisement. The book of Hebrews tells us it works towards righteousness (Hebrews 12:4-11).

The epistles of Paul tell us four ways to walk worthy, and I believe that the order in which they are presented in the Word of God is not by accident.

Walk Worthy of Your Calling

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called (Ephesians 4:1 NKJV).

Every single one of us has been called, and has responded to that call, as evidence of our membership in the Church. With all the turmoil of our lives before, possibly with baggage of the past still attached, with all our imperfections, God has called us into His Church. He has cleaved us out of the world, and put us into His workshop so that His entire grace can go to work upon us. And now starts the process of change, putting us into the river of grace to be bumped and moulded.

God wants to make you worthy of your calling. Notice the path in which He leads us:

with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace...that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, grow[ing] up in all things into Him who is the head...that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness...that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore putting away not let the sun go down on your wrath...Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth…and do not grieve the Holy spirit...Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:2-3, 14, 17-19, 22-25, 29-32 NKJV).

When you are called, you have to change painfully. These are the things God wants us to do when we are called out into His workshop.

Walk Worthy of the Gospel of Christ

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. (Philippians 1:27-28 NKJV).

Faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His precepts are required before one is truly fitted to preach the Gospel. When we have this there is no more fear (verse 28) and self becomes less and Christ becomes more.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant (Philippians 2:3-7 NKJV).

At this point in our walk with God, we center our religion on Jesus Christ. Without Him we are nothing. We must learn obedience and "work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling," doing "all things without complaining and disputing" (Philippians 2:12,14 NKJV). Once you know the Gospel of Jesus Christ it becomes a joy to you. "Rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3 NKJV), and then you will understand what it means to walk in submission to Him.

Walk Worthy of the Lord

that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10 NKJV).

God wants us to be "strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy" (Colossians 1:11 NKJV), becoming a partaker of His inheritance. Colossians is the Christ-centered epistle (See Colossians 1:13, 16-21). Once you understand the Gospel, you become infatuated with Jesus Christ. Our entire lifestyle changes. Let Him be your example:

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory…Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another (Colossians 2:6; 3:4, 16 NKJV).

Having understood what it means to know Jesus Christ and what it means to walk worthy of the Lord, then we will understand the fullness of God, since Jesus came to demonstrate to us what God is like.

And so, it is not surprising that we find the last of the four worthies to be:

Walk Worthy of God

But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts…that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:4,12 NKJV).

Having been called and changed, having understood the fullness of the Gospel and Jesus Christ, then we will understand God Himself and the righteousness of His government.

In these four examples, Paul reminds us what it means to understand the fullness of the truth as revealed in Jesus Christ. Are you and I walking worthy before the Lord? Are we worthy of our calling as members of His Church, and as Adventists? Are we living worthily of the precious truths with which we have been entrusted? Are we applying the more and more principle to our personal lives? Are we growing up in Christ Jesus—not lowering and downplaying the standards He set up, but applying them more and more closely to our lives?

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV).
That was the prayer of a truly converted man. May it be ours.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV).

This article is adapted from the sermon Walk Worthy by Professor Walter Veith.
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