Standing, Walking and Running For God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
In a way the Christian life is a stand; in another it is a walk, and in still another a race.
In I Corinthians 15:1 the Apostle Paul writes of “the gospel… wherein ye stand” and in Romans 5:2 of “this grace wherein we stand,” while in Galatians 5:1 he bids us: “Stand fast… in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” Perhaps all this is well summed up in his appeal to his beloved Philippians:
“Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown… stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved” (Philippians 4:1).
But the Christian life is more than a stand — it is a walk (which in Scripture refers to conduct). Once, says Paul, we walked “in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1-2) but having been saved by grace, through faith in Christ, we are now to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Thus the Apostle bids us to “walk worthy of the Lord” (Colossians 1:10), to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
But the Christian life is even more than a walk; it is a race. Sad to say, many Christians whose “walk” is consistent and commendable, have never come to look upon the Christian life as a race. These never put enough into it so that it might be said of them that they are running. Yet the same great Apostle wrote, by divine inspiration:
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
The word “patience” in this passage points up the fact that the Christian life is not a short “hundred-yard dash”; it requires much endurance. Thus we should put into it all that we have. “They which run in a race,” says the Apostle, “run all,” but they do not all receive the prize. Hence the admonition: “So run that ye may obtain” (I Corinthians 9:24).
Those who have not trusted Christ as Savior have not even begun to stand, or walk, much less to run a race for Him. These might as well forget rewards until they first accept “the gift of God… eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).