For the next few weeks we will cover what our various trials can accomplish in us:
1) Character Development
2) Image of Christ
3) Fruit of the Spirit
4) Having A Victorious Christian Life
This week we will look at ‘Character Development’ and its definition:
1) Moral excellence and firmness
2) A feature used to separate distinguishable things into categories
3) A group or kind so separated (people of this–)
4) One of the attributes or features used to separate, distinguish an individual
Our characteristics are what set us apart from each other. Each of us has certain physical characteristics we have inherited from our family DNA, our family gene line. Our personalities we have also been shaped through our family gene line, environment, our own nature, peers, etc. All of us are identified (recognized) by how we look, our names, and our behavior.
God has set us apart for Himself. He has called us out of this world and its systems, ideals, behaviors and into His world. We have been separated out for a purpose. God has changed our human DNA, gene pool, for His DNA.
1) Our gene line now comes from Him, we have a new identity
2) We need to stay in a healthy environment (church, fellowship with other Believers, prayer, reading His Word on a regular basis)
3) Our sin nature has now been changed to God’s nature.
“For this very reason, adding your diligence employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue, and in exercising virtue develop knowledge, and in exercising knowledge develop self-control, steadfastness (patient endurance) and in exercising steadfastness develop godliness; and in exercising godliness develop brotherly affection, Christian love.” (2Pet. 2:5-7)
Everything we experience can go toward building a Christ-like character. We are to be distinguishable from the world.
“Now when they saw the boldness and unfettered eloquence of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and untrained in the schools (common men with no educational advantages), they marveled; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)
The people recognized Peter and John as ‘being with Jesus’. They were bearing His resemblance. There were certain notable characteristics that were setting them apart. What did the people notice?
Since you have come into a personal relationship with the Lord, what changes in your character have you noticed?
“Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character”. (1 Corin. 15:33)
“And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified (raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being).” (Rom. 8:30)
“Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that”.
Character development is, for most of us, a lifetime process. This week, please read the following Scriptures for further study:
Heb. 12:5-12; James 1:2-4; 1Pet. 1:6&7; John 8 (whole chapter); 1Corin. 5:9-11; 2Corin. 6:14-17;