This is an aspect of Christianity that is seldom spoken about, yet of paramount importance!
Holy righteous character is the only type of character that can be developed, because right and good can only be defined by God and His Word.
Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
express image… charakter: engraving or etching that is an exact copy
1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
There is a catch with character – it cannot be created instantaneously
The Problem with Satan
Ezekiel 28:12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
Ezekiel 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
Ezekiel 28:14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
Ezekiel 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
Isaiah 14:13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
Isaiah 14:15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
The final outcome
Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
Jude 1:13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
They will spend Immortality in that state
How / Why Did God Create Us This Way?
God does not want robots, He wants sons – that are obedient. So He had to give free moral agency
God made us so that we could change, our character is not yet set.
Character is Developed by God
Here is the definition of character: Being presented with a choice of right and wrong, good and evil and choosing the right way of good and evil and acting accordingly.
It takes knowledge and action!
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
God can and is creating character over time…just not instantly.
Ephesians 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ,
Ephesians 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Ephesians 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
Ephesians 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Ephesians 4:24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Slaves to Sin or Righteousness?
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
Romans 6:17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
Romans 6:18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Romans 6:19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
Romans 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
Romans 6:21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
Romans 6:22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Satan’s Nature is Foisted Upon Us
2 Corinthians 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Our fight is not against the physical but the intangible spirit world
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
We have to first realize that this is a battle of the mind against those that have been allowed to have authority and power and rulership on this earth now.
He and his demons are well and truly exercising their authority. They do it by exerting the influence. This cannot be discerned by the five senses but go on in the battlefield of our mind. [Spirit in Man]
2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe
Sin Rules Over Us
Genesis 4:6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?
Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
This is where God has to step in.
We need a change of heart. We need to go in a new direction
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
We are to ask God to direct our steps by Your word that we may walk in His ways with our whole heart – God has to change our heart
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
Isaiah 66:2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the LORD. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
This is first key to growing in character … understanding His word and that it is good!
Word of Righteousness
Seek Out the Good of God
Psalm 119:172 For all Your commandments are righteousness.
Psalms 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.
Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.
Psalm 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.
The complete answer: Live by every word of God
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.’ “
Secondly, Our Actions are to Match Our Beliefs
Psalms 119 What are we to be keeping: (If there is any doubt)
Psalms 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD!
Psalms 119:2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!
Psalms 119:3 They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways.
Psalms 119:4 You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.
Psalms 119:5 Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes!
Psalms 119:6 Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments.
Psalms 119:7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart [Isaiah 59:2 your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you], When I learn Your righteous judgments.
Psalms 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
Acts 13:22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID THE SON OF JESSE, A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART, WHO WILL DO ALL MY WILL.’
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
1 Corinthians 9:25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
1 Corinthians 9:26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
How Does God Help Us
He does not leave us on our own
Power of the Holy Spirit
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
Hebrews 2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
Hebrews 2:6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “WHAT IS MAN THAT YOU ARE MINDFUL OF HIM, OR THE SON OF MAN THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF HIM?
Hebrews 2:7 YOU HAVE MADE HIM A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND SET HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS.
Hebrews 2:8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Of course this is what any Christian wants – to be like Christ. In fact, when we call ourselves a “Christian” we are saying that we are a follower of Christ. Not only are we willing to emulate His example, but we are willing to go through the trials, tribulation and sufferings to get there.
Hebrews 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “MY SON, DO NOT DESPISE THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, NOR BE DISCOURAGED WHEN YOU ARE REBUKED BY HIM;
Hebrews 12:6 FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS, AND SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
Hebrews 12:7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Hebrews 12:8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
Hebrews 12:10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
A little suffering now to spare a lot later
Place of Safety (Physical Salvation)
Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
Kingdom of God (Spiritual Salvation)
Revelation 2-3 To him who overcomes…
Starts with a guarantee of His spirit and grows
2 Corinthians 1:22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
God gives us the means and tools for character development
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
We have the power of God in us to effect change – we must use it and act on it
We need to be found so doing at the return of Christ – and if we are then He will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant”