Christian Character – Introduction
Series: Christian Character | Title: Christian Character – Introduction | Sermon by: Pastor Balan Swaminathan | Location: House of Intercessory Prayer Ministries, Halifax, NS Canada | Date: Sunday Apr 30, 2017
- What is Christian Character?
- What we need is “Change”
- Why is the development of Christian Character important?
- How Is Christ-like Character Developed?
- Developing Godly Character
- Practical challenges for Character Development
- Practical Character Development
- How teachable are we?
What is Christian Character?
- “Character is what you are in the dark.” D.L. Moody
- Character is defined as strength of moral fiber.
- Character is aligning our lives so our behaviors are Christ-like.
- “the excellence of moral beings.” A.W. Tozer. As the excellence of gold is its purity and the excellence of art is its beauty, so the excellence of man is his character.
- A person’s character is the sum of his or her disposition/ personality, thoughts, intentions, desires, and actions.
- It is the Lord’s purpose to develop character within us.
- Remember we are not perfect, we are just forgiven. We need to work to build character.
What we need is “Change”
- Change is really a sign of life
- Medical definition of death – A body that does not change
- During my sermon – about ½ million cells in your body are going to die and be replaced with 1/2 a million new cells
- 70-80% of the dust in your house is dead skin
- Your stomach lining undergoes a complete change every 5 days
- Your liver every 6 weeks
- Your skeleton every 3 months
- Your whole body every 5 years for men & 7 years for women
- Change is natural – Romans 8:29 God predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son
Why is the development of Christian Character important?
- It will determine our legacy or heritage, Psalm 112:6
- Some one said “Sow a thought, reap an attitude; Sow an attitude, reap an action; Sow an action, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny”
- It will determine our destiny, Galatians 6:8
- People don’t see Christ in us, but they see our character
- Our character has ability to influence others to follow or not follow Christ
- Good character attracts everyone, but only Christian character attracts people to eternity
How Is Christ-like Character Developed?
- Behavior development programs try to modify people’s behavior without making any internal change
- They all affect the appearance of the person
- True character starts from inside and expands outward
- Proverbs 17:3
- It is the purity of heart that becomes purity in action
- Trials do not make character, it only exhibits character
- God sometimes uses trials to strengthen character, Romans 5:3-4 3
Developing Godly Character
We can develop Godly character by
- Controlling our thoughts, Philippians 4:8
- Practicing Christian virtues, 2 Peter 1:5-6
- Guarding our hearts, Proverbs 4:23;Matthew15:18-20
- Keeping good company, 1 Corinthians 15:33
- Setting good example – Men and women of character will set a good example for others to follow, and their godly reputation will be evident to all, Titus 2:7-8
Practical challenges for Character Development
- The problem – “We” are the biggest problem, our selfish pride, not honoring God as God, Romans 1:21
- The difficulty – I am the reason for all that happening to me, We are deceived thinking we can never be better than what we are. We try to save ourselves. No place for God’s truth in us.
- The chief error – We are deceived because of our ignorance of God’s Word and Power. Matthew 22:29
- The mistake we make is that We are not willing to learn from God’s Word and we are not willing to submit to the control of God’s Spirit.
- The biggest hurdle – We have many ideas they don’t agree with God’s Word. We have unbiblical ideas that are erected against God’s truth, 2 Corinthians 10:5
Practical Character Development
- Tool for character development – God uses His Word to transform our character, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Transformed by the renewing of our minds-Romans 12:1-2
- Through assimilation of God’s Word His thoughts become our thoughts
- Transformation agent – Holy Spirit. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring the fruit of the spirit
- The method – Assimilate His written Word – > Word becomes living –> Allow Christ’s Word indwell within us richly
How teachable are we?
- Wise person – Willing to learn the easy way—from God’s Word and the mistakes of others
- Carnal person – Insists on learning the hard way—through his/her own personal mistakes
- Foolish person – Blinded by pride refuses to accept the truth and never does learn.