Summary: Tired of trying to saw down the redwoods of sin in your life? Put some gas in the chainsaw, and let it do the work for you!
Title: How to have Godly Character
Type: Series/Christian growth
Objective: Every Christian Can display true Godly Character by applying 3 supports that are found in John 15.
Text: John 15:1ff
The past few months, I have been bringing messages that have been designed to try and correct some wrong individual theology.
I have spent a lot of time dealing with the sin of legalism and its outgrowth – judgementalism.
I have been trying to bring messages that encourage believers to operate in a “grace-based” theology rather than a theology of works.
My fear is that while I have spent so much time covering this idea of grace in various sermons, some of you more mature Christians may have gotten the wrong idea.
I’m concerned that some of you may think that I have too liberal a theology or that I am abusing God’s grace by some of the things that I have said.
My aim today is to bring some balance to our hearts.
We must, must, must understand the truth that we are in desperate need of God’s grace – and that apart from it; we can do nothing to earn his love, his forgiveness, or his blessings.
I never will depart from that truth.
But, anybody who has been a follower of Christ for any amount of time will understand that His grace necessarily brings about a radical and complete change in our hearts, minds, and lives.
God accepts us just the way we are, but He loves us way too much to leave us that way.
So, what I’d like to do today is to spend some time really trying to get a grip on “what is the Christian Character that should be evident in the Christian’s life.”
Surely we can all quote James who tells us that faith without works is dead.
So we know that we should be doing something, right?
Hopefully, you’ll remember from our study through the book of Ephesians that it is absolutely true that a born again person is completely different from an unsaved person.
But what I’d like to discuss this morning is what makes a born again person so different.
What is it that gives us the ability to be the people that God calls us to be?
You might recall a message that I preached called “Trying or trusting.”
In that message I attempted to answer some of these difficult questions, but I’m not sure that I did a thorough enough job of it.
The reason that I’d like to talk about this is because as a pastor, I see so many people who truly believe that they are followers of Christ, but just don’t live like they are indwelt by the mighty Holy Spirit of God.
They follow all of the wisdom of this world…
They make their life decisions based on character traits that are devilish and worldly…
They operate out of fear and self-preservation…
They adopt all of the wisdom that this world can muster…
Being vengeful and spiteful, and just down-right mean comes all too naturally…
I’m not going to address any single particular sin today.
But what I want to discuss is the fact that if a person is a follow of Christ, some natural things will happen in his life.
These things cannot be manufactured or forced.
Either a person has the spirit or not.
So, this is nothing new. In fact all I want to do today is sum up all that I have been preaching for almost two years now.
I want to bring together the ideas of grace and works so that all of us will have a clearer idea of what God expects from us.
You know, simply understanding the TRUTH that there is such a thing as Godly Character will not be enough to change our lives.
We must understand that we need help…
We need to know that there is hope for us!
We need to realize that God is bigger than us and He is able to fashion us into the men and women that He wants us to be…and you know we, we can’t do it alone.
There was a man once who lived his entire life in a large city.
He had no idea what it was like to live on a farm or even in a suburb.
After he had amassed his fortune as a lawyer in the city, he decided that he would retire to a simpler life on a farm in a small rural community.
This man moved out to the farm and was thrilled to find that his new home was heated exclusively by fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. How quant, he thought.
So, he determined that in order to have the full experience of farm life, he would chop his own wood. But he had never done that sort of work before.