Summary: The Bible implores every Believer to “live by the Spirit” (Gal 5:16 NIV). This is no easy task and requires full submission to God of every minute detail of one’s life. Through the centuries church leaders have used numerous ways to motivate and encourage people to live and walk in the Spirit.
Some of the most recent human-made ideas to help bring about “spiritual” living, and help Christians better understand themselves - as well as others - to live in unity and purpose together, is the use of personality tests and gift assessments.
Psychological job placement and career tests are used in the workplace to help measure emotional, motivational, and interpersonal characteristics, separate from experience and abilities, in order to match up a person’s personality traits, predict how they will perform in the future, reveal personal preferences, attitudes, and activities to help with career choices and effortlessly integrate team members. Some Christian leaders believe that they will do the same in the church.
All of these have one thing in common - they were developed by or were based upon, the underlying theories of fallen men.
These assessments, personality tests, and spiritual gift inventories focus on styles and preferences of human behavior and most often contradict the Word of God because they can cause Christians to "mind the things of the flesh" as they try to understand human behavior and the fallen nature of mankind while using the wisdom of fallen man to try and determine God’s will for the Christian (Rom 8:5).
They are unproven, have extremely poor reliability and validity with no basis in science because they do not meet the minimum requirements needed for statistically valid scientific instruments. These philosophical and psychological human-made systems and personal opinions are, in actuality, rival religious systems to Christianity and have their roots in ancient pagan philosophy and the Occult.
Renewing the Mind
The Bible teaches that it is Holy Spirit who helps the Believer to be transformed by the “renewing of their minds” and to grow in the Fruit of the Spirit (See Gal. 5:22-23).
Sanctification is the process by which God purifies the Believer and is based on the sacrificial death of Jesus. The Bible says that God has "chosen" and "reconciled" every Christian to Himself in Christ for the purpose of sanctification (See Eph 1:4; 5:25-27; Titus 2:14).
The sacrifices of the Old Testament did not take away sin, but they were able to sanctify "for the purifying of the flesh" (Heb 9:13 NIV). The blood of the New Covenant, however, goes far beyond this ritual purification of the body. The offering of Jesus’ body and blood serves to purge the conscience of the Christian from "dead works to serve the living God" (Heb 9:14 NIV, see also 10:10,29,13:12).
The total cleansing from sin is made possible only by the death of Jesus and His resurrection because every Christian is "sanctified in Christ Jesus" by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Perfect holiness is God's command and purpose (See 1 Cor 1:2,30, 6:11; Acts 20:32; Heb 2:11; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely." (1 Thess 5:23 NIV)
Sanctification is a process that continues during the life of every Believer. (See Heb 10:14). Only after death are they referred to as "perfect" (Heb 12:23). There is no need to understand one’s self in terms of a person’s temperament or psychological profile, as well as their emotional strengths and weaknesses, in order to walk after the Spirit and to bear the nine-fold Fruit of the Spirit, because it is impossible to exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit by means of the carnal mind and the things of the flesh.
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; ….Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there” (Gal 5:22-24 TLB).
“Dear friends, even though I am talking like this I really don't believe that what I am saying applies to you. I am confident you are producing the good fruit that comes along with your salvation” (Heb 6:9-10 TLB).
Christians have taken on the righteousness of Jesus at the moment of salvation. They can not establish their own. Nor can they attain their righteousness through any kind of psychological system of self-knowledge or self-improvement. Holy Spirit is the One who works in Believers through His Word to conform them unto the image of Jesus. There is no need to use the wisdom of men.
The Bible implies that Christians have a responsibility in the process of daily sanctification. They are commanded to "be holy" (Lev 11:44; 1 Peter 1:15-16); to "be perfect" (Matt 5:48); and to "present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness" (Rom 6:19 NIV). The Bible makes a strong plea for purity:
"This is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (1Thess 4:3-5 NIV). These commands imply a personal effort to come to Jesus, and then they are "sanctified by faith in Him" (Acts 26:18 NIV). Through the Holy Spirit, Christians must also "put to death the evil deeds of the body" (Rom 8:13 NIV).