Summary: How to become the person I want to be...
The Character Challenge (part 3)
Pastor Jeff Christopherson
December 12, 2004
I. the impact of my character…
II. options for overcoming my character weaknesses…
1. Fake it! (wear a mask and pretend that everything is cool)
2. Force it! (depend on my will-power to fix what is broken)
3. Faith it! (connect spiritually and allow God to repair and replace)
III. How to become the person you want to be:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26
1. Don’t Specialize.
(avoid over-concentration on a character weakness)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is…”
‘fruit’ (karpos): singular – one piece of fruit – many segments.
2. Don’t Compromise.
(let God’s plans for you become your inspiration)
“...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…”
‘love’ (agapē): love expressed apart from the consideration of ‘worthiness.’
‘self-control’ (enkrateia): mastery over sexual impulses.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1:6 (Message)
3. Don’t Rationalize.
(allow your only life’s comparison to be Jesus)
“Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
4. Simply Synchronize!
(establish a habit of honest spiritual introspection)
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” John 15:5 (Message)
“Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors! “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.” Revelation 3:20-22 (Message)
Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.
Digging Deeper @ Home Church: character
1. What habit or idiosyncrasy do you have which you know comes straight from your parents?
• Did you choose to imitate or mimic this behavior?
• How did it become part of your personality?
2. How influential are our ‘spiritual peers’ on our priorities and values?
• How has your life been affected by a ‘spiritual peer’?
3. Read Ephesians 5:1-21 and try to get a picture or image of God’s intention for the relationships within your Home Church.
• How would you describe this spiritual culture?
• How do we become ‘imitators of God’ (vs. 1)? (see verses 8-11, 15-17)
4. Paul says in verse 18, ‘don’t be controlled by wine, instead be controlled by the Spirit’; what does that mean?
• How are being ‘imitators of God’ and being ‘filled with the Spirit’ complementary concepts?
• How is being an ‘imitator of God’ just spiritual hypocrisy without synchronizing with the Spirit?
5. What phrase do you want to meditate on this week?
6. Pray for one another.
2004, Jeff Christopherson, The Sanctuary