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Summary: This teaching reveals how a solid character is possible only when we become more like Christ.

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04/10/02

IGNITING A PASSION FOR GOD VII

WE ARE BECOMING WHAT WE LOVE

MATTHEW 22:35-37

BY PASTOR RUSS WITKOWSKI

“One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

A.W. Tozer said, “We are all in process of becoming. We have already moved from what we were to what we are and we are now moving toward what we shall be.”

I. UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF HUMAN CHARACTER:

A. Our character is not solid, but fluid –

1. David was man after God’s own heart, but committed adultery, and then arranged the murder of Bethsheba’s husband.

a. However, there is great comfort in knowing that we are not fixed in a state of sinful behavior and that we are ever being changed or remolded nearer to our heart’s desire.

b. It is not that we are becoming, but what we are becoming that is important.

c. It is not that we are moving, but toward what are we moving that is important.

2. It is not in human nature to move on a horizontal plane:

a. We are either ascending or descending.

b. When we travel from one place to the next in character, it must always be toward the worse or toward the better.

Revelation 22:11 - Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy."

This is the process of human character – It is either getting better, or it is getting worse.

II. WE ARE BECOMING WHAT WE LOVE:

A. We are to a large degree the sum of our loves:

1. We will of moral necessity grow into the image of what we love most:

a. This is why we must be careful with whom we spend time with and with whom we love.

b. Love, by its nature, is a creative affinity – it changes, molds, shapes and conforms.

1 Co 15:32-33 - "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." 33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

c. What we love is not a matter to be shrugged off!

d. It is of everlasting importance!

e. It is prophetic of our future – it tells us what we shall be and predicts our eternal destiny.

2 Co 6:14-16 - Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

f. This is why a man is said to have changed because of a woman he loves….. He is supremely in love, and he has lowered his defenses so that he is easily influenced by the woman he is love with. The same principle applies to the opposite picture!

III. IT IS ONLY AS WE LOVE RIGHT OBJECT THAT WE BECOME RIGHT: Mt. 22:37

A. Only as we go on to love the right objects that we experience a slow but continuous transmutation toward the objects of our affection.


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