The Armorbearer Coach: The Character of Christ In You!

Written by Earma Brown

Continued from page 1

We develop character every time we make a right choice. John C. Maxwell, America’s expert on leadership and successful executive says, “We create it (character) every time we make choices—to cop out or dig out of a hard situation, to bendrepparttar truth or stand underrepparttar 145047 weight of it, to takerepparttar 145048 easy money or payrepparttar 145049 price.” 5 By daily recognizing, developing, and refiningrepparttar 145050 moral strength in us, we are co-laborers in buildingrepparttar 145051 character God desires to see in His children.

We desire people of character in our churches, our cities, our countries, and our world. Most if not all ofrepparttar 145052 success stories turned failures in recent years, have been partially due to lack of character. No one can rise aboverepparttar 145053 limitations of his character. Billy Graham was asked to comment on how he was able to maintain character inrepparttar 145054 face of so many ministry leaders showing a lack of character.

He responded with, “People have put me on too high a pedestal. We dorepparttar 145055 same with other leaders. I know, however, I am not as good as some people think I am. I have seen men inrepparttar 145056 depths of wickedness and have thought to myself, ‘There I go, except byrepparttar 145057 grace of God.’ I have to depend on God every day to help me live as I should.” We also must depend onrepparttar 145058 grace of God to help us live, as we should. To develop character in your life on a daily basis:

•Make right choices. Remember character is a choice. Invite God in on your choices. You will find it makes a lifetime of difference.

•Recognize your character will preachrepparttar 145059 gospel. Determine to set a good example for those watching your witness.

•Remember bad company corrupts good character. Watchrepparttar 145060 company you keep. Are they a good influence upon your life or a bad one?

•Depend onrepparttar 145061 grace of God. When you make a mistake, repent, and begin again. My pastor, Mike Hayes says, “God is a God of new beginnings. Look at how He provides us an opportunity for a fresh start each new season, New Year, new month, new week, and every fresh morning.”

We have determined that choices create character. If you have been unfortunate to make quite a few wrong choices in life as I have, then this will be good news to you. Pastor Amy Hossler encouraged me saying, “Even a wrong or bad choice repented of can eventually build good character.” Our Father God has promised (if we ask for it) to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Additionally, He promised to work all things to our good.9

It seems our Father God is painstakingly involved in working character in us. However, it is up to us to work together with him so that we may reaprepparttar 145062 harvest of righteousness he longs to give us. Join me as I cooperate with God in creating good character in me with one good choice at a time.

Most leaders need a strong team of support. Your leadership should have one too! Earma is Director and Co-Founder of Armorbearers International, Inc. who offers help with designing strong teams of support for God’s leaders. Subscribe to their free ezine “The Armorbearer Coach” at or visit host site at for other insightful articles and resources.

That dirty, three-letter word..

Written by Terry Dashner

Continued from page 1

Time does not permit me to speak torepparttar debate between Karl Barth and Emil Brunner on human freedom. The issue is primarily this: can man through his reasoning ability offer up anything to garner God’s salvation. In other words, does God supply everything—grace, faith, and salvation or does man meet God somewhere inrepparttar 145046 middle?

Chosen but free

In his book entitled, Chosen But Free (Bethany House Publishers, second edition, 2001), Norman Geisler writes, “Perhapsrepparttar 145047 most difficult thing to understand is that God is in sovereign control of everything we choose, even our salvation. For ‘in him we were also chosen, having been predestinated according torepparttar 145048 plan of him who works out everything in conformity withrepparttar 145049 purpose of his will…’ (Eph. 1:11). ‘For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed torepparttar 145050 likeness of his Son, that he might berepparttar 145051 firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified’ (Rom. 8:29-30). According to Paul, ‘he chose us in him beforerepparttar 145052 creation ofrepparttar 145053 world’ (Eph. 1:4).”

Geisler continues, “Whatever else may be said, God’s sovereignty overrepparttar 145054 human will includes His initiating, pursuing, persuading, and saving grace without which no one would ever will to be saved. For ‘there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God’ (Rom. 3:11). ‘We love him’ only because ‘He first loved us’ (1 John 4:19 NKJV). Indeed, no one comes torepparttar 145055 Father unless he is drawn by God (John 6:44).”

Geisler continuesrepparttar 145056 rest of his book, showingrepparttar 145057 harmony between God’s sovereignty and man’s “free will.” It’s a delicate balance. No wonder Church fathers have wrestled with this concept sincerepparttar 145058 days of Augustine inrepparttar 145059 fifth century AD, even to present times. We are made free. Because we are made free, evil is possible. The origin of evil is inrepparttar 145060 misuse of freedom. I cannot blame God when I sin. I cannot even blamerepparttar 145061 devil. The devil may entice me, but he cannot make me sin. Sin originates in my “old nature” born intorepparttar 145062 sin of Adam. If I live out ofrepparttar 145063 “old nature,” my freedom to so do begetsrepparttar 145064 evil,repparttar 145065 sin. It is inevitable that we will sin, but it is not inevitable that we must sin. Even though we are depraved and by nature bent toward sin, nonetheless, each sin is freely chosen.

Says Geisler, “With respect to initiating or attaining their own salvation, both Luther and Calvin were right in asserting that fallen humans are not free with regard to ‘things above,’ that is, achieving their own salvation. However, contrary to strong Calvinism, in regard torepparttar 145066 freedom of accepting God’s gift of salvationrepparttar 145067 Bible is clear: Fallen beings are free. Thus,repparttar 145068 free choice of fallen human beings is both ‘horizontal’ (social) with respect to things in this world and ‘vertical’ (spiritual). Plainly, then, belief is our responsibility and is rooted in our ability to respond. This view has overwhelming support by virtually allrepparttar 145069 great church fathers up torepparttar 145070 sixteenth century.”

Bringing it to a closing

Now let me conclude this lesson by noting how to overcome sin. Christian faith teaches that sin cannot be overcome through human ingenuity or effort. The solution torepparttar 145071 problem lies in what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The penalty for sin is death, judgment, and hell, butrepparttar 145072 gospel is that God has chosen to pay this penalty himself inrepparttar 145073 sacrificial life and death of his Son, Jesus Christ (cf. John 3:16-17; Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:6-10; II Cor. 5:18,19; Col. 2:13-15).

Forrepparttar 145074 believer to overcome temptation and sin, he must seek God’s filling daily. The bible declares that we are to be filled withrepparttar 145075 Holy Spirit. That’s not an option. It’s mandated. Why? Because we leak. If we choose to live daily out ofrepparttar 145076 strength of our human nature, we will become enslaved byrepparttar 145077 natural realm and become subjugated by sin. Onrepparttar 145078 other hand, if we ask God to fill us daily with His Holy Spirit, receiving this promise by faith, then we will live in victory overrepparttar 145079 power of sin.

I want to leave you with a summation.

A believer will live out of one of two natures—eitherrepparttar 145080 flesh orrepparttar 145081 spirit. If he chooses to live out ofrepparttar 145082 flesh, his desires may lead to lust, which leads to overt acts of sin. If he continues to live in sin, his sin can lead him to physical death (ICor.5:1; 1John 5:16-18). The believer is responsible for his sin. God does not entice a believer to sin. Satan may entice a believer, but he cannot make a believer sin. If a believer lives out ofrepparttar 145083 “new nature,” he will have victory over sin. A believer receivesrepparttar 145084 free gift of salvation byrepparttar 145085 help of God. Once he is born again, God is responsible to provide his sanctification, butrepparttar 145086 believer must let God sanctify him. Sanctification goes hand-in-hand with justification inrepparttar 145087 sense that once we are born again we must continue to grow in grace. We continue inrepparttar 145088 grace of God byrepparttar 145089 help ofrepparttar 145090 Holy Spirit who sanctifies us and continually cleanses our hearts byrepparttar 145091 “washing of water byrepparttar 145092 word.”

Are you born again? Are you being filled withrepparttar 145093 Holy Spirit daily? If not, repent and ask God to fill you. You see, we are vessels through which God pours Himself. He can fill us much faster than we can leak out. So, keep getting filled. Being filled is not something I earn or work up by my emotions. It is an act of faith, as all things of God are by faith. I ask forrepparttar 145094 Holy Spirit. He honors my request by filling me. I rest. It’s a done deal, andrepparttar 145095 evidence isrepparttar 145096 way I conduct my life by works of love toward my neighbor and my God.

Blessings… Pastor T.

Pastors a small church in Broken Arrow, OK.

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