The Armorbearer Coach: The Character of Christ In You!

Written by Earma Brown

Our Father God is painstakingly involved in working character in us. Read this article and discover how to cooperate with Him through one good choice at a time...

And even though Jesus was God’s Son, He had to learn from experience what it was like to obey, when obeying meant problems and difficulties. –Hebrews 5:8 TLB paraphrased by author

Recently, an actor with a career spanning over half a century told of his humble beginnings and one of his character choices that changed his life forever, “I was newly married and a new father. We were barely making it; living off my waiting tables and doing a few acting jobs here and there.

A man called one day offering an assignment paying a lot of money (back then) to play a young rebellious man spewing out obscenities to his father. After thinking ofrepparttar disrespect it would bring to my father, a good man, I turned it down and declared I would only play roles in which my family could be proud.

Almost a month later,repparttar 145047 man called back with a respectable role and an offer to represent me as my agent. He said he could not stop thinking about me. He said, ‘If a man feeding his family off pennies could turn down an assignment offering this much money, there had to be something to him.’ He represented me as my agent for 30 years until his death.

The role he offered me was Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” That actor was Sidney Poitier, who went on to win for his work inrepparttar 145048 movie, Lilies ofrepparttar 145049 Field, 1963;repparttar 145050 only Oscar for Best Actor awarded to an African-American in a 40 year span of U.S. history. Mr. Poitier’s choice during that difficult time changedrepparttar 145051 course of his life.

Have you noticed that much of how we respond to life’s circumstances has to do with our character? God desires to build character within us. He desires to train (discipline) us as His children.1 Training and disciplining does not always feel good. In fact, it can be downright painful.

Ask any private in a military boot camp or any professional athlete during his training season. The Apostle Paul encouraged us about God’s training, “No discipline seems pleasant atrepparttar 145052 time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” 2

Many times, throughout Scripture we find God saying to man…I wanted to know what was in your heart. I tested you to know if you would keep My commands. After Abraham’s character test, God said, “Now I know that you love Me.” Torepparttar 145053 Israelites He said, “I tested you inrepparttar 145054 wilderness so that I would know what you would do.” 3

As with any test,repparttar 145055 day or season ofrepparttar 145056 test is notrepparttar 145057 time to develop and prepare. Therefore, I believerepparttar 145058 time to cooperate with God to build character isrepparttar 145059 now—everyday. Inrepparttar 145060 everyday processes of life, we have opportunity to develop character (moral strength). Choices create character.

Problems and adversity give us opportunity to develop character. The Apostle Paul (as incredible as it may sound) in one of his letters torepparttar 145061 Roman church, encouraged them to rejoice when facing difficulties, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally, our hope and faith are strong and steady.” 4

That dirty, three-letter word..

Written by Terry Dashner

That dirty, three-letter word…

Terry Dashner……………….Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013

Sin kills. But, grace brings life.

Which do you prefer? You who know God and live for Jesus, which nature do you prefer—the sin nature orrepparttar new nature?

As you knowrepparttar 145046 sin nature isrepparttar 145047 “old man,” orrepparttar 145048 “flesh.” It isrepparttar 145049 nature within every believer that must be put down daily byrepparttar 145050 power ofrepparttar 145051 Holy Spirit. Ifrepparttar 145052 sin nature is not dealt with byrepparttar 145053 aid of God, it will rule overrepparttar 145054 believer, causing him to appear “fleshly” or “carnal” or identical to what he was before he became a believer (The entire letter of I Corinthians).

Is it possible—for a Christian to act like a wicked sinner? Yes it is, according torepparttar 145055 bible. The only way to continuerepparttar 145056 Christian walk of holiness, faith, and power, is to walk inrepparttar 145057 power ofrepparttar 145058 Holy Spirit. It’s not something we “try” to do. It’s not something that we “work” at. It’s something we surrender to.

The Christian walk is a daily surrender torepparttar 145059 leadership ofrepparttar 145060 Holy Spirit. You see, a believer is reborn byrepparttar 145061 Holy Spirit when he calls onrepparttar 145062 name of Jesus for salvation. The Holy Spirit regeneratesrepparttar 145063 sinner’s human spirit, making it come alive to God. That’s miraculous; however,repparttar 145064 new believer must continue his walk in faith daily or he will succumb torepparttar 145065 overlord ofrepparttar 145066 old nature. Althoughrepparttar 145067 new birth in Christ brings a release fromrepparttar 145068 power of sin, it does not deliver him fromrepparttar 145069 very presence of sin. Not untilrepparttar 145070 believer receives his full reward in heaven will he be removed fromrepparttar 145071 very presence of sin.

Sin defined.

I want to share with you more onrepparttar 145072 topic of sin. To do this, I want to begin by defining sin. According to Walter A. Elwell’s, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Baker Book House, 1984), “Inrepparttar 145073 biblical perspective, sin is not only an act of wrongdoing but a state of alienation from God…It signifiesrepparttar 145074 rupture of a personal relationship with God, a betrayal ofrepparttar 145075 trust he places in us.”

Elwell continues, “The biblical witness also affirms that sin is universal. ‘All have sinned and fall short ofrepparttar 145076 glory of God,’ Paul declares (Rom. 3:23 RSV). ‘There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins’ (Eccles. 7:20 NIV)…In Reformed theology,repparttar 145077 core of sin is unbelief. This has firm biblical support: in Gen. 3 where Adam and Eve trustrepparttar 145078 word ofrepparttar 145079 serpent overrepparttar 145080 word of God; inrepparttar 145081 Gospels where Jesus Christ is rejected byrepparttar 145082 leaders ofrepparttar 145083 Jews; in Acts 7 where Stephen is martyred atrepparttar 145084 hands of an unruly crowd; in John 20:24-25 where Thomas arrogantly dismissrepparttar 145085 resurrection of Jesus.

“Hardness of heart, which is closely related to unbelief (Mark 16:14; Rom. 2:5), likewise belongs torepparttar 145086 essence of sin. It means refusing to repent and believe inrepparttar 145087 promises of God (Ps. 95:8; Heb. 3:8, 15; 4:7). It connotes both stubborn unwillingness to open ourselves torepparttar 145088 love of God (II Chr. 36:13; Eph. 4:18) and its corollary—insensitivity torepparttar 145089 needs of our neighbor (Deut. 15:7; Eph. 4:19).”

What arerepparttar 145090 chief manifestations of sin? You guessed it. Pride, sensuality, fear, self-pity, selfishness, jealousy, greed, and so on. The Bible declares that sin can be individual or collective or social. Sin affects me personally. It affects local churches corporately. And it can affect nations and societies as a whole. The effects of sin can be moral, spiritual bondage, guilt, death and hell.

Show merepparttar 145091 Word

Let’s look atrepparttar 145092 book of James. James 1:14-15 RSV states, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.” Notice where sin originates and how it progresses along inrepparttar 145093 individual Christian. A wrong desire fuels a moral breakdown, which ensnares and enslavesrepparttar 145094 believer, bringing self-condemnation and guilt, which can lead to physical death.

Now let’s look at James 4:1 RSV “What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members?’ This is interesting. James is talking to believers, scattered all abroad. He tells them that battles and wars all start with human desires run-amok. Even godly men can dwell on greed, until greed controls them. The greed and an overwhelming desire to have more can spur men on to take from others. This taking of loot and property can turn into battles, which rage into full blown wars.

Show merepparttar 145095 History

Let me turn now torepparttar 145096 historical controversy over sin. Inrepparttar 145097 fifth century, Augustine challengedrepparttar 145098 views of a monk byrepparttar 145099 name of Pelagius. Augustine appealed torepparttar 145100 scriptures stating that sin incapacitates man from doingrepparttar 145101 good, and because we are born as sinners we lackrepparttar 145102 power to dorepparttar 145103 good. Yet because we willfully chooserepparttar 145104 bad overrepparttar 145105 good, we must be held accountable for our sin.

Augustine gaverepparttar 145106 illustration of a man who by abstaining from food necessary for health so weakened himself that he could no longer eat. Though still a human being, created to maintain his health by eating, he was no longer able to do so. Similarly, byrepparttar 145107 historical event ofrepparttar 145108 fall, all humanity has become incapable of that movement toward God—the very life for which it was created. Pelagius held that one could raise oneself by one’s own efforts toward God, and therefore grace isrepparttar 145109 reward of human virtue. Augustine countered that man is helpless to dorepparttar 145110 good until grace falls upon him, and when grace is thus given he is irresistibly moved toward God andrepparttar 145111 good.

Duringrepparttar 145112 Reformation, Luther powerfully reaffirmedrepparttar 145113 Pauline and Augustinian doctrine ofrepparttar 145114 bondage ofrepparttar 145115 will against Erasmus, who maintained that man still hasrepparttar 145116 capacity to dorepparttar 145117 right, though he needsrepparttar 145118 aid of grace if he is to come to salvation. Luther saw man as totally bound torepparttar 145119 powers of darkness—sin, death, andrepparttar 145120 devil. What he most needs is to be delivered from spiritual slavery rather than inspired to heroic action. (Ibid, p. 1013).

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use