Monday, March 4, 2024

Development of the Character of Christ

Development of the Character of Christ 
by David Brenneman 

‭‭"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20.

"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Romans 10:17.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1.

"If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." 1 John 4:20.

We all begin the walk of faith from a place of faith.  Jesus's word was heard and we received a new life in Christ.  We, the dead due to sin, received this new life in Christ Jesus...from faith. 

So many in this world put emphasis on works.  Even incorrectly misinterpreting "faith without works is dead" from the Scriptures. "But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18.

In much the same way they misinterpreted "you shouldn't judge".  Correctly interpreted yes you are.  You are to know people by their fruits. 

I do not have all the answers...but I am in a relationship with one who does.  I will never arrive at a complete knowledge of Christ in this life. When either the Rapture of the Church takes place or Jesus calls me home, only then will my sanctification be complete in Christ Jesus. 

Some believe that things like baptism must be done before salvation.  How can this be when, as my local church properly states, "baptism is an outward sign of an inward decision to follow Jesus"?

Infant baptism might be something or it might not.  With regards to salvation it's not. The person must come to Christ for salvation first, then show the world that they have a new life in Christ Jesus. 

We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them...isn't this what the Bible says?  

Our deeds in this flesh we call our mortal bodies are to be done in that the world can see Jesus in us. That they might see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.  

The future for all who are in Christ IS for the character of Christ to shine forth as the sun in our lives. 

We are to be the light in this present darkness.  

Paul said to live is Christ to die is gain.  We are to die to self each day so that Jesus would be seen in us.

Growing in Christ is more important than our wants, our desires.  

Here's a profound thought:  If people look at your life and can't say that they see Jesus in you...then what are you doing?

What are you doing to invest in, cultivate even, your relationship with Jesus?  You came, hopefully, to Him in faith that He would save you.  Are you living as though this happened or did you just go back to living as you always have?  Would the world consider you as one of their own?  

Jesus has such plans for you and I. 
Jesus said this. By faith do you believe it?  

Jesus doesn't want people who are only rule keepers...that way are the Pharisees and Sadducees.  He’s wanting a personal relationship with you and I.  He's not wanting you to only know Him intellectually either.  His going to the cross was entirely personal.  He's after a relationship such as He often points us be men and women after God's own heart.  You can only have that kind of deep personal relationship by faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself up for you. 

A right relationship with Jesus is all too often a rare commodity in our world.  Too many are thinking that they can live for Jesus on a Sunday morning and for themselves the rest of the time.  There is no clock in time, clock out time, in our relationship with Jesus. It's a 24/7 life.  

Yes, faith without works is dead.
Faith alone with nothing to show for it...what different is that from the life of a demon?  Demons believe in Jesus. Demons believe in God the Father. Demons believe in the Spirit of God.  They have no works. Their decision to turn against God condemned them immediately.  They knew the perfect relationship with Jesus and turned away from it.

We have the awesome opportunity to really get to know Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  

Take your faith and do something with it.  Be in your Bible. Be in prayer.  Don't stress over whether or not you're doing it perfectly right according to someone's rules.  Jesus said to come as a child. The awe and wonder of a child. The trust of a child.  A child doesn't have the ability to overthink life.

Look in your Bible for what the character of Christ Jesus is...and desire that in your prayer life.  Ask for that which Jesus certainly is eager to provide.  Let go of anything that's entangling you. 

Pray for yourself and others. Pray for eyes to be opened and ears to hear...that hearts would be tender and not hardened to the word of God.  Plant seeds, water seeds, be sure to get out of the way so that the Spirit can cause the growth.  

Prayer isn't used often enough in the lives of so many people in Christ. We're to change the world, not figure out how to coexist with it.

Pray on, pray over, pray through. 
Pray that you would have a life so lived that people know Jesus is in you. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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