Of A Christ-Like Person
Presented at a Ladies' Retreat, June, 1998
by my late wife, Dixie,
months after surgery for Stage 3 cancer.
I believe you will find it helpful. - Ken
By Dixie Raggio
I was asked to speak to you on the subject of Christian Character.
At first, the subject seemed illusive to me, but the more I studied, the clearer it became that there really is a great deal of material in the scriptures to apply to this subject.
First of all, let me give you the definition of CHARACTER.
Character means: All the qualities and features possessed; Moral strengths or weaknesses;The special ways a person acts, feels, and thinks.
So to have a Christian Character is to have the qualities and features, moral strengths, and special ways of Jesus Christ.
Our biggest reason for living is to manifest Jesus Christ to the world. When people look at us, they need to see Jesus in us. That is exactly why it is important to know what Christian Character is.
If you drive near Amarillo Texas, you will see thousands of acres of ranch land, covered with cattle and horses. If you see a man on horseback, wearing a Cowboy hat, boots, spurs and leather chaps, and he is out riding among the cattle and rounding them up, then common sense tells you that he is a COWBOY.
You know he is a cowboy, because everything he is doing, everything he is wearing, and everything in his environment is consistent with the identity of a cowboy.
So we come to the subject of the Christian Character.
If we can find a person who walks and talks like Jesus, has the Spirit and Ministry of Jesus Christ, everything they do is Christ-like, everything they WEAR is Christ-like, and everything about their environment is Christ-like, then you surely have IDENTIFIED a true Christian.
In this message today, I am going to identify what I believe are the THREE MOST PROMINENT characteristics of a Christ-like person.
In doing so, I hope you will be able to see that these three marks or traits are more important than any other characteristics you can have.
The FIRST CHARACTERISTIC of a Christian is her SPIRITUAL IDENTITY.
A CHRISTIAN, more than any other feature I can name, has an entirely new SPIRITUAL IDENTITY. Not just any spirituality. There is New Age spirituality, witchcraft spirituality, charismatic spirituality, and many other kinds.
But I am talking about Holy Ghost spirituality.
The Bible calls it a NEW CREATURE in Christ Jesus. No other trademark is more important.
1 Corinthians 15:45-48 - "...The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
These verses ACCURATELY DEPICT the FIRST MARK of Christian Character, and that is the IMAGE OF THE HEAVENLY.
Our New Creature is made in the IMAGE of the HEAVENLY.
Our old nature is like that of Adam and Eve. It is sinful and fallen. But our NEW CREATURE is the LORD FROM HEAVEN.
We must be BORN OF GOD. Spiritual Sonship is fundamental to everything Christian.
We are God’s offspring. Our relationship to the Father is profoundly intimate.
By comparison, the WORLD does not know God. Everything the world knows about God, it learned by second-hand knowledge.
BUT WE KNOW HIM, because we are BORN of HIM. We are the offspring of God - His sons and daughters.
WE HAVE HIS SPIRIT. And that is fundamental to Christianity. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is NONE of HIS.
It is VERY IMPORTANT for us to realize that as a NEW CREATURE, we are to BEAR the IMAGE of the HEAVENLY. That means that our new man is to bear the IMAGE of JESUS CHRIST.
What we see in Christ is exactly what the world should see IN US!
A CREATURE is a living being, anything created, a person who is strongly influenced or controlled by another.
We are GOD’S CREATURES because He created us out of the dust of the earth.
In respect to our humanity, we are all earthly sons of God. But we have to be BORN AGAIN to become spiritual sons.
You see, the first creature was the PERFECT ADAM and the PERFECT EVE. That is the CREATURE that GOD created.
Then, Lucifer came around and sowed the seeds of LIES in the pure minds of Adam and Eve.
So they became SINFUL CREATURES.
Satan CREATED in them a CARNAL MIND that was contrary to GOD’S MIND.
GOD didn’t create the carnal mind the way it is today. SATAN created that mind.
That is why Jesus told sinners that they were of their father the devil.
God is the Father of the pure man.
Satan is the father of the evil man.
I John 3:8-9 - "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
When you are carnally-minded, you are of your father the devil. Those carnal thoughts were not created by God; they were created by Satan originally.
What kind of creature are you today?
Are you the ORIGINAL SINLESS CREATURE that God made Adam and Eve? No, for “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Are you the CARNALLY-MINDED CREATURE that Satan created when he prevailed on Adam and Eve?
If you have not been BORN AGAIN of God’s Holy Spirit, then you are definitely that CARNALLY-MINDED CREATURE.
But if you have received the Holy Ghost, then you have a NEW MIND and a NEW SPIRIT.
Does that mean that you are now altogether like Christ?
Do we automatically manifest perfect Christian Character the minute we are born again?
SUBMISSION and DISCIPLINE are the keys to true Christian Character.
THAT BRINGS US TO THE SECOND CHARACTERISTIC OR MARK OF A TRUE CHRISTIAN, AND THAT IS SERVANTHOOD.
Romans 6:17-18 - "Ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."
The SECOND CHARACTERISTIC of a true Christian is SERVANTHOOD.
Isaiah prophesied about Messiah with these words, found in Matthew:
“Behold my SERVANT, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.”
From the beginning, Jesus was intended to be a servant.
Jesus Christ, as the only begotten Son of the Father, manifested a complete submission to His Father’s will.
In John 5:19, Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
Even though Jesus was a man with His own free will and freedom of choices, He TOTALLY surrendered to the plan His FATHER had for Him.
Jesus effectively SUBDUED His CARNAL MIND, as we should also. Jesus GAVE UP ALL HIS RIGHTS to earthly gain for the will of God.
WE MUST GIVE UP ALL OUR RIGHTS as a SERVANT of Jesus Christ.
Paul said, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content," Philippians 4:11.
In another place he said, “Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content."
THERE ARE NO GUARANTEED RIGHTS to health, wealth or prosperity in living for God.
You can’t force God to give you a nice house or a fancy car or expensive clothing, because as a SERVANT, YOU DON’T HAVE THOSE RIGHTS.
The only RIGHTS YOU HAVE are the RIGHTS that God gives you DAY-TO-DAY in HIS WILL.
Jesus NEVER EXERCISED HIS RIGHTS as a normal HUMAN BEING.
From His childhood, Jesus told His parents, “Know ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”
He told His disciples, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish His work.”
Our BATTLE is the constant STRUGGLE between the desires of our own and the desires of GOD.
And that problem stems from the fact that we now have TWO NATURES:
We are both a carnal man and a spiritual man, and each is at war against the other.
For to be carnally-minded is death; but to be spiritually-minded is life.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
It is a dreadful notion that some people get when they get saved. They think that God takes away their sinful desires.
They quote Paul saying, "Old things have passed away, behold all things become new."
That verse has to be put in its proper context however.
Certainly, OLD THINGS do pass away. That means that at the altar of repentance, we confess our sins, we DENOUNCE our sins, and we TURN away from our sins. We put them behind us, and God puts them under the blood of Jesus and casts them into the sea of forgetfulness.
When we are born again, we start completely over with a new, clean slate.
SO PAUL’S saying is TRUE. Old things pass away. All things become new.
BUT WHAT PAUL IS NOT SAYING is that the OLD CARNAL NATURE in me has passed away.
UNFORTUNATELY, I am still flesh and blood. I still have a carnal mind that still contains all the thoughts and desires and experiences that I have had all my life. Even though I am totally forgiven of my past, I have not totally forgotten.
I can still remember my old ways. And I still have the potential of being everything I ever was before I got saved.
But I have a responsibility to God to live up to the expectations of the Spirit.
In the past, all my decisions came from the CARNAL MIND.
But now I have a SECOND MIND.
I have a NEW MIND.
I have the MIND OF CHRIST.
And that is where all my CHOICES become extremely CRITICAL and CRUCIAL.
In the past, there were not choices. Everything of the flesh is just flesh.
But now I have the superior options of DOING THINGS GOD’S WAY, because by the Spirit and by the Word of God, I now know a different and a better way.
That’s why Paul said, in Philippians 2:5, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
What kind of mind is that?
Verse 7 says he “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,“ and verse 8 says, “being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
The MIND OF JESUS is one that MAKES HIMSELF OF NO REPUTATION.
That is so contrary to the way natural men think.
In REAL LIFE, everyone spends their time trying to MAKE a reputation.
All the movers and shakers on the world scene are people who have giant egos, huge ambitions, sophisticated game plans, and goal-setting strategies.
Modern men take pride in being the MASTERS of their own DESTINIES.
But JESUS’ MIND voided His own REPUTATION.
He gave up His ego, His ambition, His plans and goals, for the simple reason that He came to do the WILL OF THE FATHER, and nothing else.
Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
What kind of mind is that?
The form of a servant. Humbled and obedient, even unto death.
There must be an emptying of ourselves, of things that have always been our trademarks.
What are your trademarks? Is it a sharp tongue? A quick temper? Pettiness? Complaining? Gossiping?
No matter how long people have known you for these trademarks, the MIND OF JESUS says those things have got to die – even if nobody recognizes you anymore!!
Some women pride themselves in saying, "You know me! I’m going to speak my mind no matter what!"
Or you may say, “Well, that’s just the way that I am!"
Yes, IT IS THE WAY YOU ARE! But that creature has to die! And you have to die with it.
Your pettiness. Your jealousy. Your pride. Your gossipy nature. Your unforgiving attitude. Your hatred or your bitterness has GOT TO DIE.
You can’t please God with them! And you can’t be saved if you continue walking in the flesh.
Galatians 3:3 says, “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
When we first receive the Holy Ghost, we are so sensitive to God. He speaks to us in our prayer time, and in dreams and visions. We fast and pray, and God sends miracles, and we can feel the hand of God in just about everything we do.
But as the years go by, we tend to lose our sensitivity, and begin to apply human ingenuity to our ways.
At first, God gives us real convictions, and we follow Him any where He leads, because we believe that as long as He is leading, we will be safe.
But later, we start digging out self-help books, and taking seminars, and start leaning on the flesh for bright ideas and directions for life.
That is what Paul was calling into question – “Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect in the flesh?” Of course the answer is NO. No, you are NOT made perfect in the flesh.
You need the SERVANT SPIRIT of Jesus Christ. SERVING GOD, not men, nor myself.
Everyday we face the choice of whether we will allow that new creature to thrive, or the old man.
As John the Baptist said, "I must decrease, but He must increase.”
An old church hymn was entitled, “Channels Only.” It said,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.
That requires that we be submitted to Him. Faithful, loyal and steadfast.
We must be under that spiritual influence 24/7.
We are a new creature, made not by earthly hands, but by God.
We have been given a NEW MIND - the mind of Jesus Christ.
Our carnal mind has become enmity against God. By definition, our carnal mind is hostile and hateful toward God.
But the NEW MIND is like a baby’s mind; it has to be educated and trained. A baby’s mind is entirely blank and teachable.
Jesus said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”
Brother Wayne McClain preached at our Camp Meeting this year that the difference between children and LITTLE children is that LITTLE CHILDREN have no thoughts of their own. They are TOTALLY DEPENDENT on their mother and daddy. They are TOTALLY TRUSTING. If you tell them to jump into their arms, they don’t think, they just jump.
So we must become a babe in Christ, with a blank mind for God to program.
Our new mind is trained by at least three things:
2. Prayer and fasting train the mind. Prayer nurtures our spirit, and fasting crucifies the flesh.
3. Life experiences and suffering train us by trial and error. When we see the blessing of God come upon a particular action, we know we did right. When we see God punish us, we know not to do that thing again.
1 Corinthians 2:14 says, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
We must walk in the Spirit so that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16 says, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
By SEPARATING OURSELVES from the ways of the flesh and the carnal mind, we separate ourselves unto God.
That is what the doctrine of Holiness is all about.
Holiness is the separation that makes it easier to stay in the Spirit.
Take up your cross and follow Him.
Humble yourself at His feet.
Take on the form of a servant, as He did.
Be a love slave.
We all agree that there are certain foundational stones in our doctrine: The Oneness of God, Repentance, Baptism in Jesus Name, The Holy Ghost Baptism, and Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
But more than having a foundation, we must also have a ROOT in ourselves. There must be depth to our relationship with God. That depth comes from entering into the Spiritual place with God.
We get there by submission and spiritual discipline.
We have to empty ourselves to truly walk with God.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:39, "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
You cannot live a double life. You cannot live two lives at one time. You cannot get sweet water and bitter water out of the same well.
John 3:6 says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
There is a spiritual man, and there is a carnal man in every one of us.
The carnal nature must be starved out of existence, and the spiritual nature must be nurtured daily.
We have to make our choice every day to obey the carnal or obey the spiritual mind.
Jesus saw the rich young ruler was trapped in a carnal world; that’s why He told him in Luke 18:22, "Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven."
Then, in Matthew 13:45-46, He said, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it."
Unless we view the Kingdom of God as the pearl of great price, we will not sell all we have.
Our God is like a refiner's fire and a fuller’s soap. He is going to purge us of everything that is of the world, the flesh and the devil.
The story of the GOLDSMITH reveals that he continues to heap fire on the gold, while he sloughs off all the dross. The process continues until the GOLDSMITH can finally see his reflection in the gold.
That is what God is doing. He is refining all of the dross out of us until He finally sees HIS OWN REFLECTION IN US.
Paul declared that all of our works would be tried by fire. The evil works were compared to wood, hay and stubble; they would be burned, and we would suffer loss.
THE GOOD WORKS were compared to GOLD, SILVER and PRECIOUS STONES.
THE FIRE WON’T HURT YOU, if your works are good.
In fact, the fire won’t hurt you if your works are evil, because the fire will CLEANSE YOU of your evil works, and that is NO HARM!
Peter said, in 1 Peter 4:12-13:
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
That is why we have to learn that our lives are not our own. We do not have the luxury of choosing our own destiny.
Our destiny is in the hand of the Lord.
It is God that gives us the power to get wealth.
Job said, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
We have to learn that whatever GOD CHOOSES for us is best.
If God chooses to give us a fabulous life of wealth and luxury, with a perfect husband and children, a wonderful church and pastor, and perfect health and happiness every day -- then we should PRAISE GOD for it!
However, I have never known anybody who had a life like that.
When God gives ROSES, they have thorns.
When God gives a land of milk and honey, we have to milk those cows, and rob those beehives.
Most of us end up QUESTIONING GOD every time our lives take a left turn.
We feel like IT JUST CAN’T BE THE WILL OF GOD to suffer.
But that is a CLASSIC ILLUSTRATION of the difference between the CARNAL mind and the MIND OF THE SPIRIT.
Jesus, who was the CAPTAIN of our salvation, was MADE PERFECT by the THINGS THAT HE SUFFERED.
Until we learn how to suffer gracefully and graciously, we do NOT HAVE THE CHARACTER of Christ.
Until we can take the heat that the world and the flesh and the devil can dish out, we haven’t become like Jesus.
Isaiah said that Jesus was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Isaiah 53:4 says, “...yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
Even when we look at Jesus in HIS SUFFERING, we can’t believe it was necessary. All we can think is POOR JESUS! He sure did have to go through a LOT.
But that shows that we don’t fully understand that IN ORDER TO HAVE THE CHARACTER of Jesus Christ, we must learn how to face all the adversities of life without murmuring and complaining.
If we are still complaining, we haven’t learned what Peter said about the fiery trial.
Consider what Paul and Barnabas taught in Acts 14: 21-22.
"And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through MUCH TRIBULATION enter into the kingdom of God.
WE must through MUCH TRIBULATION enter the kingdom of God.
Our TRIALS are not a mistake.
Our sickness and adversity didn’t happen because God wouldn’t hear our prayers.
Why wouldn’t God remove Paul’s thorn in the flesh?
Why wouldn’t Jesus heal Lazarus before he died?
Why wouldn’t Jesus deliver Peter before he denied and backslid?
Why wouldn’t God deliver Jesus from the hands of the Romans, and from that cruel CROSS?
BECAUSE THOSE THINGS WERE ALL THE WILL OF GOD FOR THEM!
Do you realize that the SUFFERINGS OF JOB were NOT SATAN’S IDEA?
They were GOD’S!!
Look at Job.
Job 1:8-12 - "The LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."
God actually SUGGESTED to Satan that Job could STAND A TRIAL. Not once, but TWICE, God urged SATAN to consider his SERVANT JOB.
One of the great glories of God is to put the saints of God into the FIRE of ADVERSITY!
If you will stop to consider what will happen on the JUDGMENT DAY, you might realize what God is UP TO when He ALLOWS us to be TRIED.
God will one day SEPARATE THE RIGHTEOUS FROM THE WICKED.
It JUST MAY BE that He forces all the WICKED from all the AGES to GAZE UPON THE RIGHTEOUS SAINTS. The FIERY TRIALS of all the SAINTS will come before them as a TESTIMONY!
The wicked will be JUDGED for their FAILURE to LIVE FOR GOD, when all the SAINTS of all the ages not only LIVED FOR GOD, but they also DIED FOR GOD, without any regrets.
The WICKED will be condemned by the SACRIFICIAL LIVES of the SAINTS.
God is going to use YOUR TESTIMONY as an INDICTMENT against all those who REFUSED to pay the price that you paid to live for JESUS.
I had to learn a long time ago, that when GOD puts you through the FIRE, the FIRE WON’T HURT YOU!
The three Hebrew Children can testify to that.
Daniel can testify that the LION’S DEN won’t hurt you!
Joseph can tell you that neither the PIT, nor POTIPHER'S WIFE, nor the PHARAOH’S PRISON can hurt you when you are there by the will of God.
Jeremiah can tell you that the miry dungeon can’t hurt you.
David can tell you that the valley of the shadow of death can’t hurt you.
Mordecai can tell you that Haman’s gallows can’t hurt you.
BUT THERE IS ANOTHER VERSE TO THAT SAYING.
Jesus told the disciples that NOTHING SHALL BY ANY MEANS HARM YOU.
NO HARM Can possibly come to the true believer.
Now you have to put that in its proper context to really understand that.
JESUS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN SAYING that you would have no pain or suffering, because every one of His disciples had pain and suffering in their ministries.
BUT REAL HARM is what we are talking about.
THERE is a difference between PAIN and SUFFERING and REAL HARM.
Jesus said in Mark 9, "If thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
MOST PEOPLE would think that LOSING a FOOT or LOSING an EYE would be REAL HARM.
But IF YOUR SOUL IS SAVED, you really haven’t been harmed.
Whereas, IF YOU KEEP YOUR PERFECT HEALTH, and miss the rapture, --- NOW THAT IS HARM!
The THIRD CHARACTERISTIC of a true Christian is her SUFFERING.
Suffering is the OVERWHELMINGLY PREDOMINANT life EXPERIENCE of JESUS, and subsequently of EVERY TRUE BELIEVER.
In Hebrews 5:8, Paul said of Jesus, “Though he were a Son, yet LEARNED HE OBEDIENCE by the things which he SUFFERED.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-10 says this:
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
But the fact remains that there are many things in life that we all must suffer. And believe it or not, SUFFERING comes by the PERFECT WILL OF GOD!
In the previous verses, Paul said that God COMFORTS AND CONSOLES us in our TRIBULATION.
He said that it is BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN COMFORTED in our own trials that we are NOW ABLE to comfort OTHERS who are now going THROUGH their own.
He said that he felt he had received a SENTENCE OF DEATH, but that GOD had, in effect, COMMUTED the sentence.
He explained that the reason he was NOT AFRAID of the sentence of DEATH was because HE KNEW that God had the power to RAISE HIM FROM THE DEAD.
Ultimately, Paul explained that one of the MAIN REASONS why GOD allows us to SUFFER is that we may GLORY IN GOD’S DELIVERANCE.
Isn’t that why Jesus allowed Lazarus to die? So that men would see the glory of God in his miracle.
Isn’t that why Jesus said the man was born blind? Not because his parents had sinned, but that the glory of God could be seen in God’s healing.
SO by that logic, we can say, “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENETH ME!” I will NOT BE AFRAID of the sickness, or the pain, or the suffering, because GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!
"Some through the fire, some through the flood, some through great trials, but all through the blood.”
I am still talking about true Christian Character.
The QUESTION before us today is this.
ARE YOU WILLING TO MANIFEST THE CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST in your life?
If you say that you are willing, you are admitting THREE THINGS.
Secondly, even though I am a CHILD OF GOD, the true SPIRIT of JESUS CHRIST demands that I act like a SERVANT.
Am I willing to DENY my own ambitions and selfish goals for the sake of PERFORMING ONLY THE THINGS that God wills for me to do?
Thirdly, can I honestly say that I am not offended in God for the pain and suffering that comes to me because of Him and His perfect will?
WE will be stripped of everything that meant anything to us in this present world. There will be no foolishness or excuse making in that hour.
THE GREAT JUDGE OF ALL THE EARTH will look squarely into your eyes and without even a word being spoken, YOU WILL KNOW that you are either JUSTIFIED or CONDEMNED.
Will you be condemned because you were NEVER BORN AGAIN?
Or will you be condemned because you NEVER BECAME HIS WILLING SERVANT? You never laid down your own life for His?
Or will you be condemned because YOU COULD NOT STAND THE FIERY TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS of the righteous? Many in that day are going to be lost because they were OFFENDED at God for the trials that came their way? Will you be offended?
Join with me in making a FRESH CONSECRATION to GOD that will SAY three things:
"Oh, Lord, I want to be SPIRITUALLY NEW. I want to WALK IN THE NEW MIND, the MIND OF JESUS."
"LORD, I am your SERVANT. Not MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE."
"LORD, I will NOT BE OFFENDED at the FIERY TRIALS, but will confess that they are the PERFECT WILL OF GOD FOR ME. I won’t begrudge you for my sickness, my setbacks nor my reversals. I will bless the Lord at all times!"
Lift your hands and your voice and talk to the Lord about these things.
God bless you all.
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