Character Development

3 min


Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

We have characters to form here. God will test us and prove us by placing us in positions to develop the most enduring strength, purity, and nobility of soul, with perfect patience on our part, and entire trust in a crucified Saviour. We shall meet with reverses, affliction, and severe trials, for these are God’s tests. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and purge His people as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. Confrontation 93.1

If you have become estranged and have failed to be Bible Christians, be converted; for the character you bear in probationary time will be thecharacter you will have at the coming of Christ. If you would be a saint in heaven, you must first be a saint on earth. The traits ofcharacter you cherish in life will not be changed by death or by the resurrection. You will come up from the grave with the same disposition you manifested in your home and in society. Jesus does not change the character at His coming. The work of transformation must be done now. Our daily lives are determining our destiny. Adventist Home 16.2

One of Christ’s last commands to His disciples was “Love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34. Do we obey this command, or are we indulging sharp, unchristlike traitsof character? If we have in any way grieved or wounded others, it is our duty to confess our fault and seek for reconciliation. This is an essential preparation that we may come before God in faith, to ask His blessing. Christ Object Lesson

In harmony with this experience is the command, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13. God does not bid you fear that He will fail to fulfill His promises, that His patience will weary, or His compassion be found wanting. Fear lest your will shall not be held in subjection to Christ’s will, lest your hereditary and cultivated traits ofcharacter shall control your life. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”Fear lest self shall interpose between your soul and the great Master Worker. Fear lest self-will shall mar the high purpose that through you God desires to accomplish. Fear to trust to your own strength, fear to withdraw your hand from the hand of Christ and attempt to walk life’s pathway without His abiding presence. Christ Object Lesson 161.1

Christ desires nothing so much as to redeem His heritage from the dominion of Satan. But before we are delivered from Satan’s power without, we must be delivered from his power within. The Lord permits trials in order that we may be cleansed from earthliness, from selfishness, from harsh, unchristlike traits of character. He suffers the deep waters of affliction to go over our souls in order that we may know Him and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, in order that we may have deep heart longings to be cleansed from defilement, and may come forth from the trial purer, holier, happier. Often we enter the furnace of trial with our souls darkened with selfishness; but if patient under the crucial test, we shall come forth reflecting the divine character. When His purpose in the affliction is accomplished, “He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” Psalm 37:6. COL 174.3

There is no danger that the Lord will neglect the prayers of His people.The danger is that in temptation and trial they will become discouraged, and fail to persevere in prayer. Christ Object Lesson 175.1

The cross of Christ is all covered with reproach and stigma, yet it is the hope of life and exaltation to man. No one can comprehend the mystery of godliness so long as he is ashamed to bear the cross of Christ. None will be able to discern and appreciate the blessings which Christ has purchased for man at infinite cost to Himself, unless they are willing to joyfully sacrifice earthly treasures that they may become His followers. Every self-denial and sacrifice made for Christ enriches the giver, and every suffering and reproach endured for His dear name increases the final joy and immortal reward in the kingdom of glory. Con 93.2

 

 


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