Friday, May 25, 2018

Using Alpha Power to Build and Mould Character

UV 2956/10000 Using Alpha Power to Build and Mould Character
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

2 Peter 1 v 3

The divine power of Jesus is described herein as Alpha. It is the chisel with which He sculpts our character so that we are a likeness of Him. Character sculpting by the Alpha power of Jesus is a lifelong process and not executed overnight. He begins by strengthening our faith which is the foundation of our godly character. The first man had broken faith with God by disbelieving His word and by our believing the Word of God- Jesus, we are restored to the image in which we are created. But the distortions that have crept into us along with our disbelief this far are removed. To faith, is added the knowledge of the character of Jesus, the knowledge of the Word. To knowledge is added virtue or the excellence of goodness unmotivated by profit or pleasure. To virtue, is added patience. We are to learn to wait with a faithful and thankful attitude for the Lord to act in certain situations. To Christ-like patience and perseverance, we need to add godliness and to cap it all- the cornerstone quality of Jesus – godly love or agape love.

To build Christ-like character is not easy. It costs us a lot. But with the help of the Holy Spirit and a diligent study of the models of good and bad character and conduct strewn across the Bible as well as the principles and values of godly character embedded in the Word, we can grow in grace and truth like Jesus. Our focus is to reject the models and patterns of this world and to conform to the patterns of the word. As our minds are renewed in Christ, the Holy Spirit gets busy growing the supernatural fruit of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control in us. We sow in the spirit the seed of such fruit by thinking noble and wholesome thoughts consistently and develop godly habits and make choices that are pleasing the Lord.

St Paul further summed up the godly character in three attributes of the mature believer of Christ- faith, hope and love. His description of love in I Corinthians 13 in fact includes all the fruit of the spirit or the attributes of God-pleasing character. If we are imitating the love of Christ, we are to avoid being envious, proud, resentful, bitter. We are to cultivate a lifelong habit of continual forgiveness. We are to virtually kill or sacrifice our personal egos or pride as we mature in Christ. Jesus took His first twelve disciples through a lifetime course of character building where they kept shedding some attributes which were not God-pleasing and developing attributes that were God-pleasing and edifying to the early body of believers. Peter, for instance, had to give up his racial and cultural biases. He had to cease being temperamental, emotional, impatient. Sometimes, the Lord uses a painful experience or affliction to deal with some aspect of our character even as Paul endured a painful unknown affliction, a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble despite the awesome revelations he received in the course of his ministry.

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