Character Building


  1. INTRODUCTION:

A. SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Peter 1:5-10 = "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

  1. THIS STUDY IS PREPARED WITH A VIEW OF HELPING US IN THE BUILDING OF ONE’S CHARACTER INTO THAT WHICH WILL PLEASE GOD.
  2. THERE IS NO CHARACTER THAT WILL STAND ACCEPTABLE BEFORE GOD IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT THAT IS NOT COMPLETELY CHRISTIAN.
  1. DISCUSSION:

    1. THE ART OF CHARACTER BUILDING:
      1. We used to talk about the arts like paintings and sculptures; and yet very few of these have become notably recognized as really successful works.
      2. We have come to realize:
        1. That anything successfully done is an art.
        2. That a person who is skillful and successful in any accomplishment is an artist.
      3. There are only a few who rise to prominence out of the great mass of world population.
        1. From this worldly mass of mankind only a few rise to great heights.
          1. Does this seem fair?
          2. Who is to blame – The Creator?
          3. Or is it the society in which we live?
        2. We have no one to blame but our self for the failure.
          1. God is no respecter of persons, so we can not blame Him. Acts 10:34 = "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons."
          2. The way of success in life, or the way of salvation, is open to anyone that is willing to work for it.
    2. THE WAY IN WHICH WE ALL MAY BE A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST IS IN CHARACTER BUILDING.
      1. We start at the beginning to be successful:
      2. Proverbs 22:6 = "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

        Ephesians 6:4 = "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

        1. Failure is generally due to bad, or wrong, starting.
          1. There are few exceptions to overcoming this handicap of the days of youthfulness.
          2. The correction of a poor, or bad start, is often long and tedious.
        2. Every parent, teacher, or guardian, of boys and girls should be eager to help in laying a good foundation; and this should be even more so for Christians.
      3. The foundation stone must be properly set in place. Isaiah 28:16 = "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."
        1. Peter wrote, 2 Peter 1:10 = "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"
        2. The beginning foundation of Christian character is:
          1. Belief in God -- The God of the Bible.
          2. Belief in Christ -- The Son of God.
          3. Belief in the Bible -- The unerring Word of God.
      4. We need to teach our children that God requires the best that is in us -- without blemish:
        1. Four books of the Old Testament [Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy], have "without blemish" used in reference to offerings 33 times.
        2. Paul writes, Romans 12:1 = "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
        3. A curse is pronounced on one that would offer to God a blemished offering. Malachi 1:14 = "But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen."
        4. Seven times in Leviticus, we find it stated that no priest could carry out his duties of the as a priest, if he had any blemish. Leviticus 21:17-24 = "Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them. And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel."
        5. God wants unblemished characters, as well as, unblemished service. Ephesians 5:27 = "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
      5. Early in life, children will learn, if they are so taught, to make sacrifices and that God must have the best and so build for eternity.
        1. Everyone should be taught early in life that the key word is "service".
        2. Never leave the idea with children that they are too good to work.
        3. Jesus set the example of this, Luke 22:27 = "For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth."
        4. A strong character is never built on idleness. John 9:4 = "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."
    3. THE EFFECT OF INDIVIDUAL ACTS OF CHARACTER BUILDING:
      1. One sin will weaken one’s character structure, thus, we need to be ever on guard against wrong doing.
        I Peter 5:8 = "Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
      2. Every little duty well-done fortifies us and fits us for greater service. Ecclesiastes 9:10 = "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
      3. Character consists of that which one thinks, feels, and does. Philippians 4:8= "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
      4. NOTE: The steps from thoughts to one’s destiny:

        1. Thoughts turn into
        2. Acts, which turn into Proverbs 23:7 = "For as he thinketh"
        3. Habits, which turn into in his heart, so is he: …"
        4. Character, which turn into
        5. Destiny.
    4. CHARACTER IS OUR GREATEST NATIONAL ASSET:
      1. Roger Babson and a friend once while viewing the Niagara Falls commented:
        1. Babson said: "Our greatest American asset is our unharnessed water power."
        2. His friend replied: "No! Our greatest asset is the souls of our citizens. Here is where we have failed nationally. We have thought in terms of stocks and bonds, material wealth, and not in terms of human souls and character."
      2. Jesus made this comment, Matthew 16:26 = "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

  2. CONCLUSION:

    1. WE NEED TO LEARN IN CHARACTER BUILDING:
      1. The value of an early beginning and not putting off:
        1. Ecclesiastes 12:1 = "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;"
        2. 2 Corinthians 6:2 = "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"
      2. Being alert and wide awake to grasp the opportunity.
        1. It is said that "Opportunity knocks but once."
        2. A misspent day is gone forever.
          1. Today is the only real day that you, or I, will ever have on earth.
          2. Today is the tomb of yesterday and the cradle of tomorrow.
          3. Paul wrote, Ephesians 5:15-16 = "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
      3. The value of good friends. 1 Corinthians 15:33 = "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."
        1. We are greatly influenced by our friends, sometimes sort of unconsciously.
        2. It is important that the young be guarded from unwholesome friendships.
        3. We become like those with whom we intimately associate.
        4. Good books, literature, movies, and television will effect the development of character.
        5. A Biblical example:
          1. Abraham was a friend of God James 2:23 = "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."
          2. Jesus said, John 15:14 = "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
      4. Learn dependence:
        1. Dependence should be absolutely on God and not on man. Jeremiah 10:23 = "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."
        2. Be yourself and not a carbon copy of someone else.
        3. Never let the disturbing name calling of others lead you astray. Matthew 10:22 = "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
    2. REMEMBER THAT ALL MATERIAL THINGS CHANGE -- WILL PASS AWAY.
      1. Earthly wealth will come to an end.
      2. All works of material things will perish.
      3. The soul will live on: but where? 1 Peter 3:10 = "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:"

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