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32202484 the Quest for Character Rev Derek Prince

32202484 the Quest for Character Rev Derek Prince

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Published by Edmond Blair

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Published by: Edmond Blair on Feb 02, 2013
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02/26/2014

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Volume XIII, Issue 3
T
H E
T
E A C H I N G
E G AC
O F
D
E R E K 
P
R I N C E
The Quest for Character
herefore, I believe it is important that theleaders of congregations within a city orregion know how to relate to one another.It’s very easy to become self-centered—to thinkabout “
my
church” and to focus on that alone. Butthat is not a scriptural attitude. I believe we shouldsee one another as co-elders in the same church.One of the most important elements of Christiancharacter is revealed through asking ourselves whatplace the cross plays in each of our lives. InGalatians 2:20 Paul establishes the standard.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I wholive, but Christ lives in me...
I ask myself if that is true in my life. Because that’sthe only protection. In Galatians 5:24 Paul goes on:
 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the fleshwith its passions and desires.
T
 When we think about a big city—like Miami, for instance—we would saythere are many different churches in Miami. But I don’t think that is how Godsees it. I believe God sees only one church. After all, the book of Revelationtells us Jesus is going to marry the Church—His Bride—and I do not believe Jesus is a bigamist. He’s only going to marry one church. So we can thinkabout many different churches, but God sees only one church. When Paulwrote his epistles, he didn’t write to the Baptist church in Corinth, or to theChurch of the Open Bible in Rome, or to the Evangelical Church in Ephesus.He always wrote to
the
Church in the city. We are a long way from that today,but I don’t believe God has ever changed His mind.
 
Volume XIII, Issue 3the teaching legacy of derek prince | dpm archive
There’s the description of thosewho truly belong to Christ. Itdoesn’t say they belong to theOpen Bible Church or areBaptists or Presbyterians orCatholics. The only mark of thosewho truly belong to Christ is thatthey have crucified their flesh.
Now in Romans 6:6, Paul says“our old man was crucified.” Thatwas something God did. But inGalatians 5:24, he says it’ssomething you have to do. Youhave to put the nails into yourown fleshly nature. Andcrucifixion is always painful.There is no painless crucifixion
.
God’s Standard
H
aving established the fact thatcharacter only comes through thecross, let’s look at a picture of thecharacter that God expects. It isfound in Psalm 15.
L
ORD
, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell inYour holy hill? He who walksuprightly, and works righteous-ness, and speaks the truth in hisheart; he who does not backbitewith his tongue, nor does evil tohis neighbor, nor does he take upa reproach against his friend; inwhose eyes a vile person isdespised, but he honors thosewho fear the L
ORD
;he whoswears to his own hurt and doesnot change; he who does not putout his money at usury, nor doeshe take a bribe against theinnocent. He who does thesethings shall never be moved.
The first verse is a question,and the rest of the psalm answersit. David lists seven char-acteristics of the people who willdwell in God’s holy hill. If we aregoing to be there, we need thosecharacteristics. Let’s look at thesepoints about the person who willdwell in God’s holy hill—remembering that these areproduced by grace, a grace thatworks.One who walks uprightly.Hisactions are right in God’s sight.One who works righteous-nes
 
s.He doesn’t just preach it, hedoes it. He “speaks the truth inhis heart.” What comes out of hismouth is what he has in hisheart. He doesn’t say one thingwith his mouth and have anotherthing in his heart.One who does not backbitewith his tongue.He doesn’t speakagainst other people behind theirbacks. It’s been said that manyChristian ministers who arewounded have their wounds intheir back.One who does not do evil tohis neighbor.He is kind and fair.One who does not take up areproach against his neighbor.If you go to him and tell himsomething bad about his friend,he won’t listen to you. He won’ttake it up. This is one of the mostimportant points of Christianethics.In whose eyes a vile per
 
son isdespised.He doesn’t bow beforethe wicked. A person may bevery important politically or evenin the church, but if he’s vile, heis despised by this man.One who honor
 
s those whofear the Lord.He shows respectfor all of God’s children. He treatswith respect even those whomight seem unimportant.One who swear
 
s to his ow
 
nhurt and does not change.If hemakes a commitment, he sticksto it—even if it turns out to be tohis own disadvantage.One who does not put out hismoney at usury.He doesn’tcharge interest to somebody whohas borrowed money from him.One who does not take a bribeagainst the innocent. You cannotpay him to do something againstan innocent person. At the end it says, “He whodoes these things shall never be
 
Volume XIII, Issue 3the teaching legacy of derek prince | dpm archive
moved.” A person like this isunshakable. If all the elders inthe Church were like that, therewould be no problems in theChurch. I believe these are themarks of Christian ethics. If wepractice these ten points wecould eradicate ethical crises inthe Church.Let’s look at Colossians 3:3–5and go even deeper.
For you died, and your life ishidden with Christ in God. WhenChrist who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion,evil desire, and covetousness,which is idolatry.
Christ is our life. It’s a life thatcannot be destroyed. It cannot beextinguished. It is undefeatableand it will continue forever. AndPaul added, “Now put to deathyour members that are on earth.”In other words, you have to keepthem dead. It’s not just one singleexperience, but it’s a life of continuing discipline.
Therefore if there is anyconsolation in Christ, if anycomfort of love, if any fellowshipof the Spirit, if any affection andmercy, fulfill my joy by beinglike-minded, having the samelove, being of one accord, of onemind. Let nothing be donethrough selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mindlet each esteem others better thanhimself. Let each of you look outnot only for his own interests, butalso for the interests of others.
Here in Philippians 2:1–4,Paul describes our attitude if weare to keep unity in the Body of Christ. He uses several differentwords, but there is one word thatcovers it all:
humility
. That’s thekey to unity. Proverbs 13:10 says“Only by pride cometh conten-tion” (
KJV
). So it’s logical that theopposite of pride—humility—would be the solution tocontention.The Bible never says that Godwill make us humble. The Biblealways tells us to humbleourselves. It is not somethingGod will do for us. It’s somethingwe have to do for ourselves.Paul also said to let nothing bedone through selfish ambition. Inmy opinion, selfish ambition isthe greatest single problem in theChurch.I have a friend who is theeditor of a religious magazine inthe United States. Some yearsago, I said to him, “Many of thearticles in your magazine aregood. But after I read theadvertisements I feel I need abath, because it is all self-promotion.”
It’s Personal
C
hristianity is primarily aboutright relationships, not rightdoctrine. The Gospel is not a setof rules. It’s not a statement aboutGod. It doesn’t come throughknowing everything about God.The purpose of the Gospel is aright relationship with God. Anypreaching of the Gospel that doesnot produce that is a disaster.In Matthew 18:15–17, Jesusspeaks about how to maintainright relationships with others.
“Moreover if your brother sinsagainst you, go and tell him his fault between you and himalone. If he hears you, youhave gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with youone or two more, that ‘by themouth of two or three witnessesevery word may beestablished.’ And if he refusesto hear them, tell it to thechurch. But if he refuses even tohear the church, let him be to

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