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HIS PEOPLE BIBLE SCHOOL FIRST YEAR
These notes are for the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only.
Copyright © 2000 JPD His People © All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission, in writing, from His People Christian Ministries. ISBN 1 874918 70 8
Christian Character : “Contents”
STAGES OF GROWTH 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Babyhood Early childhood Late childhood (teenagers) Manhood Fatherhood Spastic or under-developed child Summary
4 4 7 10 11 12 13 14
LECTURE TWO: LECTURE THREE:
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR CHRISTIAN CHARACTER 1. 2. Renewing the Mind Mental assent
15 16 18 19 20 20 21
CONTROLLING THE PHYSICAL BODY 1. 2. 3. Areas that need discipline Dealing with unforgiveness Controlling the tongue
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT 1. 2. How are we to be fruitful? The fruit of the Spirit
22 22 23
Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only.
We are His. God disciplines us because He loves us (Heb 12:6-11). till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34). by the trickery of men. We do not manifest holiness when we are born again — we grow through obedience. Such character is seen in how we think and what we do. Christian character becomes evident as we grow in godliness because we are changing..His People Bible School : First Year LECTURE ONE INTRODUCTION CHARACTER: Question: What does the word ‘character’ make you think of? What does it bring to mind? Answer: The depth of a person. “Charaktér” is the Greek word used for ‘representation’ in Heb 1:3 and means "who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person. to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. No one enjoys discipline — but we all need it." (see also the Amplified Bible) It is God's will that we grow up to reach maturity in Him. Page 2 Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. What is in our heart defines our character.” We have been set apart unto God. As we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and respond to the Lord's discipline. for the edifying of the body of Christ. ‘Holiness’ in Greek is ‘Agiasmos’ which means “separated unto God. holy and without blemish in the Father's sight. that we should no longer be children.. It literally means "a tool used for engraving". God always disciplines us through His Word and conviction in our spirit by the Holy Spirit. to a perfect man. Even our Lord came into the world as a baby. No one arrives in the world as an adult. some prophets. tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. Similarly when we are born again we enter the family of God as babies. Christian character is what we are in our spirits. From the overflow of the heart. to what extent do circumstances determine whether we are in a good or bad mood? What comes out when we are under pressure is a true indication of what we really are! Key text Eph 4:11-14 — "And He Himself gave some to be apostles. Growing up takes time! When we are born again we become saints. No human being is born already grown-up. The strength of our character may be determined by how much it takes to stop us walking in the Spirit. For example. We all go through the various stages of growing up — there is no such thing as instant maturity or Christian character. . the substance of an individual. some evangelists. for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry. What comes out of our heart reveals our character. Holiness is not the absence of sin in our lives. and some pastors and teachers. But there is still much in our lives that needs to be changed. we will grow. what a person really is. which we see as we go through this course. There are many parallels between growing up physically and growing up spiritually.". For us to display Christ's character and become conformed to His image literally means that we become an exact engraved copy of Him. but the presence of God by His Holy Spirit. in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.
remember that it is Christ in you. At whatever stage you are at. God wants you to reach maturity. Remember that God loves you just the way you are. Remember that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Phil 1:6) and that all the while it is God at work within you to will and to do according to His purposes (Phil 2:13). The call to all of us is 'Forward in Christ'.. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. No one has arrived at a place of perfection. Even the apostle Paul. says "Not that I have obtained it or been made perfect . The important thing is not what stage you are at. They tell everyone about all they are doing hoping to get praise from men rather than from the Father. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. This is recognised when someone is trying to impress others with their spirituality... their attitude in receiving it reveals their true maturity. Having a big Bible.. To grow means to change. As we cover the stages in the process of growing up spiritually. but whether you are growing or not. Be encouraged to grow in the Lord through this series. but I press on . You may find that you are not as grown up as you thought. Sometimes a person may appear to be mature (looks good. says the right things and does the right things) but when discipline comes. A common mistake is to assume that if you have been a Christian for a long time you are mature in the Lord.Christian Character : “Introduction" When we are disciplined we have a choice either to stay where we are or to receive the discipline and grow. speaking in tongues and even exercising authority over demons is not necessarily an indication of maturity.. A mature person does not boast about what he is doing — he gets on and completes the task. Christian character starts and ends with the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Maturity is not based on external appearances but based on what is in your heart. True maturity is seen in a willingness to change. do not despair. becoming a father in the faith. Sadly it is the behaviour of such baby Christians that often results in judgement being passed on the Church and Christianity being discarded by the world with comments like "If that's a Christian.!" Satan's counterfeit for spiritual maturity is an unsanctified ego." (Phil 3:12). We need to have the same attitude in order to have a victorious walk in the Lord. but He loves you too much to let you stay there. the hope of glory (Col 1:27). Page 3 . who reached a high level of maturity.. Many saints are not any nearer maturity than the day they were born again due to a lack of input and obedience to the Word.
but of imperishable seed. " We are children born not of natural decent. desire the pure milk of the Word. Spiritually when a person is reborn.His People Bible School : First Year STAGES OF GROWTH 1. When we are saved our spirit is reborn and that is the only part that God changes for us. that you may grow thereby. Page 4 . but born of God. BABYHOOD The Greek word for this is "Brephos". He was always Father God. God has a Father's heart and He wanted children. Jesus the Son was with God the Father. nor of the will of man. to them He gave the right to become children of God. literally a newborn baby. A person is made up of three parts — you are a spirit." God is our Father. having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself. He is the same as a newborn baby who has no past. When you are born again you become a child of God. but of God. 1 Peter 2:2 "As newborn babes (Brephos). that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Saviour or King. John 1:12-13 "But as many as received Him. In 2 Cor 5:17 we are told that all things have become new. not of corruptible seed but incorruptible. not of blood. 1 Peter 1:23 "having been born again. through the word of God which lives and abides forever. nor of the will of the flesh. God knew what He had committed Himself to when He chose us as His children. As a child of God we are born not of perishable seed. Eph 1:4-5 "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. to those who believe in His name. who were born. a first breath. but this only refers to the spiritual realm. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF BABYHOOD ARE: 1. he has no past because all things have been forgiven. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. God forgives him of everything and gives him a completely new beginning. From the beginning. Before He was Creator. nor human decision nor a husband's will." All babies have a Father. Not one of us took God by surprise. according to the good pleasure of His will." The good news is that not one of us is an unplanned child. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. only a future ahead of them.1 Innocence. you have a soul and live in a body.
Rom 16:19b instructs us to be excellent in what is good and innocent of evil. frustrated and distracted.meditate on these things.3 Irritability. We must learn to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (Jam 1:22). whatever things are noble. Phil 4:8 "Finally. In other words. should drink of the milk of the Word (and not get into the meat). Gal 6:7 says that what you sow you will reap. it is important to be careful what seed is sown. 1. In 1 Pet 2:2 the Holy Spirit tells us that we. faith. At this stage. Read Phil 4:8 and Col 3:2 as a guide to what you should sow into your heart. They are mostly unable to discern truth from error and need to be protected from deceptive writings. Purely having knowledge of the truth will not help us. We are to constantly walk in the cleansing and forgiveness provided for us as we confess our sins (1 John 1:9-10). For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only.Christian Character : “Stages of growth" The spirit of man is likened to soil in the parable of the sower (Mark 4:14-20). brethren. whatever things are lovely." "Set your mind on things above. Babies always want things to happen now! They are very impatient with both themselves and others. when believing God for finances they may set their own deadline and when it is not met they conclude that tithing does not work! Alternatively. the ground is tilled afresh and is ready for planting. As a human baby starts to crawl. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. start with the basics of salvation.2 Ignorance. whatever things are pure. Remember that each day can be a new beginning (Lam 3:23). Similarly baby Christians will devour any and every Christian book they can get hold of. if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy ." Col 3:2 The characteristic of innocence should never be outgrown. whatever things are just. As we learn new truths we need to apply them in our lives. everything it finds goes into its mouth — this is the testing ground. and do not get distracted by the deeper truths. like newborn babies. For example. Babies are very sensitive and can be easily offended (for example if one passes them without greeting then they feel rejected). and so on. Page 5 . whatever things are of good report. When we are born again. not on things on the earth. a baby Christian may demand to see the pastor immediately or threaten to leave the church. 1. whatever things are true. Babies are easily irritated.
Babies are totally selfish but we need to love them. During this stage everything revolves around them. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. exercise patience and help them to grow on to the next stage of growth which is early childhood. Page 6 .His People Bible School : First Year 1. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. babies are self-pleasers. In summary. What they want. they must get.4 Self-pleasers.
Children do things without thinking of the consequences. climb a tree without realizing that they could fall or get stuck. They. Children will love you one day and hate you the next. When the sea is calm. Paul addresses the Corinthians as mere infants (nepios) since there was jealousy. 2. but with the slightest storm (any hardship or trial) your life seems upsidedown. They are passing through a stage of natural growth — a stage that we all go through.2 Unreliable. Spiritual children tend to over-commit. It's no fault of their own.. is totally inconsistent and swings from one extreme to the other. (when the circumstances in one's life are good) all is stable. to and fro". Eph 4:14 This scripture speaks of the instability of childhood — "children tossed like ships. He calls them worldly since the works of the flesh predominate over the works of the Spirit. EARLY CHILDHOOD The Greek word for a child is "nepios" = one who can't speak. 2. They are easily distracted (use an example of a child's behaviour).. There is much enthusiasm but little endurance.Christian Character : “Stages of growth" LECTURE TWO 2. for example. A child does things in "fits and starts". For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. They will always judge God and His Word according to the circumstances of life around them and other Christians. Page 7 . A child never sees things through to completion. Jesus appointed and sent out the seventy-two disciples but refers to them as children (nepios)." but next week Copyright © 2000 JPD His People.1 Spasmodic. They mean well but are not dependable. This scripture indicates that God doesn't wait until you've grown up before He'll use you.3 Impulsive. quarrelling and arguments amongst them. They may boldly say "God has told me. Luke 10:1-21 1 Cor 3:1-10 CHARACTERISTICS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD: 2.
strife and negative speaking or a negative report. we must never lose the spontaneity and enthusiasm. we cannot expect to have all the answers to all our questions immediately. Part of a healthy child growing up is curiosity. knowing that they generate strife.4 Curious. When talking too much they usually take one of the following routes: a) Evil speaking.5 Talkative. By knowing the Word of God one will easily be able to discern where other religions are wrong. Don't be too proud. (Enthusiasm comes from the Greek word "entheos". Although the impulsive nature of children can be negative. Be honest. and admit you were wrong. but he who restrains his lips is wise". 2. don't allow it to become a stumbling block in your life. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. 2 Tim 2:23 tells us to avoid foolish and ignorant disputes. not by giving them 1000 counterfeit notes to feel. If there is an issue you do not understand. which literally means to be filled with God). For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. Do not investigate other doctrines at this stage — many people fall into the trap of investigating other religions and never recover. 2. These are the formative years. but it will still kill you. This includes badmouthing others.His People Bible School : First Year "God changed the plan!". "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking. Just as a little child cannot understand a complex mathematical formula until he has learnt all the foundational truths of mathematics. so it is very important what they are fed. Don't allow your ears to itch for such gossip. Curiosity about other religions can also be dangerous. Eccl 5:3 Prov 10:19 "a fool's voice is known by his many words". not really waiting for or even wanting an answer. 1 Tim 6:20 tells us to avoid profane and idle babblings. God will still trust you and people will too. Pray for the person — do not discuss and criticise others. They'll ask endless questions. Remember that poison is 90% good and only 10% bad. Children love to talk and often talk themselves into trouble. Don't blame God for your actions. Shelve it and ask God to show you the answer in His time. They know so little and want to know so much. Evil speaking includes talking about or discussing faults and failures of people not present. Don't investigate other religions to find the truth. Bank tellers are trained to identify fraudulent bank notes by training them to learn the feel of genuine notes. The Bible tells us to turn away from and avoid godless chatter. For example. Study the Word of God and direct your curiosity towards Bible knowledge. Page 8 .
Children are man-pleasers. empty chatter or always talking about yourself. There is however. mimicking people to make them look small. "Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. Remember: “ the tongue is like a rudder (James 3:4). Any criticism makes them feel restless. In the same way that nobody can write your exams for you. “ words are like seeds — sow them wisely. nobody can grow up for you. We need to pay attention to the company we keep. Remember — tough times don't last although tough people do! Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. They may do the right things for the wrong reasons. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. difficult and full of discipline.Christian Character : “Stages of growth" b) Vain speaking.6 Impressionable." For example. at the end of the day what you get out of your Christian walk is what you put in to it. foolish talk or coarse joking. The words we speak should benefit those who hear them. Page 9 ." This scripture is not quenching a sense of humour or occasional joking but there is a time and place for joking. They are sensitive to man's opinion.7 Man-pleasers. that it may impart grace to the hearers. Foolish speaking. Growing up is not easy. Children are very quick to pick up qualities of the adults around them. which are out of place. Eph 4:29 says "let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth. but what is good for necessary edification. The people you spend the most time will influence what you'll become. “ life and death are in the power of the tongue (Prov 18:21). Be careful where you steer yourself. Similarly spiritual children are quick to role model those around them. 2. c) 2. Don't give up the Christian life because there are trials — Jesus never said our lives would be easy. They like to be noticed and appreciated. never place for ‘dirty’ jokes. It can be lonely. In our lives there are trials but we don't stop living because we have a problem. but He promised to be with us at all times. Eph 5:4 — "Nor should there be obscenity. Although people can help at times. but rather thanksgiving. uneasy and full of self-pity. Any talk that does not build other people up is vain speaking." (1 Cor 15:33).
If you discipline them. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. They may have knowledge (they may have finished Bible School. Of all the things teenagers have been called they have NEVER been called wise. or somebody else is there and they can't concentrate.His People Bible School : First Year 3. (b) someone caring for you º to looking after yourself. they become irrational. (c) learning to take sound advice and to distinguish between being hard-headed and foolish and being wise and learning to discern good from evil. before an outing a girl notices that she has a pimple and cries out: "it's covering my whole face. Page 10 . school and country. and bring them back to the Word of God that never changes. 3. This is a period of going from: (a) what you have learned º to applying it. for example) but there is little practical application in their lives. God tells us very clearly to discipline our children. LATE CHILDHOOD (TEENAGERS) The Greek word used in Heb 12:5-11 is 'padia' (singular is "paidion") which refers to this late childhood stage. this child always thinks that they know better than their parents. who could ever marry me!" Christians can react the same way.1 Rebellion. the cry is one of "you have no respect for people and are always picking on me". People going through this stage don't seem to fit in anywhere. This is the most difficult stage. For example. They rebel at any and all forms of discipline at home. where one is neither an adult nor a child. During this stage. They just can't understand that their parents don’t see things their way. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. Whether major or minor. They say they can't come to church because they haven't got a nice dress and their bag doesn’t match. Tantrums are the order of the day. and at this stage of their lives we need to treat them firmly.
He is able to recognise God at work and rejoices in knowing that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). Paul writes in Phil 4:12 that he has learned the secret of being content in every situation. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. The man of God lives according to God's Word. The mature man of God has his mind set on things above not on earthly things (Col 3:2). Who we are speaks louder than what we say. He is not puffed up but builds others up. 1 John 2:13-14 addresses the young men as those who have overcome the evil one. 4. He lives what he knows as it has become heart knowledge.Christian Character : “Stages of growth" LECTURE THREE 4. He takes no account of evil done to him. He is governed by the law of love (1 Cor 13:4-7). Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. living in plenty or want. In all situations he lives out his faith. CHARACTERISTICS OF MANHOOD: 4. arrogant or proud. He is able to apply the Word of God in all situations in his life. He is seldom moved by circumstances. We know that it is God's will for us all to reach maturity and therefore we should all aspire to reach manhood.3 Esteem earthly things lightly.2 Spiritually minded. which literally means `young man’ (<neos' = young woman). This Christian is living a victorious life. He is rooted and established in the Word and knows that it is more real than the things he sees and hears. The fruit of the Spirit is evident in his life (this is dealt with in detail later in the course). The love of God is seen in his life. 4. He is not conceited. His concern is to build up treasures in heaven. He continues to give praise and thanks to God. whether well fed or hungry. This person is re-knowing the mind to thank God’s thoughts after Him.1 Victorious. He shows the characteristics of love. MANHOOD / MATURITY (Manhood = both male and female) The Greek word for manhood is <neaniskos'. We then become more like Jesus in word and deed. Page 11 . pays no attention to wrong suffered. who are strong and in whom the Word of God lives. He is not touchy or fretful or resentful.
but He is able to pray willingly for others. FATHERHOOD The Greek word for father is "Pater".His People Bible School : First Year He has an eternal perspective on life. He writes that there are many teachers in Christ. Because he is able to testify with Paul. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. As a Father. His attitude is "If I'm wrong. The apostle Paul speaks of himself as a father to the Corinthian church (1 Cor 4:14-15). Page 12 . A mature man of God is a God-pleaser. Everything good and perfect comes from Him (James 1:17). You will always find that there are people more mature than yourself who can sow into your life while you sow into the lives of Christians who are younger than yourself.4 Bold. This is not a carnal independence but a saintly dignity. He is not concerned about what others think of him. 4. You cannot become a father without having gone through all the different stages of spiritual development or without having received love and instruction from those more mature in the faith. God will show me even if through another person and I'm willing to change.5 God-pleaser. 5. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. God wants to restore fathers in the body of Christ. He is therefore not in bondage to anyone. God is the perfect Father. As the apostle Paul did. but not many fathers. He wants us to have the revelation knowledge that we are special and unique in His sight. he seeks only to commend himself to God (1 Cor 4:3-4). "It is a small thing if I should be judged of you or of man's judgement " he is free to voice his convictions (1 Cor 15:33)." He is bold to share the love and goodness of Christ with others — even the unsaved. He lives in reverent fear of God and has forsaken the fear of man's opinion. His prayers no longer revolve around him and his needs only. There is something special about the qualities/ characteristics of fathers in the Lord. 4. He is not unteachable but bold and unafraid to be wrong.
God wants us to grow up where we can serve and help others. or some of these signs. 5.Christian Character : “Stages of growth" CHARACTERISTICS OF FATHERHOOD: 5. Page 13 . They will inspire others to greater heights and a deeper intimacy with God (Eph 4:12-13). will CONSTANTLY be an under-developed Christian: bitterness. Psalm 103:13 tells us that as a father has compassion on his children.1 Resourceful. They have become gracious because they understand the greater issues in life and are therefore able to dispense large doses of tenderness and compassion when needed. They. I don't think I'll go to that Church — it has nothing to offer me" — not realising that children must be kept amused all the time. They never become independent. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. Fathers are saturated with the Word of God and are rich with experiences of having applied God's truth over and over again in their lives. They believe that they have tried it and it didn't work. proud and arrogant about their knowledge but showing no victory in their life. You hear these Christians saying things like "Well.3 Tenderness and compassion. where the Apostle Paul exhorts and expresses his wholehearted approval of Timothy in his new venture. however. Fathers take pleasure in passing on their knowledge to the younger generation. knowing the Word of God but living in doubt and double-mindedness. They continue to revel in fresh ideas and are always ready to impart what they have learned. It is a sad stage where a child of God never grows up. These signs. never stop learning. We see an example of this is 2 Tim 1:2-6. 5. They are a burden to others and alway take up more time than the other Christians. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. so the Lord has compassion for those who fear Him. SPASTIC OR UNDER-DEVELOPED CHILDREN This is fortunately not a stage that everyone goes through.2 Commitment to the next generation. backbiting. 6. The fruit of the Spirit is so evident in a father because they have truly learned to rule and reign through the weathering of many storms in their lives.
God sees us as "perfect" if we walk in the light that we have received. Our aim is to be God pleasers. What we are is God's gift to us. It is not as important where we are spiritually but that we are growing towards maturity. SUMMARY “ “ “ Babies are self-pleasers. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only.His People Bible School : First Year 7. but what we become is our gift to Him. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. Page 14 . Children are man-pleasers.
If the mind sides with the spirit. When we are born again God deals with the spirit (2 Cor 5:17. If the mind is not renewed. He gives us a new spirit — while we were dead in our sins He made us alive in Christ (Eph 2:5). We need to consider the soul (mind. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. drop down to the spirit and eventually the spiritual experience with God will be rejected. Ezek 36:26). The mind can also be referred to as the hinge joint between the Spirit and the flesh. if the spirit of God lives in us (Rom 7:9). vice versa. Thanks to Jesus Christ we can be slaves to God's law (Rom 8:24-25). We need to understand that the flesh and the spirit are opposed. they will never grow spiritually. Our spirit can control our minds because we have the Holy Spirit within us. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. Page 15 . The spirit is God's responsibility. The battleground is the mind. We can all relate to Paul's struggle against his flesh as described in Rom 7:18-24. doubt will enter. FIGURE 1 Whatever side the mind is on will win. we change our way of thinking to bring our thoughts in line with the Word of God). We have a choice — life or death. The good news is that the born again child of God is not a victim of their flesh. And of course. The mind controlled by the sinful man is death. However. If a person never renews their mind. we cannot deny the fact that our lives do not instantaneously resemble Christ's when we are born again. we go on thinking and acting as in the past and there is no growth). We have God's spirit in us to move us to follow His decrees. Either the flesh controls the mind (ie. the flesh is left 'high and dry'. or the spirit controls the mind (ie. but the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace. The mind is the place of victory or defeat. will and emotions) and the body (our earth-suit) which are our responsibility. where he says he desires to do what is good and delights in God's ways but there seems to be a war against his mind (Rom 7:23).Christian Character : “Contents” LECTURE FOUR HOW TO DEVELOP CHRISTIAN CHARACTER Man is a spirit. has a soul and lives in a body. We are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit.
The scriptures instruct us to be transformed. Page 16 . We have to renew our own minds. There will be constant opposition to renewing our minds. situations and others.2 How can we be transformed? We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2). No-one else can do it for us. i. 1. substance or structure.His People Bible School : First Year 1. We are always quick to believe what we say! To meditate does not mean merely reading the Word or memorising Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. A person can keep coming up for prayer every Sunday because the devil is attacking him but unless he meditates on the scripture ('Resist the devil and he will flee from you') and applies it to his life. For then you will make your way prosperous. not to conform. For example if you are sick. We need to take scripture and apply it in this situation. we are not to be fashioned after and adapted to the external superficial customs of the world. pleasing and perfect will — the Amplified says even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for you. the body wants to sleep and the mind wants to wallow in self-pity. Transformed is the Greek word metamorphosis which means to undergo a complete physical change in form. We need to change our way of thinking in order to walk in God's will for our lives. Key text Josh 1:8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and there is no better place to hear than on your own lips. Sometimes we need to force-feed our minds on the Word of God. The way to renew our mind is by meditating on God's Word." To meditate means to mutter. RENEWING THE MIND Rom 12:2 says we are not to be conformed to the standards of this world. utter and speak to yourself. To conform means to be pushed into the mould of the world. The word `renew’ means to make new again or to renovate. 1. The devil will try to stop us from being effective. It speaks of change from the external inwards. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only.e. the problem remains. It is no-one else's responsibility. but you shall meditate in it day and night.1 Why do we need to renew our minds? We need to renew our minds so that we may prove what is God's good. God wants you to know His will for you life — more than you do! In order to know His will we need to renew our minds so that we start to think as He thinks about ourselves. We were made to soar like eagles not scratch with the turkeys. It implies a change from within (internal to external). and then you will have good success. If we think of ourselves with a grasshopper mentality we will never reach the heights that God has planned for us (Num 13:33). that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.
but this is only ours if we carry out verse 6. 7and the peace of God. There is no room for fear if we are living in God's Word. 2 Tim 1:7 says God has not given us a spirit of fear. He will sustain us and never let us fall. successful Christian (Psalm 1:3). This involves changing from how we used to think to how God thinks. with thanksgiving. which surpasses all understanding. It produces fear ie. It means applying God's Word to our lives now. "6 Be anxious for nothing. We like to quote verse 7. verse 6 starts with a direct command "don't fret". The Word of God brings stability and security into our lives. It is the process by which a fact drops from our heads to our hearts and we act on what we know to be true. he won’t receive the promises. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. Meditation on God's Word is the key to becoming a prosperous. but in everything by prayer and supplication. We need to trust God as a lifestyle. Worry is meditation on incorrect information or lies. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. Heaven and earth will pass away but the Word of God remains forever ( Matt 24:25 ). Totally eradicate all thoughts contrary to the Word. When a person gives mental assent he says he believes but does not act on it. In Phil 4:6-7. Phil 4:4-7 tells us not to be anxious about anything.3 Satan's battlefield is in the mind. will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. James 1:22 tells us not to merely listen to the Word and deceive ourselves that we’re being spiritual but to actually do what it says. God doesn't want us to worry because He knows it is not good for us. Meditation is active." We need to be active in the process of renewing our minds. It is rebuilding thought processes. It is not merely reprogramming minds. False — Evidence — Appearing — Real. Worry causes fear and fear opposes faith — they cannot exist together! Rom 1:17 says that the just shall live by faith. 1. 'Refuse' to think them. Page 17 . Verse 5 speaks of "every high thing.Christian Character : “How to develop Christian character" scripture but it involves taking it to heart. We need to lay foundations of God's Word in our lives and build on the unshakeable. We need to take captive every thought that is contrary to God's Word (2 Cor 10:4-5). A good question to ask yourself is 'How would this scripture change my life if I lived as though it were true?'. It can destroy us. A battlefield is the place where you lose or win (2 Cor 10:3-5). but replace them with His thoughts. let your requests be made known to God." The Greek speaks of every logical argument. Psalm 55:22 tells us that as we cast our cares on the Lord. Use the Word of God as a filter. God's word is forever settled in heaven. 1 Pet 5:7 says we are to cast our cares on the Lord for He cares for us.
Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. all things have become new. To have both in agreement it is necessary to renew the mind because faith is contrary to the mind. tell you they believe it — but never act on anything and therefore never receive any of the promises themselves. Mental assent says. old things have passed away. therefore it is true. concerning your former conduct. God says it. NO results = NO believing in the heart (Mark 11:23). he is a new creation. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. Your old life was full of negative statements and thoughts. "Therefore." Eph 4:21-23 refers to the physical and mental realm. yes I'm in faith" and never to have results.” The mind works with facts only. MENTAL ASSENT Mental assent is when a person has knowledge about the Bible — they know what it says. 2 Cor 5:17 refers to the spiritual realm. if anyone is in Christ. whereas faith is of the heart. It is impossible to say "I believe.His People Bible School : First Year 2. “I acknowledge that to be true. Renewing the mind is living under a new set of rules. and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. but it is not for me. Your new life in Christ says: "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13). as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off. Page 18 . behold. "if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him." To renew the mind takes effort.
we will die (Rom 8:12-13). Maturity involves obedience in spirit. Don't even allow your body the option of sleeping when it is time to pray or read the Word — avoid lying down if that helps! God's will is that we should all learn to control our bodies in a way that is holy and honourable (1 Thess 4:3-4). The Word brings light into many dark areas in our lives. We must live in an awareness that God's Spirit is within us all the time. Keep yourself from idols (1 John 5:21). We need to be physically fit to serve God. We are not our own — we were bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20). God wants us to have open hearts to hear what He is wanting to say. Perhaps it is the Holy Spirit feeling uncomfortable and convicting you of sin. We can apply the principle of stewardship to looking after our bodies. Remind your body who is in charge. We are called to be free. In the Old Testament the people rejoiced at the privilege of being able to contribute towards God's temple — the place of His abiding presence. . We need to treat our bodies with respect. discipline it (for example. The Apostle Paul said he disciplined his body to make it his slave (1 Cor 9:27). Do not let anything take priority above God in your life. who do not walk according to the flesh. Jesus made it possible for us to have victory over sin. God has promised us life. If you live according to the flesh you may feel uncomfortable about the fact that you are still smoking. Any addiction makes you unresponsive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. fast for a few days and see the glorious victory you achieve). As we look into the perfect law of God's Word. but according to the Spirit" (Rom 8:1). Do not deliberately sin once you have received the light (Heb 10:26-27). If you are not free to chose or cannot say no to something. Let's call sin what it is! Do not make excuses for the flesh — change! Although we are not under law. act on that light. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. it has control of you. Anything that takes God's place in your life or undermines God's rule in your life is an idol. You are not controlled by your sinful nature but by the spirit of God. Habits of the flesh bring bondage. drinking or overeating. if the problem is overeating. it will bring freedom into our lives (James 1:25). Force it to submit to your spirit. A habit that controls you is your master. soul and body. and life abundantly in Him. This teaching is not meant to bring condemnation. we would not do many of the things which we do. We are God's property. we are not to abuse God's grace (Gal 5:13).Christian Character : “Controlling the Physical Body” LECTURE FIVE CONTROLLING THE PHYSICAL BODY A person cannot reach maturity without dealing with the physical body. If your body is objecting in a specific area. Perhaps if we realised that fully. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20). healthy eating habits and an adequate exercise programme. His spirit in us is Page 19 Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. This includes having sufficient sleep without overindulging. Today the Holy Spirit lives within us. When God shines His light into an area of your life. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Do not think of how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Rom 13:14). If we live by the sinful nature. It is a joy for us to take care of our bodies — His temple.
It will come out in the form of strife. Keep as short a record of wrongs as possible. correct your priorities. at some stage it will come out in our speech. Heb 13:17 and 1 Thess 5:11-14. Your tongue — Watch what you say. AREAS THAT NEED DISCIPLINE (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Your time — Force a routine. don’t take offense. a time of prayer is crucial. Let us speak only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. Instead. it's not true forgiveness! We need to continually walk in forgiveness. Even when the person is in the wrong. Jesus said that he should forgive seventy times seven times. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you (Col 3:12-14). Once we have received the light in a specific area we need to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Spiritual children can go the same way. Be mature at these times and listen. DEALING WITH UNFORGIVENESS We need to deal with unforgiveness in our lives for our Father in heaven can only forgive us as we forgive others (Matt 6:14-15). If physical children grow up undisciplined. Nobody wants or likes to be around them. Unforgiveness harms YOU — it does not affect the other person.His People Bible School : First Year able to rule our bodies. forgive them. The discipline that you put upon yourself will mould your Christian character. Your time to meditate on and read the Word of God. Your mind — Think the Word. If you're counting the number of times someone wrongs you. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. 1. The body without the spirit is dead. We have all been hurt by somebody at some time. they become unruly and unpleasant. Discipline moulds a person's character. If the person in spiritual authority over you disciplines you. therefore live for the spirit not the body (James 2:26). If we harbour unforgiveness in our hearts. receive and grow. turn to Gal 6:1. Your prayer time — Whether tired or not. From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34). Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. Forgive them for the sake of your relationship with God. Page 20 . 2. These verses all tell you that they have the right to discipline you if necessary. many times. Your body — Don't let it make excuses. Peter asked the Lord how many times he should forgive his brother who sinned against him. That is many.
but whatever part of the body we are. Strife is the biggest enemy of the church.Christian Character : “Controlling the Physical Body” 3. then rather keep quiet. CONTROLLING THE TONGUE James 3:1-10 describes an uncontrolled tongue as kindling a forest fire. and we need each other. The body of Christ is an army — we all need one another. the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). If you do not control what goes into your spirit. It is like a plague and can hurt many people. all the pieces can never be picked up again. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. ANYTHING that breaks down relationships between people and does not build up is strife. Our tongue is like a rudder — be careful of where you steer yourself. James 3:2 says that the mature man controls his tongue and is able to control his whole body. you’ll not control the things that come out — “out of the abundance of the heart. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. we don’t need to fight our brothers and sisters in Christ. and even though you might repent. We can’t all be the mouth or the hand. Page 21 . Don’t break each other down. If you can’t say anything to build people up. rather PROTECT EACH OTHER. The enemy is the devil. Gossip is like confetti — it goes everywhere. Avoid strife by avoiding the people who cause strife (Psalm 1:1). Christ needs us.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. and it shall be done for you. For example." Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. goodness. HOW ARE WE TO BE FRUITFUL? John 15:1-8 "I am the true vine." The fruit of the spirit is an expression of Christ's character through you. self-control. Jesus tells us that one can judge a tree by its fruit (Matt 7:15-20). As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself. you are the branches. he is cast out as a branch and is withered. if a tree is labelled as an orange tree but starts to produce apples. peace. Abide in Me. He who abides in Me. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. and My Father is the vinedresser. faithfulness. joy. Page 22 . Against such there is no law. 1. and I in him. gentleness. If you abide in Me. and they gather them and throw them into the fire. It is God's will for you to be fruitful as a Christian (John 15:16. unless it abides in the vine. so you will be My disciples. kindness. neither can you. The fruit of the Spirit is the ongoing evidence of the Spirit of Christ in our lives revealing Christ's character through us as we submit to Him and are obedient to Him. The fruit disputes any arguments about whether it's an orange or an apple tree. By this My Father is glorified. but you cannot fool all the people all the time. and you can never fool God. bears much fruit. We need to distinguish between the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. that you bear much fruit. and every branch that bears fruit He prunes. Jesus tells us that we will know a tree by its fruit and by their fruit you will recognise them. I am the vine. They belong to the Holy Spirit and He distributes them at specific times according to the needs. If anyone does not abide in Me. Rom 7:4. and they are burned. for without Me you can do nothing. Psalm 1:3 . It is the result of the presence of Christ in our lives. Gifts are supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit. When it comes to false appearances of spiritual maturity you can fool some people some of the time. you will ask what you desire. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away. Jer 17:7). unless you abide in Me. There is no measure of spiritual maturity except the extent to which the fruit of the Spirit is evident in one's life. there will be no doubt as to whether it is an orange or apple tree. What you are will be seen by what you do and what comes out of your mouth. that it may bear more fruit. longsuffering.His People Bible School : First Year LECTURE SIX THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT Gal 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love. We should bear all nine fruits in our lives to display the character of God to others. and My words abide in you. and I in you.
We have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). Love is not a feeling — it's an act of your will. goodness. hopes all things. they will cease. love does not parade itself. If we obey God's Word His love is made complete in us individually (1 John 2:5).1 Love. Love never fails. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. No branch can produce fruit without being united to the vine. He has set a high standard for us to follow. does not behave rudely. He demonstrated His love for us (Rom 5:8). 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. John 13:34-35. We are to love one another as Christ loved us. Christ proved His love by laying down His life for us (1 John 3:16-18. kindness. whether there is knowledge. tender. endures all things. John 15:13). The potential to love is within us. Love must involve action (1 John 3:18). We can measure our thoughts. The expression of love in our lives is directed towards: a) A love for God (Matt 22:37). Page 23 . ardent. thinks no evil. peace. does not rejoice in iniquity. 2. This is the divine kind of love. believes all things. b) A love for people (Matt 22:39). Gal 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love. does not seek its own. He would never command us to do something that was impossible. We can define this God-kind of love by reading 1 Cor 13:4-8. is not puffed up. they will fail. Love suffers long and is kind. The Greek word for love is agape. But whether there are prophecies. The second greatest commandment. longsuffering. bears all things. As we love one another His love is made complete in us corporately (1 John 3:11)." Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. a strong. The greatest commandment in the law. love does not envy. is not provoked. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT [REFER TO TABLE 2 FOR "FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT"] 2. an unconditional love. joy. it will vanish away. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. God instructs us to love one another deeply (1 Pet 1:22) for love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8). whether there are tongues. compassionate devotion to the well-being of someone. but rejoices in the truth. faithfulness" The fruit of the Spirit is the work that His presence accomplishes in our lives.Christian Character : “The fruit of the Spirit" We can only be fruitful by abiding in the vine. attitudes and actions by these characteristics of love.
circumstances. any attempts to abide by the law to earn God's favour) will rob you of your joy. Jesus is in control of our lives. This means patient endurance to bear with frailties. Jesus is our peace (Eph 2:14). Come on Christians — sometimes we're the only ones who have something to smile about! Your smile is a testimony to God's goodness in your life. Jesus commanded the storm to be quiet and it obeyed (Luke 8:22-25). He has given us His peace (John 14:27). For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. repose. Paul asked the Galatians. 2. order and security in the midst of turmoil.4 Patience/ Longsuffering/ Steadfastness. Jesus wants us to have His joy in our hearts (John 17:13). 2. The Greek word for peace is <eirene'. Any works of the flesh (ie. We need to look saved — Smile! Prov 15:13 says that a happy heart makes the face cheerful. he has our strength. We need to allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts (Col 3:15). "What has happened to all your joy?" (Gal 4:15). The peace of God goes beyond all logical reasoning and understanding (Phil 4:7). Happiness depends on circumstances. We need to enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts (Psalm 100:4) for in His presence is fulness of joy (Psalm 16:11). regardless of circumstances. This means the emotional excitement. delight over blessings received or expected for self or others. The Greek word for patience is <makrothumia'. gladness. rest. He will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast.3 Peace. He blesses His people with peace (Psalm 29:11). who had deviated from God's grace and gone back to law-keeping. This is the state of quietness. harmony. because he trusts in Him (Isa 26:3). Sometimes we need to remind our faces about the joy in our hearts. If the devil can steal our joy. strife and temptations.2 Joy. In the midst of the storm. Sometimes it will require an active choice of the will. Page 24 . without murmuring or resentment. The Greek word for joy is <chara'. offences. The Bible tells us to lift up our countenance. injuries and provocations of others. The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10). It may demand that we step out in faith and start praising God and rejoicing in Him. The benefit of peace is life to the body (Prov 14:30).His People Bible School : First Year 2. The Bible commands us to rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4). We can trust Him. Joy is the inward state of heart regardless of Joy comes with obedience (John 15:10-11). Our joy comes as a result of our fellowship with Him. No-one can take your joy away from you (John 16:22).
2. acquired and created principle of inward and wholehearted confidence. virtuous. We need to be faithful in our work. b) In trials and suffering (Rom 12:2. to our word. 1 Thess 5:14). This means the state of being good. God is good. He desires that everyone come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9). benevolent. Faithfulness should be a characteristic in all areas of our lives. not wanting anyone to perish. assurance. The Greek word for goodness is <agathosure'. We are to be patient: a) With each other (Eph 4:2. Page 25 . kind.5 Kindness/ Meekness. The Lord is kind (Jer 9:24). The good lives that we lead should be a testimony to unbelievers (1 Pet 2:12). Our lives should reflect God's goodness to us. This means the disposition to be gentle. Be patient for the breakthrough is near. The Greek word for kindness is <praotes'. God is faithful even when we are faithless (2 Tim 2:13). Faithfulness means we can be relied on. kind. We should not grow weary of doing good especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Gal 6:9-10). His name is Faithful (Rev 19:11).Christian Character : “The fruit of the Spirit" God is patient with us.6 Goodness. we should be patient with others.7 Faithfulness. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. 2. generous and God-like in conduct. divinely implanted. He never gives up on us. trust and reliance in God and all that He says. The Greek word for goodness is <pistis'. In the same way that God is patient with us. This is the living. hang in there by faith. c) Until the Lord comes (James 5:7). even tempered. as dearly loved children (Eph 5:1). in serving God and in committing to tasks. We are to be imitators of God. patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge. Do not ever give up! Just when you feel like giving up. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. 2. James 1:2-4). to our family. We are to clothe ourselves with kindness (Col 3:12) and be kind to one another (Eph 4:32). It is God's kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4). We can taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
Gentleness means being able to put aside one's pride. Page 26 . tempers etc.9 Self-control/ Temperance. The Greek word for gentleness is <chretotes'. words. drinking. Gentleness is a strength. It does not mean to be wishy-washy or soft. Gentleness is not a weakness. We are running the race set before us in such a way as to win! Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. It involves being teachable and being prepared to admit that one doesn't know it all. This is a disposition to be gentle. smoking. Jesus was gentle and humble in heart (Matt 11:28-30). soft-spoken. being prepared to listen to others and not fighting to prove one's own point. This implies/ means a moderation in the indulgence of appetites and passions. The Greek word for self-control is <enkrateia'. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. (These were dealt with in further detail under " Controlling the body and the tongue".8 Gentleness. Examples of areas that need to be controlled and disciplined include: Our thoughts. exercise.His People Bible School : First Year 2. eating. even-tempered. kind. prayer life. 2. cultured and refined in character and conduct. actions. meditation on the Word.) An athlete restricts himself in all things in order to win (1 Cor 9:25).
Page 27 . we should be inspired to grow to greater maturity in Christ and exercise greater wisdom and understanding in our dealings with other Christians. adolescents and adults in the physical world are also evident in the various developmental stages of Christians from the moment they are born again. We must be slow to take offense and refrain from harbouring unforgiveness against people who have wronged us. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. Many characteristics of babies. It is essential that we renew our minds by reading and meditating upon the Word of God and resist the destructive thoughts that Satan attempts to bring our way. We should also accept the discipline of the Lord knowing that He is our loving Father who cares for us. we will be increasingly fruitful in our spiritual walk and able to exhibit more of Christ’s character in our lives. As we learn to recognize these stages of growth both in our own lives and the lives of others. children. As we nurture our spirits in these ways. We also noted the need to actively develop our Christian character.Christian Character : “The fruit of the Spirit" CONCLUSION This course highlights the various parallels that exist between physical and spiritual growth. Copyright © 2000 JPD His People.
the state of being good. goodness. the state of quietness. tender. order and security in the midst of turmoil. harmony. gladness. ardent. self-control. acquired and created principle of inward and wholehearted confidence. even tempered. virtuous. delight over blessings received or expected for self or others. soft-spoken. rest. offences. Against such there is no law. kind. cultured and refined in character and conduct. gentleness.His People Bible School : First Year TABLE 2 FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT Gal 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love. assurance. patient endurance to bear with frailties. the disposition to be gentle. without murmuring. kindness. the emotional excitement. repose. For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only." ! Love Greek = "agape" the divine kind of love. ! Joy ! Peace ! Patience Greek = "chara" Greek = "eirene" Greek = "makrothumia" Greek = "praotes" Greek = "agathosure" Greek = "pistis" ! Kindness ! Goodness ! Faithfulness ! Gentleness Greek = "chretotes" ! Self-control Greek = "enkrateia" Copyright © 2000 JPD His People. kind. Page 28 . a disposition to be gentle. generous and God-like in conduct. a moderation in the indulgence of appetites and passions. faithfulness. trust and reliance in God and all that He says. divinely implanted. repining or resentment. injuries and provocations of others. peace. longsuffering. compassionate devotion to the well-being of someone. kind. a strong. benevolent. patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge. eventempered. strife and temptations. the living. joy. unconditional love.
Manhood "Neaniskos" young man "Neos" young woman" 5. Babyhood GREEK "Brephos" First Breath / newborn baby 2. • Rebellion • Disobedience • Rebellion • Tantrums Page 29 . For the exclusive use of His People Bible School lecturers only. Early childhood "Nepios" One who cannot speak 1 Cor 3:1-1 0 SCRIPTURE 1 Peter 2:2 • Fed • Swaddled • Love • Guidance • Attention NEED • Love DANGER • Doubt • Fear • Rejection • Easily led astray CHARACTERISTICS • Innocence • Ignorance • Irritability • Self-pleasers • Spasmodic • Unreliable • Impulsive • Curious • Talkative • Impressionable • Man-pleasers 3 Late childhood (Teenager) 4. Fatherhood "Pater" Sow Seeds 1 Cor 4:14-15 • Appreciated • Apathy • Retirement 1 John 3:13-14 "Paidion" Heb 12:5-11 • Love • Discipline • Understanding • Workers • Encouragement • Frustration • Discouragement • Victorious • Spirit-dominated • Esteem earthly things lightly • Bold • God-pleasers • Resourceful • Commitment to next generation • Tenderness and compassion Copyright © 2000 JPD His People.His People Bible School : First Year TABLE 1 STAGES OF CHRISTIAN CHARACTER STAGE 1.
His People Bible School Page Number 30 .