More is NOT Better (12)

12. It tends to emphasize character over Christ.

God’s grace empowers us to obey Him; to live for Him; to follow Him. The apostle was given the following advice directly from the Lord regarding enduring extremely difficult circumstances in I Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Those that add to the scripture often speak of the strength of character necessary to fully follow the Lord, but the Lord went on to tell Paul, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Clearly it is not the strength of my character that allows me to live for God, but MY WEAKNESS and HIS GRACE! (See also II Cor. 13:4)

I’ve heard many a preacher say “we can give them Christ but we cannot give them character.” That makes no sense. When someone truly receives Christ they receive His character. Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” So to say “we can give them Christ but we cannot give them character” truly means we did not give them Christ. (See also I John 3:4-10; 5:18; I Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; II Cor. 13:5; Eph. 5:5)

Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit; that is, the result of God’s Spirit living inside of a person. God’s Spirit enables a person to obey God’s commands, but not necessarily man’s. Man’s additions to scripture do require character so “bible adders” must emphasize character if they are to be successfully followed. Character then becomes the God to be worshipped and to have faith in. This is idolatry! (Satan rightly said “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” in Gen. 3:5)

Romans 8:9 puts is quite well. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

Until next time,