Friday, June 4, 2010


Many mistakenly believe that because God is love, no matter what their character is like, somehow God will allow them into heaven. It is a significant tragedy that many will be unprepared for an eternal life in the presence of God because they choose not to believe one very important fact: that character is not changed in heaven nor at death. God does not change anyone after they die nor does He magically transform a person's character in this life against their will or without their cooperation. The development of a Christ-like character that can truly enjoy heaven and can be trusted in heaven must take place in this life on earth. This development of character cannot take place apart from the grace of God but we are reassured that God will perform the work in us as we cooperate and that we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us. The need to have and the promise of obtaining victory over sin in order to be saved is clearly presented to us in the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy. This challenges us with nothing less than aiming for moral excellence in Christ through total dependence upon God's enabling grace. The good news concerning the practical "how" of attaining the goal of overcoming sin needs to be presented just as much, if not more, as the good news about the forgiveness of sin. Let's look at some of the principles that our heavenly Father has shared with us to help us obtain the victory over all selfishness and sin in our lives. The principles requiring human effort for victory over selfishness may be divided into two specific categories which are both physical and mental.


Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5)


a) If the thoughts are right, then as a result the words will be right; the actions will be of that character to bring gladness and comfort and rest to souls. Think right thoughts and you will perform right actions.

b) The more we think of heaven, the more happiness we shall have.

c) As Christ the Pattern is constantly kept before the mind's eye, new habits will be formed, powerful hereditary and cultivated tendencies will be subdued and overcome, self-esteem will be laid in the dust, old habits of thought will be constantly resisted, love for the supremacy will be seen in its real, despicable character, and will be overcome.

d) Habitually dwelling upon Christ, his exalted character, and the all-sufficient merits of his sacrifice, increases the faith, sharpens the imaginative power, strengthens the longing desire to be like him, and creates holy earnestness in prayer, that makes it efficacious.

e) “...pride and self-worship cannot flourish in the soul that keeps fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary.

f) As the mind dwells upon Christ, the character is molded after the divine similitude. The thoughts are pervaded with a sense of his goodness, his love.

g) By constantly contemplating heavenly themes our faith and love will grow stronger. With eternal realities in view we will habitually cultivate thoughts of the presence of God. This will be a shield against the incoming of the enemy; it will give strength and assurance, and lift the soul above fear.

h) And as one drop of rain prepares the way for another in moistening the earth, so one good thought prepares the way for another.

i) “...when the Lord sees the determined effort made to retain only pure thoughts, he will attract the mind, like the magnet, and purify the thoughts,..”

j) It is learning to think less of ourselves and more of making others happy that will bring to us divine strength.

(Proverbs 12:5,16:11,11:25/Romans 12:2/Isaiah 26:3/Titus 1:15/Philippians 4:8/1Peter 1:13/Hebrews 12:1-3/Ephesians 4:23/Psalms 94:19,104:34)

The unconverted, natural mind has no intention of overcoming sin and self and sees nothing particularly appealing about frequently contemplating heaven or having the thoughts centered in Christ. There is hope, however, for the soul who will recognize his or her need and cry out to God for a complete transformation of mind. This study will be continued in subsequent posts.

© 2010 Tyrone Keels

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