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GODLY CHARACTER

The goal for all --

Especially leaders

 

By Bart Nelson

 

 

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Copying and translation authorized for free distribution. 

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Phone – 253.564.3261

Email – etsministries@yahoo.com

 

This is by no means an exhaustive listing of the verses that talk about us walking in holiness and perfection. There are Strong's definitions for a few key words, as noted by a number in parenthesis, listed at the end of this section.

 

God Commands and Empowers Godly Character

 

Lev. 11.45 For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy (#6918), for I am holy (#6918).

 

Lev. 22.32 You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, Even in the OT it was God who did the sanctification work. This idea is stated numerous times in the word, most not listed here.

 

2 Sam. 22.31 As for God, His way is perfect (#8549); the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 32 “For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? 33 God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect (#8549). I checked out the Hebrew, the word way is the same for God and us.

 

Ps. 29.2 Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (#6944).

 

Ps. 101.2 I will behave wisely in a perfect way (#8549). Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect (#8537) heart. 6 My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in a perfect way (#8549), he shall serve me. If perfection is impossible, how could David have any one to serve him. He even expected it of himself.

 

Is. 26.7 The way of the just (#6662) is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just (#6662). Are these just imaginary people?

 

Is. 45.54 He shall say, ‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him. 25 In the Lord all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory.’ ”

 

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, says the LORD.

 

Eze. 36.22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!” Isn't this speaking of the new covenant?

 

Eze. 44.23 “And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

 

Mt. 5.48 Therefore be perfect (#5046), just as your Father in heaven is perfect (#5046). The same word is used for us as it is for God.

 

Jn. 17.17 Sanctify (#37) them through your truth: your word is truth. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify (#37) myself, that they also might be sanctified (#37) through the truth.

23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect (#5046) in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

 

Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

 

Rom. 8.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness (#1345) of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 30 Moreover whom he did predestine, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

Rom. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect (#5046, will of God. We are to prove the perfect will of God with our transformed lives.

 

Rom. 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified (#37) by the Holy Spirit.

 

1 Cor. 6:11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

2 Cor. 7.1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting (#2005) holiness (#42) in the fear of God.

 

Gal. 3.3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect (#2005) by the flesh?

 

Gal. 5.16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

 

Eph. 4.12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (#5046) man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

 

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify (#37) and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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 (#40) and without blemish.

 

Phil 2.12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

 

Phil. 3.7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected ($5048); but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are perfect (#5046), have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

 

Col. 1.28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect (#5046) in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

 

Col. 4.12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect (#5046) and complete in all the will of God.

 

1 Thes. 5.21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify (#37) you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

 

Heb. 6.1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection (#5047), not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.

 

Heb. 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect (#5048), but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

 

Heb. 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies (#37) to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 

Heb. 10.10 By that will we have been sanctified (#37) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected (#5048) forever those who are being sanctified. It isn't a matter of attaining perfection, Jesus did that already. It is a matter of maintaining it.

 

Heb. 11.40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect (#5048) apart from us.

 

Hebrews 12:10 For they truly for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness (#41).

 

Jam. 1.2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect (#5046) work, that you may be perfect (#5046) and complete, lacking nothing.

 

1 Pet. 1:15 But as he which has called you is holy, so be holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be holy; for I am holy. 17 And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

 

1 Pet. 5:10 But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect (#2675), establish, strengthen, settle you.

 

2 Pet. 1.3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble (#4417);

 

1 Jn. 2.1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected (#5048) in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

 

1 Jn. 4.12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected (#5048) in us. 17 Love has been perfected (#5048) among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect (#5046) love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect (#5048) in love.

 

Rev. 3.2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect (#4137) before God.  It's as though that is not normal!?

 

God is the Alpha and Omega of our perfection, holiness, rightness, justness, etc. It is only found in Him. To Him only belongs the credit, thanks, glory, honor, praise, etc. for any that is found in our lives. This is both an Old and New Testament principle. Likewise an Old and New Testament principle is that we are to maintain this state that God has saved and delivered us to. I don't believe that we are ever told in the word (but perhaps I am wrong) that it is impossible for us to maintain this state.

 

Someone might say they didn't know anyone who had arrived, and that is true. That doesn't mean that it hasn't happened. Just like healing or deliverance, there are commands and promises for us to walk in perfection and holiness. Many would say they haven't met anyone who had been proven medically to have been healed or delivered. I know that there are numerous such individuals, yet some have not met any. Their not having met any doesn't make it a falsehood. Likewise for us, just because we haven't met anyone who has walked in perfection with our God, doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

 

To bring a balance, there are many scriptures that talk about how we can return to the Lord if we stumble and about how He will make us totally perfect upon our going to Heaven. I don't deny these scriptures, in fact I use the ones about forgiveness often and the others give me great hope. I do not believe they are mutually exclusive. Rather, I believe they show the heart of our Father who does not want us to be discouraged, knows well our flesh, that it is but dust and weak, and wants us to get up and keep on!

 

I do not see any scriptures that plainly tell us that we must sin or that we cannot be pure. To the contrary, I see the word filled with references how we are to be perfect, holy, sanctified, righteous, etc. with no escape hatches.

 

Hebrew

Stong's #6662 tsaddiyq { tsad-deek’}  from 6663; righteous 162, just 42, righteous man 1, lawful 1; 206 (in conduct and character) (as justified and vindicated by God) correct.

 

Strong's #6918 qadowsh {kaw-doshe}  or qadosh {kaw-doshe’} holy 65, Holy One 39, saint 12; 116 sacred, saint, set apart

 

Strong's #6944 qodesh {ko’-desh}  from 6942; holy 262, sanctuary 68, (holy, hallowed,...) things 52, most 44, holiness 30, dedicated 5, hallowed 3, consecrated 1, misc 3; 468 apartness, sacredness, separateness

 

Strong's #8537 tom {tome} from 8552; integrity 11, upright 2, uprightly 2, uprightness 2,venture 2, full 1, perfect 1, perfection 1, simplicity 1; 23 completeness, innocence.

 

Strong's #8549 tamiym {taw-meem’} from 8552; without blemish 44, perfect 18, upright 8, without spot 6, uprightly 4, whole 4, sincerely 2, complete 1, full 1, misc 3; entire, sound, healthful, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity, what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact

 

Greek

Strong's #37 hagiazo {hag-ee-ad’-zo} from 40; sanctify 26, hallow 2, be holy 1; 29 to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow, to separate from profane things and dedicate to God, consecrate things to God, dedicate people to God, to purify, to cleanse externally, to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin, to purify internally by renewing of the soul.

 

Strong's #40 hagios {hag’-ee-os}  holy 161, saints 61, Holy One 4, misc 3; 229 most holy thing, a saint

 

Strong's #41 hagiotes {hag-ee-ot’-ace} from 40; holiness 1; 1, sanctity, in a moral sense: holiness

 

Strong's #42 hagiosune {hag-ee-o-soo’-nay} from 40; holiness 3; 3, majesty, holiness, moral purity

 

Strong's #1345 dikaioma {dik-ah’-yo-mah}  from 1344; TDNT righteousness 4, ordinance 3, judgment 2, justification 1; 10 that which has been deemed right so as to have force of law, what has been established, and ordained by law, an ordinance, a judicial decision, sentence, of God, either the favorable judgment by which he acquits man and declares them acceptable to Him, unfavorable: sentence of condemnation, a righteous act or deed.

 

Strong's #2005 epiteleo {ep-ee-tel-eh’-o} from 1909 and 5055; perform 3, perfect 2, accomplish 2, finish 1, performance 1, make 1, do 1; 11 to bring to an end, accomplish, perfect, execute, complete, to take upon one’s self, to make an end for one’s self, to leave off, to appoint to, impose upon

 

Strong's #2511 katharizo {kath-ar-id’-zo} cleanse 16, make clean 5, be clean 3, purge 3, purify 3; 30 in a moral sense to free from defilement of sin and from faults, to purify from wickedness, to free from guilt of sin, to purify, to consecrate by cleansing or purifying, to consecrate, dedicate

 

Stong's #2675 katartizo {kat-ar-tid’-zo}  perfect 2, make perfect 2, mend 2, be perfect 2, fit 1, frame 1, prepare 1, restore 1, perfectly joined together 1; 13, to render, i.e. to fit, sound, complete, to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair, to complete,            to fit out, equip, put in order, arrange, adjust, to fit or frame for one’s self, prepare, ethically: to strengthen, perfect, complete, make one what he ought to be

 

Stong's #4137 pleroo { play-ro’-o} from 4134; fulfill 51, fill 19, be full 7, complete 2, end 2, misc. 9; 90 to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full, to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally, to render full, to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim, to consummate: a number, to make complete in every particular, to render perfect, to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking), to carry into effect, bring to realization, realize, of matters of duty: to perform, execute, of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish, to fulfill, i.e. to cause God’s will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfillment.

 

Stong's #4417 ptaio {ptah’-yo} a form of 4098; offend 3, stumble 1, fall 1; 5 to cause one to stumble or fall, to stumble, to err, make a mistake, to sin, to fall into misery, become wretched.

 

Strong's #5046 teleios {tel’-i-os} from 5056; perfect 17, man 1, of full age 1; 19, brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, consummate human integrity and virtue, full grown, adult, of full age, mature

 

Stong's #5047 teleiotes {tel-i-ot’-ace} from 5046; perfectness 1, perfection 1; 2 the state of the more intelligent, moral and spiritual perfection

 

Stong's #5048  teleioo {tel-i-o’-o} from 5046; make perfect 12, perfect 4, finish 4, fulfill 2, be perfect 1, consecrate 1; 24 complete, to carry through completely, to accomplish, bring to an end, add what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full, to be found perfect, to bring to the end (goal) proposed, to accomplish, bring to a close or fulfillment by event, of the prophecies of the scriptures

 

              I.      Then there are these scriptures especially for leaders: 1 Tim 3.1-13 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. These verses list our goals as leaders -- We know THAT, but how do we get there from here. There are no magic formulas, but there are things we can do to help ourselves.

            II.      Job. 31.1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? Ps. 101.3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away;         It shall not cling to me. Ps. 119.37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. Pr. 4.23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Pr. 16.3 Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. Pr. 23.7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Mk. 4.24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.  Lk. 8.18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.” 2 Cor. 10.3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. We become what we think about, so watch carefully. Phil 4.8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. One of the main things we should fill our minds with is Jesus and all He went through for us. Perhaps the movie 'The Passion' could be a help here. Heb. 12.2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. We must first of all be quite careful what we let in our minds via the eyes and ears. What comes in will reveal itself by coming out. Then we have as list for a guideline for our thoughts. It all begins here. If we will align out thinking with God's, the battle will be largely won. Pr. 16.3 tells us this begins with committing what we do to God. I learned long ago to commit my day and myself to God each day. Also don't focus on the tempting thought, refocus on something else. It is impossible to force yourself to not think about a pink elephant. It is possible to start thinking about something else.

          III.      There is the power of death and life in our tongues. Once we've changed our stinking thinking, we need to follow up with what we say. Pr. 18.21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Mt. 12.34-37 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure £of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” I have heard it said that words are spiritual containers and that scientifically speaking, the sound waves continue on forever. If those two concepts are true and I believe they are, what we say about others and ourselves is extremely powerful. We desperately need to talk correctly.

         IV.      Worhip is a Key Ps 115.4-8 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; feet they have, but they do not walk; nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them. Pr. 16.6 In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil. 2 Cor. 3. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. -- We become like what we worship. Proverbs tells us that fearing the Lord, that is being aware He will do what He says and reverently worshipping Him we depart from evil!

           V.      Partake of Much of the Word About the Issue Josh. 1.8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Ps 119.9-11 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Is. 55.10-11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 2 Tim. 3.16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Heb. 4.12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. -- Seek God for scriptures that apply to the area you're struggling with, then read, memorize, meditate, study, sing and pray them.

         VI.      We Must Pass the Test Gal 5.13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit (I like the NIV here, 'keep in step with the Spirit, implying moment by moment keeping pace.), and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident…22 But the fruit of the Spirit is… Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Love, service, walk in the Spirit, crucify the flesh – some more keys for our Godly character. Rom 5.3-4 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. James 1.2-8 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. -- Testings produce character. Our job is to respond correctly -- glorying, joyful, letting patience do its work, ask God for wisdom with faith and not doubting.

       VII.      We Win the Battle by Faith 1 Jn. 5.4-5 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? -- We overcome by faith. In our spirit man we are saved, sanctified, crucified to the old and resurrected to the new, victorious, holy, healed and whole, etc. The battle is in the mind, will and emotions. In the spirit, it is all finished, done, accomplished. The work begins is in the soul.

     VIII.      Keep Praying About It Mt. 6.13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Mt. 7.7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Rom. 12.12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; Jam. 5.16b The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 1 Jn 5.14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. -- Have you consistently prayed about it? I don't know about anyone else, but there are things in my life that I have struggled with for so long that I quit praying about them. God admonishes us to rejoice in hope and be steadfast in prayer (i.e. don't give up hoping or praying).

         IX.      Get a Partner Eccl. 4.9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. James 5.16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. -- Confession to another is good. Have someone keep you accountable (check up on you in these areas and the areas you're struggling in) and pray for you.

           X.      Ask Holy Spirit to Search and Confess Quickly Ps. 139.23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps. 51.3-4, 10-12 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 1 Jn 1.7-10 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. – We all sin, so ask Holy Spirit to search you and don’t forget to confess to God -- keep fresh and current. The sooner you notice your thoughts going astray and confess it, the less out of control the sin gets. Stay as clean as possible. Once we get dirty, we tend to not care if we get dirtier! Also, ask the Lord for a repentant heart.

         XI.      God is Doing His Part 2 Pet 1.3-4 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  Phil. 2.12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  God’s power works in us and He’s given us wonderful promises -- in other words, we are not in this alone.

       XII.      Don't Forget to Battle the Enemy Eph. 6.10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 2 Tim 2.22-23 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. James 4.7-10 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. 1 Peter 5.8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. Note that all these are actions we're to do!

     XIII.      Learn to Love What God Loves and Hate What He Hates Ps. 37.28       For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. Ps. 45.7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions. Ps. 139.21-22 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. Pr. 6.16-19 These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. Pr. 8.13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Rom. 12.9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 2 Cor. 9.7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. Learn to love what God loves and hate what He hates. He loves the righteous, cheerful givers, those that love Him, etc. He hates evil, sin, lying, pride, strife, etc.

   XIV.      Abide in the Vine How do we abide? The Keys God gave me are: all, always, day and night, continue, etc. have been italicized and underlined. The action is in CAPITALS AND BOLD.

¥          Josh. 1:8 GOD’S WORD is not to depart FROM OUR MOUTHS, we are to MEDITATE on it day and night.

¥          1 Thes. 5:17-19 REJOICE evermore. PRAY without ceasing. In every thing GIVE THANKS: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Prayer is, among other things, committing, asking, intercession, confession, plus many of the other things listed here. Zeph. 3.14 SING, O daughter of Zion! SHOUT, O Israel! BE GLAD AND REJOICE with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

¥          Prov. 23:17 Let not your heart envy sinners: but be in the FEAR OF THE LORD all the day long.

¥          Ps. 34:1 I will BLESS the LORD at all times: his PRAISE shall continually be in my mouth. Ps. 86.12 I will PRAISE You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will GLORIFY Your name forevermore.

¥          Ps. 25:5 Lead me in Your truth, and teach me: for You are the God of my salvation; on You do I WAIT all the day.

¥          Mark 12:30 And you shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.

¥          Ps. 105:4 SEEK His face continually.

¥          Ps. 62:8 TRUST in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Prov. 3.5-6 TRUST in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways ACKNOWLEDGE Him (intimately), and He shall direct your paths.

¥          Joel. 2.12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “TURN TO ME with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.

So as we meditate on the word and not let it depart from our mouths, rejoice, pray, give thanks, fear God, bless God, praise, wait on God, love God, sing, seek his face, and trust; we abide. Depending on your occupation, you may have to actively engage your mind at all times to be faithful to your employer, etc. The idea, then, is to make God a part of your work, asking for help, thanking Him for things, etc. Include Him in the conversations in your mind.  When you have a break, discipline yourself to focus on one or more of the activities above.

    XV.      Become Righteousness Conscious Rom. 4.7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” Rom. 8.1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 2 Cor. 5.21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Heb. 10. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. We are no longer under condemnation, but rather righteousness and sanctification. In fact, our spirits cannot be more right or holy than they already are. So let's quit confessing sins we haven't done, feeling condemned and unworthy, and begin confessing our right and holy position in Christ. I am not saying we should not confess specific sins Holy Spirit has convicted us about. That is a different matter.

   XVI.      'Feed The Good Dog' A good way to sum all of this up is this idea of feeding the good dog and starving the bad one. I agree, the analogy is weak, but the idea is right. When we're busy doing the do's, we won't have time to do the don'ts.