OceanSide church of Christ




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Character
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              Introduction

A.   Character is defined as an individual’s mental and moral qualities

                                          i.    Each person displays their own type of character whether good or bad

                                        ii.    It is interesting to do a study on this subject because the Bible never uses this term (in the KJV)

                                       iii.    However, there are certain terms that are related such as:

1.    Virtue – moral excellence (2 Pet 1:3)

2.    Integrity – unable to be corrupted (Psa 26:1)

3.    Experience – tested honesty (Rom 5:4)

B.   I also find it interesting how often Christ used a tree and its roots to illustrate a person’s character in essence

                                          i.    Roots act and serve the tree in different ways

                                        ii.    They send water to the tree, support the stillness of the tree, and in some case wrap around other roots

                                       iii.    As we go through this study we will relate each point to these functions of roots

II.            Brain

A.   The source of our character is the heart

                                          i.    Jesus describes what defiles the body not as what goes in but what comes out (Mark 7:14-23)

                                        ii.    Our food has nothing to do with our heart but what we watch, listen to, and associate with does affect our heart

B.   Solomon describes the path of righteousness in Proverbs 4:24-27

                                          i.    However, in verse 23 he begins it with “keep your heart with all diligence”

1.    “Keep” means to guard or protect

2.    “Diligence” means to ward or imprison

                                        ii.    It is so important to protect our hearts so that what comes our will be pure and holy

C.   While God can look at our heart we cannot visually see someone’s thoughts or intentions (1 Sam 16:7)

                                          i.    Jesus explained that we can know someone’s heart in time through witnessing the fruit they bear (Matt 7:15-20)

                                        ii.    If the fruit is bad then the heart must be as well

1.    Relating this to roots we understand that roots supply the water and nutrients

2.    If they supply garbage the fruit will be garbage as well

3.    Paul said if the roots are holy the branches will be holy (Rom 11:16)

4.    The roots in the picture represent our heart

III.           Behavior

A.   After we think we then take action

                                          i.    We want that action to occur after pure thoughts (Phil 4:8-9)

                                        ii.    We want it to be continuous good actions only (Jam 1:25)

1.    Some might think they believing something to be wrong grants them good character

2.    However, if we believe something is wrong and do it anyway then our character is still tainted

3.    The thoughts and actions must both be congruent

B.   Comparing this to roots we know that roots also support the weight and stability of the tree

                                          i.    Solomon described the roots of the righteous as being unmovable (Prov 12:3)

                                        ii.    Jesus discussed those souls without roots as being like seed on stony ground (Matt 13:21)

                                       iii.    Those without roots will fall because they have no foundation on which to stand and be supported

IV.          Buddies

A.   Our character is certainly also determined by our buddies

                                          i.    Who we associate with will always affect our character (1 Cor 15:33)

                                        ii.    Solomon said a companion of fools will be destroyed (Prov 13:20)

                                       iii.    Isaiah described roots as being rotten when one doesn’t abide by the law of God (5:24)

B.   If our buddies are not Christians what will happen when we intertwine our roots, our heart, with theirs?

                                          i.    If we are tied to the wrong support system we will fall

                                        ii.    We need others solid, sturdy roots to wrap around so that we might stand through temptations and adversity

C.   Lastly, consider the image of your character when your surrounded by public sinners

                                          i.    If you are seen with others drinking, even if you are not participating, your character and reputation are still injured

                                        ii.    Paul says not to allow your good to be “evil spoken of”

                                       iii.    If you are doing right then do not appear to be doing wrong by associating with those of poor character