Jesus Christ spoke of us being “born again.” Natural birth determines or nature. Being born again determines our new nature.
ROMANS 7: 18-20
The “I” in the text is the person’s soul, will, and mind.
The “sin” that dwells in us is our natural weaknesses that we, like every member of the fallen race, inherit from our parents. We all inherit such a basic temperament.
This inherent nature contains both strengths and weaknesses. It is called several things in the Bible: “the natural man,” “the flesh,” “the old man,” and “corruptible flesh.”
It is a basic impulse that seeks to satisfy our basic desires.
To understand this on going challenge an understanding of the difference in our temperament, character, and our personality is essential.
TEMPERAMENT is a combination of our inborn traits that subconsciously affects our behavior. Some factors are our nationality, race, sex, and other heredity factors. These are passed on by our genes. It is thought we inherit more of these traits for our grandparents than our parents. That is why some children look more like their grandparents than their parents.
The influence of nationality is seen by the way certain nationalities are perceived. Some nationalities are industrious, like the Jews; some thrifty, like the Scotts. Some are known to be more passionate than others, some more aggressive, and some more reserved.
One’s sex is influential. In general females are more intuitive and feeling than men.
CHARACTER is the real you. The Bible refers to it as “the hidden man of the heart.” It is sometime called “the soul” which consists of the mind, the emotions, and the will. It is the sum total of your childhood training, education, and basic attitude, beliefs, and motivations.
PERSONALITY is the outward expression of ourselves. It may or may not be the same as our character, depending on how honest we are.
Many people act a part they think people want them to play. When it is contrary to their true nature this results in emotional and mental pressure.
The Bible says, “man looks upon the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart,” and also, “out of the heart proceeds the issues of life.”
Temperament is the combination of traits with which we are born.
Character is our “civilized” temperament.
Personality is the “face” we show others.
Here is good news. Regardless of your temperament you can have a Spirit controlled temperament.
Dr. Henry Brandt, a leading Christian psychologists, once said, “You can use your background as an excuse for present behavior only until you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. After that you have a new power within you that is able to change your conduct.” That is good news.
Many Christians never mature in Christ and benefit from develop this Spirit transformed temperament. It is what he Bible speaks of when it speaks of “being transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The reason is they do not remain in an “abiding” relationship with Christ.
When a person receives Jesus as Savior they are given a “new nature” The Holy Spirit when allowed can enable this transformed new nature to become a persons true character.
Most people recognize two basic temperaments: introverts and extroverts. Actually there are four more definitive.
400 years before Christ a Greek philosopher, Hippocrates, concluded there are four types. His permeative understanding thought the types were a result of various body fluids:
“Blood”; “choler” or “yellow bile”; “melancholy” or “black bile”; and “phlegm.”
Hippocrates gave names to each type based on the body fluid which really has nothing to do with it. They are SANGUINE, CHOLERIC, MELANCHOLY, AND PHLEGMATIC.
These are basic temperaments. No person is just one of them. There is usually one predominant type but no person is a single-temperament type.
There are four grandparents and all four contribute to a grandchild’s temperament.. As the four types are considered evaluate which is your predominant type to understand your basic temperament and know your basic strengths and weaknesses. Consider some of the basic strengths and weaknesses of each of the four temperaments.
STRENGTHS: This person is enthusiastic and optimistic with the ability to forget the past and live in the present not frustrated by past disappointments and failures. A genuine love for people results in an outgoing cheerful temperament. Such a person has a tender and compassionate heart.
WEAKNESSES: This person is restless and thrives on activity . Being easily excited they often don’t tend to analyze the entire picture and don’t plan thoroughly. They find it difficult to concentrate even on the Scripture.
A person with this type temperament is often undisciplined and weak-willed, lacking in self-discipline.
This type temperament gets discouraged easily and tends to make excuses for conduct.
STRENGTHS: These persons are usually self-disciplined with a tendency toward self-determination. They are confident in their ability and aggressive. Like Sanguine types they are perpetual motion only they tend to plan better. They doggedly stick with projects. They readily accept leadership roles and are aggressive.
This type person is optimistic, adventurous, and has a pioneering spirit.
WEAKNESSES: Persons with this temperament are not emotional and tends to lack compassion; unsympathetic. They prone to anger and are often revengeful. There is a tendency to run over people. Unless they are given strong moral standards they do not hesitate to break the law. Many of the world’s most depraved criminals and dictators has been Chloric.
STRENGTHS: A high percentage of genius-prone people are melancholy. There is a tendency to excel in arts and has appreciation for life’s true values. A standard of excellence exceeds that of others. They are inventive and creative. They have few friends but are faithful to those they do have. Such a person tends to know his limits.
WEAKNESSES: This is the most self-centered of the temperaments. Because of their perfectionism and self-analysis they are prone to be pessimistic. This makes them indecisive and fearful of making decisions. They are intolerant of others who fail to live up to their expectations of them. No one is prone to greater mood swings than the melancholy person.
This temperament type tends to have the greatest strengths and potentials but are also inclined to the greatest weaknesses.
STRENGTHS: These individuals have a wonderful sense of humor. They have an inborn capacity to see the light side of life.
They are the embodiment of dependability. They fulfill their obligations of time and schedule. They are practical and efficient. They tend to find a practical way to accomplish objectives with the least effort.
WEAKNESSES: They are so easy going they are prone to be slow and lazy. They tend to do as little as necessary. They tend to be selfish and stubbornly resist change. All four temperaments tend to be selfish but those possessing this trait are the most selfish. They are indecisive because they don’t want to get involved.
Every weakness in each can be overcome by a transformed temperament. The negative traits can be overcome by a Spirit controlled temperament. The fruit of such a temperament is identified in Galatians 5: 22, 23, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control….”
The Holy Spirit controlled temperament does not have weaknesses.
All these traits are traits of a Spirit controlled temperament, character, and personality.
Persons can fast, pray, and even give their bodies to be burned a the stake, but if they don’t evidence the fruit of the Spirit there’s is not a Spirit controlled temperament.
Upon committing our life to Christ as Savior we are spoken of in the Bible in several ways.
We are born again. Old things are passed away. We are new creatures in Christ. We are transformed.
It is easier to reach a goal if it is well defined and kept in mind. Make your goal is the manifesting of the nine facets known as the fruit of the Spirit. Note, “fruit” is single and the object plural. In 1610 when the King James was translated from Greek to English the time of harvest was call the time of fruiting. Thus, the text might better be read “the harvest of the Spirit.” We are not to cherry pick which of the nine we want to cultivate. All nine are to be manifest in our lives. Fix them in your mind by any means.
The mother of Coach Derick Dooley, Barbara, has one written individually on nine tile lining her kitchen counter. Do something to keep them before you. Memorize them. Repeat them to yourself when you awake during the night and in the morning. Use a can of spray paint and write them on the wall in your house.
Though we are to manifest all nine to start with start with the first one, “love” and concentrate on consciously showing it all day in your life.
The next day and so on concentrate on including another as your conscious effort of the day.
Consider Romans 12: 1, 2. “I beseech you….” “Beseech” PARAKALO (pa-ra-ka-layo) primarily means to come along side of. It is a positive offer of encouragement. It means to speak tenderly.
This appeal is made on the basis of the highest motivation, “the mercy of God.”
“Be not conformed,” means “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its mold.” It is present passive imperative plus a negative meaning “Stop being molded to the realm of worldliness.”
If you are a Christian and you fellowship with the world and act like the world you are wearing camouflage to deceive the world.
A few brief short ventures into enemy territory, that is the world, and soon you are acting like the world.
To avoid conforming to the world it is essential to exercise one of the fruit of the Spirit. It is “self-control.”
The process is described in I Corinthians 9:27: “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (a castaway).”
To do this make your body a “living sacrifice.” There were basically two types of sacrifices. One led to reconciliation. That is the one Jesus made. The other sacrifice was one of celebration for reconciliation.
Christ made the first sacrifice. Out of gratitude we make one to Him.
This is a process of transformation. Romans 12: 2 instructs us to “be transformed.” A transformer changes things such as electric current. It makes electricity useful.
The Greek word for “transformed” is METAMORPHOSIS (MET-MA-FAH-O), meaning changed.
When you commit your life to Christ you are born again and become a new creature with a new nature. Describe water bugs in Louisiana swamp.
I have a friend in Chicago who developed a product that makes your car more comfortable. The engin of a car makes noise. The wheels and other sounds under a car as it travels makes noise. He devised and sold to auto manufacturers a product that reduces the noise by transformation. It is put on the firewall between passengers and the engin. It is also put on the floorboard of the car. Noise hits the surface on one side and when it comes out on the other side it is dissipated and comes out as heat. Sound is transformed into heat.
Christ is our transformer. Your old nature will respond just like that of people of the world unless you allow Christ to transform you.
How do you do it? By the renewing of your mind. Many need a complete make over, a reprogramming of the mind. This renovation of your mind is in large part done by what you read, hear, or see as well as what you will not read, hear, or see.
It is both an act and a process. We begin it with an act of commitment and we maintain it on and ongoing basis. Aretha Franklin sang, “You gotta have a made up mind.”
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first to climb Mount Everest speaking of climbing at great heights where the oxygen is rare noted the mind has a tendency to wander. He said therefore, “Before you leave the base camp you must have a made up mind.”
Living in our rarified moral climate we must have a made up mind also.
Commit yourself to this simple philosophy;
I am IN HIS KEEPING.
UNDER HIS TRAINING
FOR HIS TIME.
The objective of the Christian life is to find and do the “perfect will of God.” There are many reasons why. Two are noted: It is “good” and “acceptable.”