Character Building

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I would like to use the analogy of building a house, and suppose that the building of the house represents character building. Some on this forum have suggested that Christ obeyed or built the house for us on the cross; a perfect house, so that they are now perfect in Christ, forevermore, and cannot fall from that position, or once saved, always saved and/or justified. In other words, their character or house is a finished product. No process of a lifetime of house building or character development, but FINI--FINISHED! AT THE TIME OF CONVERSION!

From what I glean from Scripture and Ellen White, it is far different. Christ died on the cross to give us another chance. He gives us the tools for building the house and the instructions for building it. Those tools include power tools; grace power from Him for obedience, Rom. 1:5. Christ claims to be the author of salvation to all who obey Him and build the house. Some are sitting believing that Christ has already built the house, and did so at the cross. That such is a finished work and the house was finished at the cross. They teach that obedience in building the house of character, has nothing to do with the house being built or character development. They claim that character development has nothing to do with Salvation. They claim that we will build a house but Christ imputed it and imparted it, and built it for us, so that our cooperation in its building, by way of character building, has nothing to do with the finished result and if one thinks that it does he/she is a legalist, who has refused the finished house, and thus refused salvation and is forever lost.

Ellen White and Scripture teach that we have a cooperative part involved in building the character house. She and Scripture teach blind faith or belief that the house is already built without our participation, results in dead works or the house not being built. Some of the text instruction that says we have a cooperative part in building the house include:

The Gospel of Character Building

Man was ordered by God at Mt. Sinai to keep the commandments. Promises were attached to conditional keeping of those commandments. If they were impossible to keep, then God was most tyrannical in attaching promises to commands that could not be kept by His power. Those commandments were part of the instructions for building God's House, or His Sanctuary and the body Temple, our Temple built without hands, which Christ wants to dwell in.

1Cr 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Hbr 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Hbr 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge." 2 Peter 1:5.

According to many, we do not have to participate by adding anything to faith, and cannot add anything to faith that is acceptable to God, but we can because of precious promises that by partaking of the divine nature, we can escape the corruption that is in the world through lust so that Christ can aid us in adding faith to virtue and virtue to knowledge. He does not just add the knowledge. We must cooperate by study of knowledge. This is a good example of the cooperation process. Christ can provide the spiritual discernment through His Holy Spirit, but He does not do the reading for us; He does not do the beholding for us; He does not do the praying for us; He does not do the meditation for us.

"And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old [PAST] sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE to make your calling and election sure: for if ye DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL:
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this taberhnacle, to STIR YOU UP BY PUTTING YOU IN REMEMBRANCE..." II Peter, 1:6-13.

Notice the conditional tone of the words "FOR IF YE DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL."

Some are saying that we can do nothing; that anything we do is as filthy rags. But what we do after partaking of the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ, is not as filthy rags. When Christ instructed the Jews at Sinai, to keep the commandments, He designed that they should rely on His power for keeping the commandments, but that did not absolve them from keeping them, and striving to keep them, by the same power that He kept His Father's commandments. The Father did not keep the commandment for Christ; He did not obey for Christ; He supplied the moment by moment power for Christ, and we may have the same power.

"The law and the gospel cannot be separated. In Christ mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The gospel has not ignored the obligations due to God by man. The gospel is the law unfolded, nothing more nor less. It gives no more latitude to sin than does the law. The law points to Christ; Christ points to the law. The Gospel calls men to repentance. Repentance of what?--Of sin. And whit is sin?--It is the transgression of the Law. Therefore the Gospel calls men from their transgression back to obedience to the Law of God. Jesus in his life and death taught the strictest obedience. He died, the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty, that the honor of God's law might be preserved, and yet man not utterly perish." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, 02-25-97.

Neither can the Everlasting Gospel be separated from the Gospel, because it is capstone by the law, Rev. 14:12, and all its instructions are commands of God. This is especially why violations of the Everlasting Gospel are violations of the law and the Gospel, and constitute another gospel.

Ron Beaulieu