Teaching Biblical Character Development

Bible teachers need to get beyond teaching merely for the accumulation of knowledge. We should want people to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22). We must, however, be careful that we’re not promoting mere external conformity. God’s Word needs to touch the core of their being … who they are, not just what they do.

Character - Who We Are
When our students become who God wants them to be, they will tend to do what they should do. Consequently, character development becomes important for teachers desirous of teaching for changed lives. We need a biblical framework for getting there.

An Acrostic of What Biblical Character Development Is

C – Christ-like

Jesus Christ is the model, or standard, not us or the world (Jn. 13:15; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Pet. 2:21; Heb. 12:2)

H – Hope-Generating

Who we can become now gives us a taste of our future life with Him making it not merely about who we are in the here and now. (Rom. 5:3-5)

A – Aggregated

We are the sum total of what we’ve sown into our lives not just the good. (1 Cor. 15:33; Gal. 6:7-8; Phil. 4:8)

R – Redemptive

It’s based on God’s work in our lives, by His grace and power, not our own striving. (Titus 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 15:10)

A – Authentic

To be genuine, it must flow from the inside out and not be mere external conformity. (Matt. 5:19; 15:18; 6:1; Lk. 6:45)

C – Cultivated

We become who we are as a result of the sanctifying work of God in our lives through our life experiences, hardships, and training not as an automatic byproduct at salvation. (Rom. 5:3-5; 2 Pet. 1:3-7; Gal. 6:7-10; 1 Tim. 4:7)

T – Transformational

It’s about becoming new not dressing up the old self. (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:22-24)

E – Exemplified

We model Christ-like character, demonstrated in all we do, and don’t merely talk about what we should be like. (Titus 2:7-8)

R – Relational

We keep growing in Christ-like character so we truly love as He loves, which is the greatest trait of all, not because of how it personally benefits us. (Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Pet. 4:8)

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