It’s an interesting concept that many Christians believe it is their level of character that will win out at the end, which brings us to the ‘whose character’ in the title of the blog. I was actually pointed in that direction not long ago when the statement was made that “my character will prove out rather I’m a tare or not”. I’m thinking that statement was made because I do not have membership in the visible church and maybe because Christian faith and the Christian ‘church’ were synonymous in his mind. Perhaps because of that the thought was that I would renounce my faith in Christ or maybe what was meant was that I would return to the world’s ways, etc. and perhaps that would prove that I was a tare. I guess quite honestly I’m not sure what was meant! But I thought about it.
Often we are pointed to look within ourselves and to judge our salvation by that means but I find that an unacceptable and unbiblical approach to my salvation. We are encouraged to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith but that isn’t an encouragement to examine our ‘righteous acts’ for we have none of our own. It is an encouragement to examine our faith and trust in Christ and His Gospel. Do we love it above all else, do we abide in Him and His simplicity, have we the power of the Gospel unto salvation in our soul or have we added so many ‘pluses’ to it that it is no longer recognizable? Has it become about what we do instead of what He has done?
I know I know many will shake their head and be of the mind that this is an antinomian statement and I don’t mind their head shaking. I rejoice in the transformation of life that Christ works in all of His elect, I greatly rejoice in the transformation in my own life. It is real; it is a joy to contemplate because we know our own natures. We know that our nature never improves but that we grow in the new. We grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. If we are pointed to look for salvation in any way within us and begin to do that we will surely become self-righteous as the Pharisee and operate in the flesh instead of walking by faith and trusting Christ Jesus. I’ve always wondered what those who look within do when they have stumbled, perhaps they have been uncharitable to a brother or a sister (which often involves a judgment of motive) or perhaps they have whispered untruth behind someone’s back. If good doings add to their character then do they subtract from their character when they stumble? I wonder when they know they have reached the exact character level that determines their being one who isn’t a tare. Hmmm, interesting concept isn’t it? I read a little sentence the other day that was so apt to this topic by Sinclair Ferguson which said: "The greatest temptation and mistake is to try and smuggle character into God's work of grace"
I’m so thankful that my standing in Christ doesn’t in any way depend upon me. I’m so thankful that I know the only One whose character is spotless, perfect and without blemish and it is that character, His Righteousness that I wear as a robe, a white robe as a bride. It is that character that defines me as an elect child of God because it has been imputed to me and because of that Grace in Christ I have been accepted in the Beloved.
Christ Alone and Always!