7 Habits of a Christ-like Person
1 Peter 1:15-1:16 (NIV)
In 1989, a book hit the shelves that was destined to become a best seller. It was geared toward giving people the tools they needed to enjoy powerful and effective living. The book is saturated with advice on leadership, life management and relationships, all centered around the “inside-out” concept that behavior is learned, it is not instinctive. Old habits can be discarded and replaced by new and effective habits.
This book was written by Stephen R. Covey
It’s called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
The habits he outlined are;
Let me ask you a question – If you were to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?
According to Covey, If you exhibit these seven habits in your daily life, you could rightly describe yourself in the one word, “Effective”
How does scripture want us to be able to define ourselves?
I think that being Christ-like and Holy is a worthy goal for every Christian.
Jesus Christ was “HOLY”,
Something that is HOLY, is separate, different, other than…
or Devoted entirely to…
If I were to ask if anyone here defined themselves as “Holy”
Probably no one would raise their hand.
Calling yourself HOLY somehow seems kind of un-humble.
But Christians are called to live a holy life. Look at…
1 Peter 1:15-16
15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Why should we be HOLY?
Because God is Holy.
But then comes the question, “How can I know if I’m ‘Holy’ or not?”
Well, today, In the same way that Stephen Covey outlined the seven habits of highly effective people,
I’d like to outline;
THE SEVEN HABITS OF CHRIST-LIKE OR HOLY PEOPLE
We can use these Habits to find the areas in our life where we might need strengthening.
Habit #1 – Christ-like, Holy People understand that Scripture is the guide for their daily lives (Scripture)
Psalm 1:1-2 – “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Christ-like --> Holy People --> Love God’s word.
They can’t get enough of it. They base their lives on it. They feed on it until it is a part of them.
They know that it has the power needed to protect them from all the different kinds of junk we face in this life.
Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
And they share it whenever possible.
Col 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
With Christ-like, Holy People,
Studying and applying the Scriptures is a habit
Habit #2 – Christ-like, Holy People seek God daily in prayer. (Supplication)
1 Thess. 5:16 – “… pray continually” (Imperative)
If our lives are to be defined as “Holy” we must be a people of prayer.
Because Prayer is our half of a lifelong conversation with God?
Prayer is our lifeline connection to God.
It is how we develop our relationship with the creator of the universe.
It is how we keep and maintain our relationship with God.
How many here,
have at one point or another in the course of your life, had parents?
That should include all of us.
I can remember hearing my mother praying by her bed.
I can still see her on her knees beside her bed praying, for her kids.
I can even see the bed. It had one of those cheneel bed spreads on it.
She understood the power of prayer and how necessary it is for living a Christ-like Holy life.
My friends, let your Children hear you pray.
Expose them to the discipline of prayer.
Prayer is the well of life for the Christian.
Take advantage of the opportunity to draw from that well of life.
Young People, Young Adults, Men, and Women.
We should all have a set time of prayer.
Because a life of prayer leads to a life of holiness.
With Christ-like Holy People, Prayer is a Habit
Habit #3 – Christ-like, Holy People are devoted to following Christ no matter what. (salvation)
We see Paul demonstrating this devotion in…
2 Tim 2:8-9a – Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal.
Christ-like, Holy People realize that being a Christian isn’t always a cakewalk,
but they do it anyway because they’re devoted to Jesus Christ their Lord.
And also, they realize how much Jesus suffered for them, and they are willing to do the same.
Because they’re devoted to following him no matter what.
But more than just enduring hardship, Christ-like, Holy people are devoted to Jesus because they understand that in him alone, is eternal life.
John 14:6 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Devotion to Christ comes from a desire to identify with him
and live with him forever.
With Christ-like, Holy People
Unconditional devotion to Jesus Christ is a Habit
Habit #4 – Christ-like, Holy People live each day guided by the Holy Spirit (Spirit)
Gal 5:16,25 - 16 So I say, live by the Spirit…25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit
To live by the Spirit means that our lives are showing evidence
of the presence of God's Holy Spirit inside us.
The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
A life that shows these traits is a life that is defined by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Also, Christ-like, Holy people follow the leading of the Holy Spirit even when it is contrary to their own plans.
Like Paul in Acts 16 - 6
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
The results of this willingness to follow is that the world will be changed
With Christ-like, Holy People
Following the leading of the Holy Spirit is a Habit
Habit #5 – Christ-like, Holy People are accountable to God’s house and His people (Saints)
Hebrews 10:25 - Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another
I’ve heard it said that being in church no more makes you a Christian than being in McDonalds makes you a hamburger.
And that’s true. However, Holy people understand the benefits of being with God’s people.
Paul tells us that the church is like a body. All of us are members of it. And how can the body benefit from an arm that sleeps in.
If church is not a habit but an occasional thing, then make it a habit.
Parents, if you want your kids hanging around the right kind of people, make sure they’re in church. If you do, you’ll cultivate holiness in their lives and in your own.
Be there for everything you can. Find a place to get involved. Find your place of ministry and be faithful to it.
Besides being present be accountable to someone.
Find a friend you can share with and be accountable to.
Have them keep you accountable in prayer, and studying the word
Have your friend keep you accountable in using the right kind of language and laughing at the right kind of jokes.
That kind of stuff.
With Christ-like, Holy People
Faithfulness to God’s house is a Habit.
Habit #6 – Christ-like, Holy People are obedient in separating themselves from the spirit of the world (Sanctification)
1 Thess 4:3 - It is God’s will that you should be sanctified
A life of personal purity is absolutely required of Holy people.
Sexual impurity is rampant today, even in the church.
If we are to be effective ministers of the Gospel
we must crucify our flesh and work toward presenting our bodies as living sacrifices that are acceptable and pleasing to God
You cannot do that and live a life of sexual impurity.
Young or old, single or married, male or female.
Sexual purity is a must if we are to be defined as holy people.
A holy life has been sanctified to God,
It is set apart, for God’s service. It is a life that puts self to death and seeks to be pure and acceptable to God.
We live in an age of godlessness, where men and women are more concerned with the here and now, than with the eternal
That’s why it is so unbelievably common for men and women to just move in together. No marriage, No real commitment, just a desire to satisfy self.
The spirit of this world is an impure spirit of selfishness
And it is the antithesis of holiness
With Christ-like, Holy People.
Separation from the spirit of the world is a Habit
Habit #7 – Christ-like, Holy People seek to serve the body out of thanks to God (Service)
They use their Gifts to serve the Body
2 Cor. 9:8-13 - 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
Every one of us has been gifted in one way or another
Some are pastors, some teachers, some evangelists.
Some are hospitable, some are giving, some are helpful
This list goes on and on.
The point is that Christ-like, Holy People do what they can to find their spiritual gifts so they can put those gifts to use
within the Body of Christ.
Why? Because God has a job for each one of us to do.
He has a purpose for each one of us.
It's important for each Child of God to seek out their place of service.
God did not give us spiritual gifts so that we could enjoy having them He gave them to us so that we could enjoy using them
With Christ-like, Holy People,
Service to the Body of Christ is a Habit.
If God did not intend for us to be holy people he would not have commanded us to be Holy.
The very fact that He said to be Holy
indicates that it must be possible.
Part of living a life of holiness
is developing Holy habits.
Much of what I've been saying sounds like behavior modification.
And to some degree, it is.
But if that's all it is -- then our Christianity is a sham.
If we try to do these things on our own, we're are doomed to fail.
It's only when Jesus Christ is living in us that holiness can be a reality for us.
And that's because the Holy Spirit works from the inside-out
Ezra Taft Benson said it this way,
“The Lord works from the inside-out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take the people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people and then they take themselves out of the slums…The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human behavior.”