Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Personality the New Self Romans 6:6

Personality the New Self

Romans 6:6 because we know that our old personality was impaled with [him], that our sinful body might be made inactive, that we should no longer go on being slaves to sin

Eph 4:20 But YOU did not learn the Christ to be so, 21 provided, indeed, that YOU heard him and were taught by means of him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that YOU should put away the old personality which conforms to YOUR former course of conduct and which is being corrupted according to the deceptive desires; 23 but that YOU should be made new in the spirit of your minds, 24 and should put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.

Col 3:9 Do not be lying to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, 10 and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, foreigner, slave, freeman, but Christ is all, and in all

A Spirit is a character, a personality. It is 'you'.

Personality is that which constitutes and characterizes a person. The word "person" (Latin, persona) is derived from the mask through which an actor spoke his part (persona).

Personality is a veil or mask worn by man that conceals the real self, the Christ consciousness. Jesus shattered this mask and revealed Christ, the true man of God. Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The personality is the unit of the entire rational being, perhaps most clearly represented by "the will"; or the thinking of the flesh, the carnal mind. The sum total of characteristics that man has personalized as distinct of himself, independent of others or the divine mind. 

changes in personality 

The Lord Jesus perceptively commented that hypocrisy is something which is within (Mt. 23:28)- it's about acting out a role inside ourselves, a split personality within a person, whereby they kid themselves they are someone whom they are not. Their real self and their shadow self are in conflict deep within their minds, in their own self-perceptions they act one way when their real self is something different. And this all goes on within the human mind. Hence Paul speaks of hypocrisy being essentially a lie which is told within the mind, and parallels it with a conscience which no longer functions properly (1 Tim. 4:2). The Lord's definition of hypocrisy therefore concerned an internal state of mind- and He warned that this is a yeast which inevitably spreads to others (Lk. 12:1). Thus Barnabas was carried away into hypocrisy by the hypocrisy of others (Gal. 2:13). Although it's so deeply internal, the dissonance between the real self and the portrayed self that goes on within human minds somehow becomes a spirit which influences others. And that's how society has become so desperately hypocritical. James 5:12 gives some good practical advice in all this- our yes should mean yes and our no should be no, or else we will fall into hypocrisy (Gk.- AV "condemnation" is a terribly misleading translation). James seems to be saying that we can guard against falling into the hypocritical life and mindset by ensuring that our words, feeling and intentions are directly and simply stated, with meaning to the words, with congruence between our real self and the words we speak.

We too need confidence resulting from accurate knowledge in order to shape our personality and to progress spiritually

Developing the Christlike “new personality” is also essential. How can this be done? A first step is to “strip off” those traits that are part of the old personality. (Colossians 3:9, 10) 

“Quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:2) This requires feeding the mind on God’s Word and thinking the right thoughts. (Matt. 4:4; Phil. 4:8) Yes, with the help of God’s Word and holy spirit, persons can strip off their old personality and “put on the new personality which [is] created according to God’s will.”—Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:8-10.

As the true Christ self emerges, personality decreases. The real self, the individuality, begins to express. "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

Psychology And Prayer

We need to recognize that different personality types will relate to God in different ways (1). For some, an emphasis on truth strikes a chord with their temperament. For others, the Biblical stress upon grace or the heights of the 'mystery' of what God has really done for us will appeal to their personality more strongly. Those Jung categorizes as 'feeling types' are, for example, less likely to be impressed by truth, falsehood and logic as 'thinking types' are. All of us must take care that we don't merely pray in a way that that is just a function of our old personality; it requires Biblically-guided effort. The 'intuitive type', to use Jung's classification further, may thus be liable to a prayer life that is more an exercise in psychological catharsis, a personal self-expression, rather than a relationship with the God of the Bible. Perfectionist personalities may be inclined to always defer praying until their mood or the situation is right. Yet God's tremendously high view of us must be allowed to influence us, to the point that we do not have the devalued self-image and self-appreciation which leads to the dis-ease of perfectionism. For depressive personalities, any kind of beginning is excruciating; and to begin to pray is hard, too. They may unconsciously react against duty, against whatever they sense to be an obligation. Perhaps their parents beset them with too high expectations or constant obligations, and these issues will later find expression in difficulties in prayer. These types must come to see prayer as a pleasure, a conversation with their Father which is not a duty. Depression is not a sin. Moses was depressed and suicidal in Num. 11:14,17 but there is no word of rebuke from God. He saw why Moses was like that- because of an over-extension of himself in doing his Father's work. Depression may bring about an inability to feel, which makes the prayers of David seem so far removed from us. Yet again, depression isn't a sin. It's how we are at some times. It shouldn't be allowed to hinder us from praying. And of course there is always a tendency to see our Heavenly Father in terms of our earthly father. Here the Truth of God should set us free; for the God of the Bible is a totally new revelation to us.


(1) Some useful books about this include C.G. Jung Types Of Personality, Paul Tournier, Psychoanalytical Technique And Religious Faith and also his Medicine And The Person.

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