National Association of Christian Ministers

Answering His Call Is Our Purpose

BIBLICAL SELF CONCEPT

YOUR BIBLICAL SELF CONCEPT

By Matthew Fretwell

Directions: Read through the Summation and Task below and then in your own words, answer each question in at least 100 words. (Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_concept )

Summation:

During the Apostle Paul’s time, there were men known as Judaizers who
infiltrated the early churches, teaching false legalistic doctrine.
Basically, these men declared that a believer must observe the Mosaic
Law, plus adhere to the gospel of Christ, to obtain salvation. A yoke
which Christ never intended; however, in God’s sovereign plan, he
called Saul, a Pharisee and changed him into Paul. Paul’s perception of
himself had much to do with his character and his ability to lead, and
recognize the “self-concept.”

According to our lesson from Wikipedia, “Self-concept
is multi-dimensional construct that refers to an individual's
perception of ‘self’ in relation to any number of characteristics, such
as academics…gender roles and sexuality, racial identity, and many
others.”

When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippian Church in
defense of “saved by grace through faith alone,” and a gospel which
exists apart from works, he needed to stress “Self-concept.” Let us
look at Philippians 3:4-6:
“…though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If
anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have
more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the
tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as
to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,
blameless.”


In this section of Scripture, Paul illuminates his readers. If anyone
should boast it is him, he is a real Jew (circumcised on the 8th day
according to Abraham’s covenant), of the tribe of Benjamin (Jacob’s
true love, Rachel, and it was her son Benjamin, which caused her death;
Benjamin also had the first king-Saul), he was a Hebrew of Hebrews
(Benjamites were courageously strong fighters who went to war for
Israel). Paul knew the Law-he was a Pharisee, and as for zeal for the
Law…well, there’s not much to be said about the persecutions which Paul
(then Saul- Acts 9:1)
inflicted upon the early church. In light of this, Paul’s “self-schema”
would inform us that he is well equipped to be a boaster and prideful,
more so than anyone else; although, he is not.

Task:

Answer the following questions based upon what you know about the
Apostle Paul (note: you may utilize other Scripture relating to
Paul/Saul).

1. Paul’s self-concept provides his racial identity, his academia
(education), his role, his skills and ability, as well as occupation
(apostle or Pharisee). If you had Paul’s background, how easy would it
be for you to have a prideful self-concept and self-schema?


2. What should be the Christian perception of our self-concept and self-schema? (Hint: Colossians 3 )