MOMENTS OF TRUTH
“21 Qualities for Christians in the Bible”
#2 - Charisma
3 May 2020
In Proverbs 18:24 Solomon teaches, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Most people think of charisma as something mystical, almost undefinable. They think it’s a quality that comes at birth or not at all. But that’s not entirely true. Charisma, plainly stated, is the ability to draw people to you. And like other character traits, it can be developed.
If you want to attract others, you need to be like the people enjoy being with. Appreciate others, encourage them, and help them reach their potential, and they will love you for it.
A charismatic person’s positive traits are apparent the first time you meet them, making them immediately attractive. But charismatic servant leadership continues beyond the first impression. To positively influence people in the long term, a charismatic servant leader is consistent. They make people feel liked, valued, and appreciated on a day-to-day basis.
When ti comes to charisma, the bottom line is other mindedness. Servant leaders who continually think about others and their concerns before thinking of themselves will be attractive to people.
There are two examples in Scripture we want to turn to learn about Charisma. There are many many more we could turn to, some positive and some negative. We want to look at two positive examples today. The first is Josiah in 2 Chronicles 34:29-33 and 2 Chronicles 35:1-19. In this section of Scripture, we get to see Josiah do what is right in the sight of the Lord and Josiah celebrates the Passover like no other king! “Then the king sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 The king went up to the house of the LORD, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem-the priests and the Levites, and all the people, great and small. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the LORD. 31 Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 And he made all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin take a stand. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 Thus Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not depart from following the LORD God of their fathers. 1 Now Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 And he set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the LORD. 3 Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the LORD: "Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve the LORD your God and His people Israel. 4 "Prepare yourselves according to your fathers' houses, according to your divisions, following the written instruction of David king of Israel and the written instruction of Solomon his son. 5 "And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the fathers' houses of your brethren the lay people, and according to the division of the father's house of the Levites. 6 "So slaughter the Passover offerings, consecrate yourselves, and prepare them for your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses." 7 Then Josiah gave the lay people lambs and young goats from the flock, all for Passover offerings for all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, as well as three thousand cattle; these were from the king's possessions. 8 And his leaders gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred from the flock, and three hundred cattle. 9 Also Conaniah, his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave to the Levites for Passover offerings five thousand from the flock and five hundred cattle. 10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their places, and the Levites in their divisions, according to the king's command. 11 And they slaughtered the Passover offerings; and the priests sprinkled the blood with their hands, while the Levites skinned the animals. 12 Then they removed the burnt offerings that they might give them to the divisions of the fathers' houses of the lay people, to offer to the LORD, as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did with the cattle. 13 Also they roasted the Passover offerings with fire according to the ordinance; but the other holy offerings they boiled in pots, in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them quickly among all the lay people. 14 Then afterward they prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy in offering burnt offerings and fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 And the singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their places, according to the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king's seer. Also the gatekeepers were at each gate; they did not have to leave their position, because their brethren the Levites prepared portions for them. 16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD, according to the command of King Josiah. 17 And the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 There had been no Passover kept in Israel like that since the days of Samuel the prophet; and none of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, with the priests and the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.”
It is crucial for us to note a passage of Scripture that reveals Josiah’s character leading to his charisma before we examine what we just read, 2 Chronicles 34:2, “And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” This identifies a crucial element in the life of young Josiah as he led Israel. This is something you and I need to work on ourselves. If we don’t please the Lord, nothing else matters.
In 2 Chronicles 34:31 notice again a key to Josiah’s charisma, ““Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.” Josiah’s charisma began in his heart. And his heart was focused on pleasing God. This is the foundation for why Josiah was so charismatic in his leadership leading to the tremendous celebration of Passover!
Because of his charisma he was able to influence the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. Did you happen to notice what else he did in 2 Chronicles 35:7, ““Then Josiah gave the lay people lambs and young goats from the flock, all for Passover offerings for all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, as well as three thousand cattle; these were from the king's possessions.” He gave of his own possessions. This is precisely the disposition of one who is truly following God. As Jesus teaches in Acts 20:35, “…It is more blessed to give than to receive.” You see, Josiah set the example for others to follow. His charisma influenced Josiah’s leaders as we read in 2 Chronicles 35:8-9, “And his leaders gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred from the flock, and three hundred cattle. “Also Conaniah, his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave to the Levites for Passover offerings five thousand from the flock and five hundred cattle.” Josiah’s disposition was one of “willingness” not expecting anything in return and his leaders followed suit as they too gave “willingly.”
Ultimately, we find that Josiah was “others-minded”. He took responsibility and modeled the way back to God. As we read on concerning the life of Josiah we find that even after his death the people treasured his example. Josiah truly had charisma.
Now let’s turn to our second example, the apostle Peter. His charisma also begins in his heart when he makes the good confession about Christ in Matthew 16:13-20, “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" 14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.” Did you hear the confession Peter makes, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” As many of us know the apostle Peter’s “impulsiveness” when he was first called to follow Christ we get to see him grow, make mistakes, react badly in the garden, but ultimately he matures to be a great example for us. All of his growth show the development of his charisma. So, when we reach the book of Acts. The Lord has ascended to heaven, the “comforter” has been sent upon the apostles to guide them into all truth and we get to see Peter’s charisma on the day of Pentecost and oh what an influence it has upon those who were present to witness his sermon. Let’s read through parts a few sections of Acts 2. Acts 2:14, 22-24, 32-33, 36-41, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. … 22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-- 23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it…32 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear … 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”
Four keys to Peter’s “charisma” can be seen when he begins to speak in Acts 2:14, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.” This is a fascinating introduction because as we read through the sermon we do not see anyone interrupt Peter as he was addressing the audience. People were listening to what he had to say. As well, he includes in his sermon the fact that he and the other apostles were all “witnesses” of Christ, the one God has raised up from the dead. Peter’s charisma held the attention of those present and he was able to preach truth to them. Notice what happens with many of the listeners in Acts 2:37, “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"” With this response he “taught” them exactly what they must do, and this plan of salvation continues to this day as Peter told them in Acts 2:38-40, “"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation."
As one can easily see, Peter’s charisma stemmed from his love for the Lord. He became “others minded” and was deeply concerned with the souls of his fellow man. The resurrection of Christ emboldened him to plead with his listeners to obey!
Peter had grown so much from when we first met him in Scripture. His charisma and influence on others was tremendous on the day of Pentecost. It went a long way of helping others obey the gospel and his influence continues to this day through the book of Acts and Peter’s two epistles found in the New Testament.
We could safely say that with our examination of Josiah and Peter these could be all we need to help us see the importance of charisma. However, our God has provided for us numerous examples of charisma in the Scriptures. Another one we could have discussed is the story of Barnabas in Acts 4:36-37, Acts 11:20-26, and Acts 14:8-18. Barnabas was called by the apostles “The Son of Encouragement.” He was always building people up in the most holy faith. Notice what we read about Barnabas in Acts 4:36-37, “And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.”
When we turn to Acts 11:20-26 we see more of Barnabas’ charisma, “But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. 22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. 23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Barnabas was the one who brought Paul before the Christians when they feared him because of the time when he went by Saul and persecuted Christians. Since we are nearly out of time we want to encourage you to read on about Barnabas in Acts 14:8-18. Here Barnabas is, well, we’ll let you read it. Ultimately, Barnabas had the charisma each of us needs to help everyone around us. Don’t forget, our Lord revealed in Himself the type of “charisma” he wants in each of His children. Charisma that truly cares about the lives of others. Especially their souls. May each of us grow in the area of good “charisma”, so that we can be like Josiah, Peter, and Barnabas and ultimately like Christ.