I’ve recently posted on 8 biblical personality types, which describe all people. Narrowing the focus to Christian believers, I believe that 1st Peter provides four categories which define 13 Christian personality types. The four categories are:
- Faith in Christ (1 Peter 1:7 the tested genuineness of your faith)
- Affection for Christ (1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him)
- Knowledge of Christ (1 Peter 1:10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully)
- Obedience to Christ (1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth)
These four categories, or aspects of Christian life, are distinct yet inter-relate:
The 13 sections of the above diagram can be named and described. The first 8 are simple, the last 5 need some description:
- The dependent (faith) “I trust in Christ”
- The romantic (affection) “I love Christ”
- The academic (knowledge and study) “I know Christ”
- The worker (obedience) “I serve Christ”
- The Christ-centred dreamer (faith + affection)
“I love and trust Christ”
- The hard-working lover (affection + obedience)
“I love and serve Christ”
- The moral student (knowledge + obedience)
“I know and serve Christ”
- The clever closet Christian (knowledge + faith)
“I know and trust Christ”
- The tender-hearted soldier (faith + affection + obedience)
“I love, trust and serve Christ but lack deep knowledge of him”
This person exudes a warmth and unshakable confidence in Christ, they serve him at church and in the world but lack a depth of knowledge which appears naive others. This person needs to spend more time reading, thinking, studying to expand their knowledge of Christ. Many charismatics come across this way.
- The unsure servant (affection + obedience + knowledge)
“I love, serve and know Christ but lack confidence in him”
This person comes across as sincere about Christ and yet is timid and unsure of him. People will ask, “why are you not more confident in Christ?” This lack of confidence undermines both the pastoral work and evangelism of this person as promises which are not applied personally are unlikely to be applied to others.
- The cold crusader (obedience + knowledge + faith)
“I serve, know deeply and trust Christ but lack tenderness and love.”
This person is strong, moral, trusting but lacks affection and is therefore emotionally blunt. Many conservative evangelical men are like this.
- The keen but lawless (knowledge + faith + affection)
“I know Christ deeply, trust him completely and love him passionately but my sinful desires overpower me”
This person needs self-control but lacks the desire to be obedient because their passions and desires are more pleasing to them than their desire to please God. This sort of person is not necessarily a liberal, but many liberals would fit this box.
- The complete Christian (knowledge + faith + obedience + affection)
“I know Christ deeply, trust him completely, love him dearly and overcome my sinful desires.”
This is where all Christians should aim for. As John Piper says “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him” by satisfaction I take it he means “fully trusting in Christ with complete knowledge of Christ which results in total obedience to Christ and deep, deep love for Christ and others.”
The startling thing about 1st Peter is the call to be the complete Christian in a hostile world. The question that arises from this for ministers like me is, “in which areas and in what ways am I lacking?” and then we must ask the same question for our congregations.
For more posts like this see Transforming Grace Venn diagram posts