Growing in Character

The Apostle Paul gives us a description of how the Lord will enable you to grow a hopeful character. Scripture tells you that because of your faith in what God has done for you in Christ you know with assurance that you are loved. It is out of this confidence that hope is born. The unqualified acceptance of Christ is the object of your own experience of hope. The focus of that hope is the glory of God.

The glory of God means being made in the likeness of Christ. This becomes clear when you read the Word of the Lord in 2 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 17 and 18, as well as chapter 4, verses 5 and 6: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, an where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit… For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Centering your attention on Christ begins the process of transformation into His likeness. The glory of God is a man or woman fully alive to Jesus Christ. God has called you and justified you so that He can glorify you in Jesus Christ. Remember what preceded the forming of character. Look again at verse 3 in Romans chapter 5. Perseverance produces character. In fact, it is said that a person lacks character if he does not persevere. You grow in character when you learn to persevere. The Apostle Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7, 8) Paul had developed character and it had been produced through his perseverance. His hope did not disappoint him because of what he had become through faith in Jesus Christ. AS you grow in character you will find that your hope will not disappoint you either because of your faith in Jesus Christ.

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