- God's Character Curriculum
The Importance of Godly Character
If God can do all things, why didn't he just create us with perfect character?
Many people have wondered: Why didn't God in the beginning simply create humans as spirit beings without human nature? Why did He first make us physical—from the dust of the earth—then offer us eternal life only if we vigorously resist the weaknesses of our flesh?
If God can do all things, why didn't he just create us with perfect character? In other words, what is the purpose of this difficult and trying physical life? Couldn't our heartache and suffering have been avoided?
Of course God could have done all of that—if He had been willing to create us without the personal character we need for making personal choices. It all gets back to our free will, our freedom of choice. God Himself had a choice about how man would be created. He could have made us automatons, functioning like programmed robots whose only course of action is to carry out the instructions of their maker. But He chose to create us like Him, capable of making choices that are limited only by our knowledge and character. This requires that we learn right from wrong and that our character develop gradually by our decisions under God's guidance and assistance.
Is God actively creating character in human beings?
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).
". . . Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and . . . put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24)
God is not finished with us. We are still His workmanship. He is creating in us "righteousness and true holiness"—his character.
As long as we are human, our character is not firm; it is not permanent. We can change our minds and behavior. We can make mistakes and learn from them. We can learn from the fruits of our right and wrong choices.
Since we can change our minds—and repent of our errors—God can change us even more and create in us the will and the capacity to steadfastly choose what is right over what is wrong. "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
Of course, God requires that we first recognize and willingly reverse our wrong behavior by allowing His Spirit to empower us to make those changes. Then we can become a new person "created in righteousness and true holiness."
This Seminar will look at the critical issue of character versus gifting - imparting an understanding of how God chooses to use weak, impure vessels for his divine purposes. We will look particularly at how God works in us over a lifetime to create a vessel fit for his purposes. In particular we will look at how God worked in two specific Old Testament characters - Jonah the Angry Prophet and Jeremiah the Insecure Prophet. Two completely different outcomes and two very different stories.