How God Develops Christian Character

Romans 5:3

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Romans 5:3

When we give our hearts to Jesus Christ, the work within us has begun, and God will see that it is finished. (See Philippians 1:6.) But we are not automatically mature in our faith and Christian manner. We simply receive the basis for a Christian character that God cultivates within us over time.

Romans 5 offers insight as to how God develops Christian character.

First, God allows pressure to come.

“...we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).

God wants that which will sustain and give strength to come out of us; the only way to draw it out of us is through pressure. We don’t have to understand the trouble and pressure we face; we simply have to stand under it.

The second step to building Christian character is patience.

God wants to teach us endurance so that our faith is strong enough to withstand the things that cause others to drop out.

Third, our patience results in a pure character.

Someone who has gone through the experiences of tribulation and perseverance has a refined faith, pure as gold.

Adrian Rogers says, “A refiner of gold knows when the gold is pure when he can see his own face reflected in it; so our Lord wants to see His character reflected in us.”

Finally, our purity of faith results in hope.

Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

We receive hope through our tribulations because they teach us that God is faithful and He sees us through them.

Hebrews 6:19 says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…”

Adrian Rogers says, “Hope is not wishful desire; it means rock-ribbed assurance based on the Word and character of God.”

Apply it to your life

If you are feeling pressure today, understand that these are not obstacles, but opportunities. We glory in tribulation because God knows what He is up to. Trust in Him to use this experience to develop patience, which refines your faith and produces hope and steadfast assurance in Him.