“And everyone who has this hope in [Jesus] purifies themselves as [Jesus] is pure” (1 John 3:3).
What does it mean to become “good”? To produce “spiritual fruit”? To receive a “heart of flesh” in exchange for a “heart of stone”? For faith without works to be dead? To be transformed and sanctified? Not to be merely hearers of the Word, but also doers? To become disciples?
All of these questions regard an area we might call “moral formation.” Religiously neutral versions of these questions focus on behavioral change and ethical uprightness apart from divine intervention, grace, or law. Whether religious or secular, ideas about moral formation always presume underlying ideas about what it means to be a human and how humans function and develop as embodied beings with minds and emotions—beings who can, for example, reason about right and wrong, feel shame and empathy, and form habits.
The articles in this series explore the many ways the biblical authors describe the expected character of God’s people, as well as what the authors seem to presuppose about how humans can and should acquire this character.
CONTENT IN THIS SERIES