INTRO: "Morality" is a very large subject. My dictionary defines morality this way: "conformity to ideals of right human conduct". So, morality may speak to a variety of areas of conduct. And, further, as you investigate the subject of "morality", you will invariably find that some standard must be acknowledged if one is to be "moral". There can be very little argument that with changing standards, morality changes. What may have been immoral behavior decades ago may be accepted as moral behavior today. The standard has changed! However, if the standard of God's word is the "ideal of right human conduct", the standard is unchanging ... thus, the conduct should be unchanged. It really does matter what you believe about morals and morality.
I. WHAT SOME MAY BELIEVE...
A. It is an "anything goes" world
B. What I do is my business and no one else's
C. If what I do hurts no one else, it is acceptable
D. And I recognize that these (and others) are viewpoints held by many - but such viewpoints cannot, must not be held by Christian people
II. SOME THINGS FOR US TO CONSIDER...
A. The word of God is the unchanging standard of human conduct
1. that all do not accept this standard is a well known fact
2. that the moral confusion in our world is the result should be obvious
3. 1 Thes 4:1-7 - "the will of God" here speaks to morality - encouraging on the one hand, forbidding on the other
4. 1 Pet 4:1-3 - "the will of God" identifies conduct incompatible with ideal
5. Titus 2:11,12 - God's grace teaches "denying" certain behaviors and in "living" by certain values and standards
6. learning to depend on this standard leads to conduct above question!
B.What the ten commandments can tell us about morality?
1. remember, "conformity to ideals of right human conduct"
2. Exodus 20:12-17 certainly describes God's will in specific areas
3. family, sanctity of life, sexual purity, sanctity of private property, honesty, covetousness (some things one cannot even desire!)
4. scripture takes each of these ideals and explains, expands, etc.
5. but the undergirding of the ideal is the first four of the commandments
6. if we do not honor God, the ideals of human conduct have no authority
C. How does the New Testament address some of these things?
a. Eph 5:33 - Eph 6:1-3
b. deviation from these standards will lead a family into disfunction!
2. of sanctity of life?
a. Mt 5:21.22 - 1 Jno 3:15
b. sanctity of life goes beyond not killing to attitudes toward others
3. of sexual purity?
a. Mt 5:27-30 - Rom 1:24-27
b. not just the sexual act ... mental desire, lust for person not ones spouse
c. clearly, too, the N.T. makes clear that homosexual conduct is immoral
d. 1 Thes 4:3,4 - holiness requires abstaining of sexual misconduct ... self discipline, not self gratification
4. of sanctity of private property?
a. Eph 4:28
b. not just refraining from stealing ... but working to provide that which one might otherwise have provided by stealing ... honoring of work
5. of honesty?
a. Eph 5:25
b. lying cannot be part of the "new man" - a violation of the ideal!
6. of covetousness?
a. Heb 13:5- Col 4:5
b. yes, there are such things as evil desires - forbidden desires!
D. Be on guard!
1. 1 Pet 5:8 - "be sober, be vigilant"
2. the word "sober" comes from a word meaning to abstain from wine - what could be the connection with this and watchfulness?
3. simply that anything which impairs, compromises judgment will weaken our moral resolve and discipline!
CLOSE: Our modern world is without a moral compass! Oh, it is available ... but it is ignored, rejected as out of date and irrelevant. To you, my Christian friends, I urge that we stand fast upon the ideal, the standard of human conduct taught so profoundly in the word of God.
Cecil A. Hutson
05 February 2006
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)