Christian Ethics Part 1

Here is the second Bibe study I am taking.

Christian Ethics Part 1
Bob Smith
Matthew 6:24-34 “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. “Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Therefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘Wherewith shall we be clothed?’ For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, even as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to be His own adopted children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in His Beloved: 

Once a young man came to me and asked me:
What is wrong with the friendly glass of beer? 
I told him I used to teach chemistry and explained the effects of alcohol on the body. 
He wanted to know from a stand point of Biblical truth why was it wrong to drink alcoholic beverages in limitation. 
He was concerned about the law obligation. 
Ethics is a branch of axiology, which comes from a Greek word that means values; therefore, axiology is the study of values, There are personal values, social values, health values, material values, intrinsic and estrinsic, temporal and eternal, relative and absolute, moral, economical values. 
When speaking of right or wrong, you speak of moral values, and you can look at them from the stand point of philosophy or from the stand point of religion. 
We are going to look at it from the stand point of Christianity. 
The clear difference between Christian ethics and contemporary philosophy ethics is that Christian ethics demands that you say yes or no. There is an obligation to accept it or reject it. 
Christian ethics, if it is true, it's God's demand for moral righteousness in the life of His creatures.
Christianity has two fields of approachs of stand point of ethics: conservative ethics and liberal ethics. 
We will discuss the conservative ethics and put it in context. 
Conservatives are called fundamentalist. Fundamentalist, as defined by philosophy, is anybody who professes to believe in whole to the basic fundamentals of the faith as revealed in the New Testament. 
Fundamentalism begins with God and His revelation to men through scripture. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal the nature of God as a Spirit with personality, self-existent, immutable, changeless in character and purpose, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, eternital, transcendent,  holy, righteous, truth, and love. 
Fundamentalism begins by analysing scripture. The very nature of God is applied to ethical situations. 
if God is Holy and changeless, than I must be like Him. If God is truth and cannot lie, than I should be like Him. Now I can lie, but I cannot justify it or support it through scripture. God is immutable, so when He said adultery is wrong and fornication is wrong, unchastity and adultery is a sin today as it was when God gave His commandments. Conservative ethics always go back to God and His revelation. 
Liberalism begins with man. They define God through experience and how He is experienced.

Christian ethics is concerned with moral obligation, of "oughtness."
There are three kinds of oughts: the lgoical, the prudential, and the moral. 
The logical ought is the oughtness of mathematics and logic, realms, delineation, facts. If you put $100 dollars in the bank and wrote a check for $75, you ought to have $25 in your bank account. If all dogs are warm-blooded, and Rover is a dog, than Rover ought to be warm-blooded. 
Prudential ought is which is good to do. If you want to be healthy, it is prudent to go to bed early. If you say: "Honesty is the best policy," you understand that it is prudent not to be know  as a cheat. If you want a good grade, it is prudent to study.
This is what you ought to do to get this outcome; that is prudential ought. 
The moral ought is the obligation to do the right and avoid the wrong, not because it prudent or because it is logical, but because it is morally right. It is sometimes prudent not to tell the truth. It may be prudent to lie.
In court, the result is not what matters to determine the amount of guilt, it is the will. A man had a blow to the head and had been left blind for many years. One night, a burglar hit him on the head and stole his wallet. He woke up and he could see. The court would still find the man guilty because of his will in doing the act, not the favorable result to the victim. 
A good deed comes out of a good will. 

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

The moral obligation in Christianity has presuppositions.  The first presupposition is that man is a moral being and that his moral nature is from God. Man can know the difference between wrong and right. If he can't, he is classified as not normal. Christianity teaches we are all created in the likeness of God. We are not rational beings because we evolved. We are because we were created that way after an intellectual, moral, emotional, and self-conscious God.
Immanuel Kant, a philosopher, said man is a moral being that knows right and wrong and has an internal obligation to do right and avoid the wrong, and this is how a good will is defined. You are morally obligated to do what is right, even though you don't fully understand what right is, but you feel it and know it. 
A third presupposition is the sacredness of a person. You believe you have rights and understand other people have rights as well. You have freedom to choose to do the right or wrong your morality reveals to you. You have some freedoms within the moral realm. 

Romans 2:12-15 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, they, not having the law, are a law unto themselves, which shows the work of the law written in their hearts,their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts between accusing and excusing one another. 

Every man has light.
John 1:4, 9 In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men. That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 

Christian ethics always presupposes that men sin and do wrong. Sin is basically indemic in the heart of man and sooner or later we come to it. 
I used to think children were bad because they had the wrong upbringing. If sin is indemic in the heart of men, than I am a sinner. You don't have to look at the contemporary world to realize there is something wrong with men. It is easier to lie than to be honest. It is easier to be hateful than loving, unkind than kind, impatient than patient. It is our nature. 
And you know that yourself. That is why you have self-condemnation. You tell yourself: "Why did you do that?"

Christianity presupposes that to overcome your sin you must be converted. 
Even Immanuel Kant understood that for men to act on a good will there must be a transformation of his nature. When asked how would this be achieved, Immanuel Kant could only become silent. 
Christianity teaches that you will never do it unless you become a new creature. Jesuschrist came for sinners. How lucky for us. And He puts in us a new nature, a new mind, a new motivation, a new desire, and a new understanding and power through Him. 
Bad behaviour is not the result of bad feelings. Bad feelings are the result of bad behaviour. Bad behaviour is the result of sin. 
The goal of Christian ethics is to become like God and follow His perfect life He exemplified for us. 

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