Submitting to Biblical moral teachings leads to a good and fruitful life.
This lesson explores Biblical morality. Some think Biblical morality is based on antiquated ideas about right and wrong that are no longer welcome in the modern world. In fact, what is morally right and wrong has not changed with passing time. Biblical teaching on morality reminds us that we are creatures of God, made originally in His image, with a moral duty to bring honor to our creator by living pleasing to him. Biblical morality begins, not with humans, but with God, who is Himself the determiner of what is right and wrong, good and bad. Those who reject Biblical morality as being irrelevant, in the first place reject the God who gave us the Bible.
1. THE BASIS OF BIBLICAL MORALITY A. The Image of a Good God. Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. The reason it is important to maintain this moral image of God is because we have a duty. Our duty is to maintain sovereignty and control over this entire world and every living thing. It wasn’t only God‘s desire for us to look like His image, but it is also his desire for us to live and act like Him.
1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
…….What does it mean to you personally to be the image of God?
Some examples: how we conduct ourselves in public. How we raise our children. How we treat the people around us. How we treat total strangers.
…….It was God’s will you reflect His goodness in all that we do. Human nature, as originally created by God, was not corrupt but good, reflecting God’s will for the moral excellence of his human creatures. Human nature was created good, but, tragically, has been corrupted by human sinfulness. God created the first humans in his image and likeness because it is his will for us to be like him in our character and the conduct of our lives. God made humans to have dominion over the rest of the earthly creation, and to serve in that capacity as his stewards with his blessing. To the extent that we have fallen into sinfulness, we have forfeited our God given dominion over the earthly creation to Satan. But thanks be to God, we can have by faith in Jesus Christ, redemption from the sinful Fall and grace for right living. (Romans 8:19-23).
B. The Law of a Loving God
Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting (or testing) him, and saying,
22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
…….Jesus said that literally the entire Old Testament laws are dependent on these two commandments: first to love God supremely and second, to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Your life in salvation could be no more successful than to perfectly follow this order. If you are perfect in these two, the rest will fall into order! God continuously communicates with those who continuously communicates with Him!
…….Jesus also went onto saying, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). To love Jesus is to obey Him, not out of duty, but out of desire. I don’t know about you, but I desire and enjoy living in His mercy.
2. THE SCOPE OF BIBLICAL MORALITY
A. We Become What We Love
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
3:2 Set your affection (intensive interest and desire) on things above, not on things on the earth.
…….Our affection for Christ must be greater than any affection this world has to offer, whether it be sinful or not.
3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
…….When salvation came in, it killed the old man and brought in the new. This new man must not be distracted by the old pleasures which assisted in the sinful work to keep us in bondage. Once you are alive in Christ, you are freed from sinful bondage. To remain that way, keep looking to Christ.
3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
3:5 Mortify (put you death) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication [sexual immorality], uncleanness [thoughts and actions corrupted by evil], inordinate affection [unlawful affection], evil concupiscence [unbridled sinful gratification], and covetousness [evil desires], which is idolatry:
…….If you notice, all of these sins mentioned are exactly connected to “affections”. Those who live a life in sin cannot help but to have these desires. The reasons why we are to set our affection on things above is because this is what earthly affections produce! Kill it before it kills you, Cut it off and let it die!
Col 3:6 For which things’ sake (for the sake of living with these affections) the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger [that leads to sin], wrath [persistent anger toward another], malice [persistent ill-will toward another], blasphemy [irreverent words against God], filthy communication [vile language suggestive evil] out of your mouth.
…….He said, now that you have put those things away, it is now time to make sure you disconnect with these evil attributes. Walking in salvation is a definite process. Though it takes others longer at times to surrender certain affections, it must be done and we must work at it together. This is the whole part of loving our neighbor, to be willing to understand their struggles and be willing to help them overcome.
B. Being Renewed in God’s Image
3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed (renovated) in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
…….After we have been spiritually renovated by God, He will cause us to learn and know in His ways! He has given me thoughts that would have never surfaced my mind without Him. Another logical comparison in this is, just as the house we live in, if you desire to stay there for a period of time, you will want to renovate different rooms a little at a time. When our homes become “outdated” as we see them, we desire to upgrade. That is the way God works on us as His children. When there is something in our lives that needs an upgrade, and if we desire to live closely to Him, He will perform the work.
3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
…….As the scripture states, if you have put on the new man (become saved) you don’t see people by color, culture or ethnic background, you simply see them as being the image of God.
3. THE GOAL OF BIBLICAL MORALITY
A. The Beauty of Holiness
3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
…….Now, while we are graduating from the desires of sin, we can now grow in all the attributes of living in the Spirit. This is what leads to Holiness! These are the things above which sit at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1)
3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity (perfect love), which is the bond of perfectness.
…….Charity is the spiritual bonding agent, the glue that holds everything together. With charity, all of these positive and emotional actions are possible, but without charity, none of them are possible.
3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
…….As believers in Christ, the character of Christ being formed in us by the Holy Spirit is manifested as the “fruit of the spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23), and the “fruit unto holiness” (Romans 6:22), “in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9). In contrast to the wretchedness of the sinful world, the beauty of Holiness makes the life of the individual believer in Christ, and of the church as a community of believers in Christ, attractive to the unsaved who are drawn to Christ by the Word and Spirit of God.
B. Life Pleasing to Christ
3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
…….If we live this life of salvation, though undeserving, we will be rewarded with a promised inheritance.