The Christian and Morality
See full series: problems-christians-face
The Christian and Morality
Sermon by Thomas Thornhill Jr
Sunday, January 26, 2020 pm
ISSUES OF MORALITY – Intro
In my theme last year (shining as lights in a dark world), we briefly addressed the subject of holiness. At that time I announced that this year I wanted to address a number of subjects associated with morality, issues we simply cannot avoid if we are striving to live pure lives for God. So tonight I want to start this series, devoted to the 4th Sunday night of each month.
In this study we are going to examine some topics that affect the very fiber of who we are today as a nation, and in many instances, things that have plagued the moral fiber of churches.
Some of these lessons are not pleasant to talk about, but they are needed and addressed in God’s word. So some of the subjects we are going to address include: Fornication (including homosexuality, same-sex marriage, cohabitation, etc.), lust & pornography, divorce and remarriage, abortion, dancing, drinking, gambling, modesty, sins of the tongue, honesty, our entertainment choices (movies, music, television shows, etc.), greed and covetousness (is greed a moral behavior?)who we are we associating with, and others subjects. (If there is a subject that fits in this topic you would like for me to consider, let me know).
It is no secret we are living in times of great immorality. It is seen all around us and various forms are more easily accessible today.
What is morality?
- Morality is the standard of right living. It is a code of conduct that makes us decent in our dealings with others, ourselves and with God.
Immorality is to live and make decisions outside of that moral code.
Typically, when we think of morality, it is associated with sensual lusts (the term “fornication” in the NKJV has been often translated “sexual immorality”) and its results but it goes further than that and can refer to any conduct that is indecent. See our list of topics as a partial example of this.
- God wants us to be moral – it is ingrained in who we are. Our “sense of ought” is something that sets humans apart from animals, and it is something that naturalistic evolution simply cannot explain.
From the very beginning, God has given man moral standards. He has demanded obedience. He has given us rules to live by. We have addressed in our class on evidences that we need an absolute standard of morality for society and the world to live decently.
Without an absolute moral standard man is left to decide for himself what he thinks is right and wrong. We know better than that. What Cain did to Abel (Genesis 4) was immoral and wrong at all times, and in every place. What David did as he lusted over Bathsheba and the ensuing sins was immoral and wrong – PERIOD! Stealing, murder, and adultery are wrong – PERIOD!
- An example of God’s moral code – Genesis 2:23-25 – Eve is created from Adam’s side and brought to him. She becomes his wife and Moses emphasizes the morality of marriage.
Now notice Matthew 19:4-9 – Jesus applied God’s moral law of marriage to forbid divorce and remarriage (with one exception).
- The moral code of a society will determine the direction that society will go – for good or bad. If a society adopts an ungodly moral code, it will eventually collapse.
- In this study, we are going to be appealing to the moral standard that God has given us. We are going to be turning to His word, described as “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ” (Romans 8:2), and “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25). NOTE the word “law”. God has given us a law, a standard to follow. Being creator of this world, He knows what is best.
The need for morality in the Bible
- The Bible is filled with examples and passages that show what happens when mankind fails to follow His standards of right and wrong.
After the first sin, we begin to see the consequences of immoral behavior. We have already addressed Cain’s murder and David’s adulterous behavior.
But after that, we read in Genesis 6:5-7 describes the conditions that led to destruction by the flood.
Genesis 15:16, where God is addressing His promise to Abraham he notes that there would be 4 generations before the land would be given because “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” The point being – great wickedness would be coming.
After Israel inherited the promised land and they were governed by “judges”, we read at the conclusion of that tragic book, Judges 21:25, everyone did what was right in his own eyes. It didn’t’ work! it was by lawless hands that Jesus was crucified and put to death (Acts 2:23).
- The church at Corinth was tolerating immorality – 1 Corinthians 5:1-2. They were rebuked and told to repent.
- The church at Thyatira had immorality in its midst (Revelation 2:18-20ff) being taught and practiced. They were told to repent.
- Consider the following:
- 1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world – lusts of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life…
- Galatians 5:19-21 – The works of the flesh –
- Romans 1:18-32 – we find gross immorality described, including the sin of homosexuality and how it is a product of rejecting God’s will. Note in this passage that 3 times we read, “God gave them up…” (24, 26, 28).
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – a list of sins practiced that will not inherit the kingdom of God.
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5 – the list of selfish behavior.
- All of these passages are lists of sins of immorality and the results.
- As Christians, we are to be different from the world.
- Matthew 6:24 – we cannot serve two masters. Either we will follow God or the world. We need to remember this as we deal with matters of morality.
- Matthew 5:16 – everything we have said about example in our studies should be factored in.
- 1 Peter 4:3-5 – we spent enough of our past lives
- Romans 12:1-2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…
- Romans 13:12-13 – we cast off the works of darkness, walk properly and put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provisions for the flesh…
- Romans 13:8-10 – owe no one anything except… to love
- We are to be pure in heart – Matthew 5:8 Your moral code comes from your heart – Jesus emphasized that in Matthew 15:18-20. What is proceeding from your heart?
- 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 – flee sexual immorality, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…
- We are to be holy, even as He is holy – 1 Peter 1:15-16, Ephesians 4:24 – put on the new man – in true righteousness and holiness.
- We are to be “chaste” – the church presented as a “chaste virgin” by Paul (2 Corinthians 11:2), Ephesians 5:25-27 – Christ wants a pure bride
Much more could be said about morality, and we will consider our need to follow God’s HIGH standard as we determine our behaviors in society. Let us let Him determine what we will and will not do & where we will and will not go. Are you willing to let God determine your standard of morality? Think about it!