Problems of Morality
What is morality?
Morality refers to man's conduct or standards and practices of daily living.
Is the Christian life a high standard?
Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Only God is perfect. He has the highest and holiest standard of all. But Christians seek to be like God. They constantly strive for His high ideals and principles. Christianity has the highest moral standard of any religion.
Must a Christian live a perfect and sinless Life?
No one is without sin. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). Christians, therefore, cannot expect to be sinlessly perfect, for there is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10).
How can we be saved if we cannot be perfect?
1 John 1:7 says, "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." Man cannot be righteous in his own deeds; he cannot be saved by his own goodness. But by walking in the light of God's Word, a Christian can be cleansed by the blood of Christ from all sin. Because a Christian trusts in Christ's blood, he partakes of Christ's righteousness. His sin is forgiven by the wonderful sacrifice of Jesus. He is saved by God's goodness through faith. He cannot be saved by trusting in his own works or by boasting of the righteousness of his own deeds (Ephesians 2:8,9). Imperfect man can be saved by faith in the cleansing blood of Christ as he walks in the light of God's Word.
How is moral living connected with salvation by faith in Christ's blood?
Sinful man can only be saved by faith in Christ who justifieth the ungodly and counts man's faith for righteousness (Romans 4:5). But faith comes from the Word of God (Romans 10:17). By obeying Christ in following His commandments do we prove or show our faith (James 2:17-26). Faith which does not obey the Word of God is not saving faith; it is a dead faith (verse 26). Christians walk in the light of God's Word which shows their living faith in Christ, whereby He cleanses them by His blood. In this way moral living, or living by the great moral standard of God's Word, is related to a Christian's faith which is his means of salvation in Christ's blood.
If a man refuses to keep Christ's commandments, does he really love the Lord?
Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). 1 John 2:3-6 says, "And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that sayeth he abideth in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked." By a Christ-like walk, Christians show that they know Christ and are in Christ. Only by abiding in Him by keeping His commandments do we actually love the Lord.
What are Christ's commandments on marriage?
Christian marriage is on a high moral standard. There are many commandments and principles in the New Testament to be followed. Jesus taught one wife for one man, as God planned in the beginning (Matthew 19:3-9). The apostles also taught every man to have one wife and every woman one husband (1 Corinthians 7:2). A Christian husband must love his wife as his own body (Ephesians 5:15,28,29), and honor her as a joint-heir in the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7). A Christian wife must be in subjection to her husband as the church is to Christ (Ephesians 5:22,24,33). A Christian home patterned after the Bible plan is a beautiful thing.
What reason allows divorce of husband and wife?
The sin of fornication is the only scriptural reason for divorce (Matthew 19:9). Even in the case of this sin an innocent partner is not forced to divorce the guilty partner. The guilty one may repent and be forgiven so as not to break up the home. The "innocent" partner may not be altogether blameless for his partner's unfaithfulness. If he has treated her in such way as to make her seek another man, he is not innocent. But if one partner commits fornication for no reason but his own unfaithfulness, the other partner is allowed a divorce.
Can an innocent partner, whose unfaithful partner has been divorced, remarry?
Matthew 19:9 says that a man who divorces his wife, except for the reason of fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. It seems, on the other hand, that if he divorces her because of her fornication and marries another, that he does not commit adultery. In such case he must be entirely innocent of the reason for the divorce. He must have tried every way possible to prevent her unfaithfulness. He must have carefully examined before God .his own faithfulness to his wife so as to be sure that he in no way caused her to be unfaithful.
How may divorce be avoided?
Prevention is better than cure. The only way to avoid a broken marriage is to plan well for a good one. Since marriage is one of life's most serious decisions, it must be given careful planning and long prayer. A hastily chosen partner is a poorly chosen one. A proper sense of values must govern the choice of a life partner. A mate should be selected who will help one live better the Christian life. A wife's true beauty is not outward but inward (1 Peter 3:1-4). A godly woman adorns herself with modesty and good works (1 Timothy 2:9-11). A married couple must plan to center their lives around God's Word. They must work and worship together in their Christian home. Their prayers must never be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). A marriage built upon knowing and doing the Word of God is like a house built upon a rock. But marriage built upon disobedience of God's principles will fall, and great will be the fall of it (Matthew 7:24-27).
What is lust?
Lust is the fleshly desire and intention to commit an unlawful sexual act. Jesus said that a man who looks with lust upon a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28). This is a stricter commandment than the Old Law gave (Matthew 5:27). This shows how high the Christian standard is in sexual matters. Christians have crucified the flesh with the lusts thereof (Galatians 5:24). Full-grown lust brings forth sin (James 1:15). By guarding the source of adultery a Christian is able to overcome all unlawful outward acts.
Does it matter who one's associates are?
1 Corinthians 15:33 says, "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." The Revised Version. says, "Evil companionships corrupt good morals." Evil companions will corrupt a Christian's morals, and good companions will help one's morals. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 teaches strongly against evil association: "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousnss? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
Is it important how a Christian uses his time?
Ephesians 5:16 says, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." "Redeeming" means "buying back." Satan is bidding for a Christian's time, and Christ is bidding for it also. We must yield our time to the Lord for His service. Time is precious to a Christian. An hour can be used to save a soul, or a wasted hour can mean that a soul will be lost. Wasting time is a sinful habit, and giving too much time to matters of less importance causes harmful neglect. Christians must redeem the time because the days are evil. There will come a day when time will be no more (see Romans 13:11,12).
Does the Bible prohibit drunkenness?
God's Word condemns drunkenness and everything which leads to drunkenness. A drunkard is to be disfellowshipped by the church (1 Corinthians 5:11). Drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). Drunkenness is one of the works of the flesh which shall keep those who do such things from inheriting the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21). See also Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-35.
Can a Christian drink without becoming drunken?
Drunkenness begins with mild drinking. Strong drink has a way of making the drinker want more. It often brings the drinker under its power (Proverbs 23:35). Therefore, the only certain way to avoid drunkenness is to avoid strong drink completely. This is the safe and sure way (2 Peter 1:10). By abstaining from the very appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22) a Christian will not cause a weaker person to stumble by his example (1 Corinthians 8:13). In this way a Christian's light can shine so as to glorify God (Matthew 5:16). Let us abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good (Romans 12:9).
Is taking dope or selling dope sinful?
Smugglers of drugs are everywhere. Men are becoming rich by selling illegal dope to unsuspecting users. Wine (or drugs) for medicine is scriptural (1 Timothy 5:23). But such things taken to make one "happy" or "carefree" are illegal and sinful. Christians must obey government rulers which condemn dope peddling (Romans 13:1,2). We must not defile our bodies which are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16,17; 6:19). Dope-taking is the same type sin as drunkenness. Galatians 5:21 condemns "drunkenness, revelings, and such like." Dope addiction surely comes under "such like" sins as drunkenness.
What is reveling?
Galatians 5:21 lists revelings as one of the works of the flesh which keep men from inheriting the kingdom of God. Reveling is riotous merrymaking, carousing, or drunken feasting. Gentiles (or heathen) walk in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, abominable idolatries, and run in excess of rioting (1 Peter 4:3,4). Instead of this kind of high living, Christians walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkennes, not in chambering and wontonness (playing with sex), not in strife and envying (Romans 13:13). The sins of the night are not for God's people who walk in the light of Christ (John 3:19-21). The prodigal son left his land of "riotous living" and returned to his father's love (Luke 15:13-20). Likewise must we.
What is modest dress?
It is decency in one's clothing. Women are commanded to adorn themselves in modest apparel (1 Timothy 2:9). They are also to dress with "shamefacedness" (a shrinking back from all that might cause shame) and "sobriety" (soberness, sensibleness). Christian women must not expose their nakedness, either partially or wholly. To do so they might cause men to lust after them and commit adultery in their hearts (Matthew 5:28). This sin would be partly their fault, and they would have to share the guilt. Modest apparel is the prevention which can often prevent lust and open adultery. Christian women must not dress like worldly women around them. They must by their modest example show the truth to others.
Is it important how a Christian uses his tongue?
Jesus said that one's words show what is in one's heart (Matthew 12:34,35). Men shall give an account in the day of Judgment of every idle word which they speak (verse 36). "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (verse 37).
Why is the tongue so important?
Because it can be used to praise God and save men by teaching them the Gospel, or it can be used to curse God and defile men and spread false teaching (James 3:1-12). It is very easy to sin with one's tongue (verse 2). Though the tongue is small it can do great damage (verses 3-8). "It is a fire, a world of iniquity, it defileth the whole body, it setteth on fire the course of nature, it is set on fire of Hell" (verse 6).
What are some of the sins of the tongue?
1. cursing (James 3:9,10). 2. boasting (verse 5). 3. swearing (Matthew 5:33-37). 4. Back-bitting (2 Corinthians 12:20). 5. whispering (Romans 1:29; Proverbs 16:28). 6. blaspheming (James 2:7; Romans 2:24). 7. false teaching (2 Peter 2:1). 8. all evil speakings (1 Peter 2:1). The sins of the tongue are poisons which cause many other sins (James 3:6-8).
What is honesty?
Honesty is uprightness of character. An honest person is truthful, responsible, truthworthy, and honorable in his actions, words, and character. An honest person refuses to lie, bribe, steal, or deceive in any way.
Must a Christian be honest?
2 Corinthians 8:21 says, "Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men." Romans 12:17 says "Provide things honest in the sight of all men."
Did the Jews have to be honest in business?
God commanded the Jews to deal honestly in business and forbade unjust weights and measures (Deuteronomy 25:13-16). A false balance was an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight was His delight (Proverbs 11:1). David said in Psalm 101:7, "He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight."
Which scriptures teach Christians to be honest?
Romans 13:13 teaches Christians to walk honestly as in the day. 2 Corinthians 4:2 forbids walking in craftiness. Philippians 4:8 says to think on whatsoever things are honest. 1 Timothy 2:2 shows that we should lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. There are count-less other verses on Christian honesty.
Should a Christian work honestly?
1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 says, "Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing." A laborer or worker of any kind must give an honest day's work for a day's pay.
Does the Bible forbid eye-service?
Yes, in Ephesians 6:5,6, which says that servants must not give eye-service as men pleasers, but rather work as unto Christ, doing the will of God from the heart (see also Colossians 3:22,23).
Should Christian employers deal honestly with employees?
Ephesians 6:9 commands masters to deal fairly with servants, knowing that God is the master of all. Jesus taught that the laborer is worthy of his hire (Luke 10:7). See also Jeremiah 22:13 and James 5:4.
Is gambling or playing pool un-Christian?
Christians are commanded to do their own business and work with their hands so as to walk honestly toward those that are without (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12). Gambling is trying to get money without honest work, and it will not influence outsiders to be saved. We must provide for honest things in the sight of God and men (2 Corinthians 8:21). But God has said that man must earn his bread by the sweat of his face, or by his own labor (Genesis 3:19). Jesus said we must do to others as we would have others do to us (Matthew 7:12). A gambling man cannot take another man's money by playing chance, because he would certainly not wish the man to take his money. Honest work, not gambling, is the way a Christian earns his livelihood.
Is all lying sinful?
Ephesians 4:25 commands us to put away lying and to speak truth to our neighbor. Christians must not lie since they have put off their old man with his deeds (Colossians 3:9). Revelation 21:8 says that "all liars" shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. "All liars" means so-called "little" lies and "innocent" lies or lies for a seemingly good purpose.
Is a half-lie still a lie?
When Abraham told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister, he was telling a half-truth, for she was a half-sister to him. But Sarah was also Abraham's wife, and he was hiding the truth that she was his wife by saying that she was his sister (Genesis 20:2,11,12). Whenever a part-truth is used to deceive others into thinking that the whole truth has been told, it is really a lie.
Is lying often practiced in buying and selling?
"It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth" (Proverbs 20:14).
Is it dishonest to fail to keep one's promise?
God has given Christians many great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4). He will keep these promises because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). But church members often make promises carelessly which they do not keep. Even congregations will make promises to pay their preacher which they do not intend to fulfill. As children of God we must strive to keep every promise and to fulfill our spoken or written word faithfully.
Must a Christian pay his debts?
Romans 13:8 says, "Owe no man anything," meaning that Christians must not owe without paying their honest debts as promised.
What is a bribe?
A bribe is a gift given to corrupt the conduct or pervert the judgment of a person who is in a position of trust.
Give some present-day examples of bribery.
(1) A policeman who takes money from a driver so as not to report him.
(2) A clerk who takes money to recommend a boy for employment.
(3) A nurse who demands a "dash" from a patient before attending him.
(4) Chiefs and elders who receive gifts to influence their judgment in court.
(5) A headmaster who accepts a "dash" to admit a boy to his school.
(6) A produce examiner who gives a false certificate for money paid him.
Is paying a bribe wrong?
Christians must "abhor" (strongly hate) that which is evil and cleave to that which is good (Romans 12:9). They must abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). By partaking of the sin of bribery a bribe-payer becomes guilty of the sin himself.
Must one be honest in small things?
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much" (Luke 16:10). Also see Matthew 25:23.
How can one be sure of being honest at all times?
By studying and knowing from God's Word what honesty is. Bible truth renounces the hidden things of dishonesty (2 Corinthians 4:2). By exercising oneself so as to have a conscience void of offense (Acts 24:16), or exercising one's senses to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). Then by prayer that in all things one may be willing to live honestly (Hebrews 13:18). Study, pray, and listen to conscience. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
Does honesty bring happiness?
"When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues without right" (Proverbs 16:7,8). Jesus said that those who seek first God's kingdom and righteousness have all necessary things added unto them (Matthew 6:33).
This article is from the book:
ANSWERS IN THE BIBLE TO PROBLEMS IN THE CHURCH
by - Jim Massey
J.C. Choate Publications
Winona/Singapore/New Delhi/CapetownTo Order:
J.C. Choate Publications
PO Box 72
Permission granted by the publisher for free distribution on the Internet.