Summary: How do you govern your life as a Christian? How do you know what you should or should not say or do? Whenever it comes to making a decision there are three questions we must ask and answer for ourselves. Is it moral? Is it legal? Is it ethical?


1 Corinthians 10:23-33

Introduction: How do you govern your life as a Christian? How do you know what you should or should not say or do? Daily you and I are faced with choices that we have to make as believers; choices that will impact our lives, our relationship with Christ and those around us. Whenever it comes to making a decision I believe there are three questions we must ask and answer for ourselves. Is it moral? Is it legal? Is it ethical?

I. Is it Moral?

A. Moral Principles and Rules are standards of right and wrong based on core values. These moral values can come from a number of sources including society, family, and peers.

B. The problem is that we live in a fallen world that has had its values warped by the depraved hearts of sinful mankind.

1. Ecclesiastes 5:1 “Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.”

2. Job 24:13 “There are those who rebel against the light; they do not know its ways nor abide in its paths.”

3. Genesis 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

• Every imagination - the whole imagination: the Hebrew word signifies not only the imagination, but also the purposes and desires, continually: Heb. every day

4. The reality of this is seen in the fact that two-fifths of self-identified Christians say do anything you want, just don’t hurt anyone. - Community Impact Seminar, Focus on the Family

5. It is no wonder that in 15 years of asking high school students throughout America whether, in an emergency situation, they would save their dog or a stranger first, most students have answered that they would not save the stranger. "I love my dog, I don’t love the stranger”, they always say. The feeling of love has supplanted God or religious principle as the moral guide for young people. What is right has been redefined in terms of what an individual feels. - Dennis Prager in Good News, July/Aug., 1993, Christianity Today, Oct 25, 1993, p. 73

C. True morality is based on the Character of a Holy and Righteous God. There is no standard of goodness apart from God.

D. God’s holy and perfect nature supplies the absolute standard against which all actions and decisions are to be measured.

E. God’s moral attributes include:

1. Love – 1 John 4:8 “…God is love”

2. Holiness – 1 Peter 1:16 “Be holy, for I am holy.”

3. Mercy – Psalm 103:8 “The LORD is merciful and gracious”

4. Goodness – Psalm 52:1 “The goodness of God endures continually”

5. Gentleness – Psalm 18:35 “Your gentleness has made me great”

6. Truth & Justice – Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”

F. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

II. Is it Legal?

A. Laws are a codified declaration and guideline of morality.

B. Has God given us an express command to obey, something we are to do or a act we are to avoid?

C. There is among Christians today an antinomian philosophy that holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation. Their pet expressions for their actions are “I am not under the law; I’m under grace!” and “That’s the Old Testament” They quote:

Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

D. Understand that God is immutable – that is He is unchangeable.

E. Malachi 3:6 “For I [am] the LORD, I do not change…”

F. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

G. God’s moral nature is articulated to us in the form of divine commands. They are an expression of his perfect goodness.

1. i.e. God is Truth – Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” and Colossians 3:9 “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.”

2. i.e. God is Gentle – Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.” and Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”

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