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Forum: Christian Ethics
 Topic: Christian Ethics: Introduction
Old Testament Ethics: The Why Questions [message #12637 is a reply to message #12339 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:43
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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The why Questions?

1. Why did he permit divorce?
He tolerated more in the OT. Matt. 19 No divorce in the NT. Gods requirement in the beginning was no divorce. Rom. 3/2-25, Gen. 1-4, Lev. 19/2

2. God commanded the Israelites to kill the Canaanites.. Liberals say that is a contradiction of the 6th command.
Answer - the 6th commandment has nothing to do with capital punishment
Gen. 9/6, Ex. 21/12-17, Here are taught principles for capital punishment
Answer - this is why God commanded the Canaanites to be killed - Lev. 18/22-24
Answer - Lev. 18/25-28 also why
Answer - Deut. 18/10-14 God used Israel to punish the Canaanites for their sin. Is. 10,
Because Israel wasn't completely obedient to this God had to ultimately destroy both Israel and Judah

3. Rahab the Harlot.
Did God permit lying in the OT. Some say OT ethics are lower than in the NT. Jesuits have the lie of reservation. Joshua 2/4-6 She lied to the men of Jericho. Heb. 11/31 She believed enough of the spies report to hide them. She believed and her faith produced works. She was a harlot in a sinful city and culture. She didn't measure up to NT standards but she was only getting some light. In that context the women is believing the spies report and hiding the spies in her own way.
Ex. 20/16 the ethical standard of the OT is the same as the new James 1, Lev. 19/11

4. God is a jealous God When the scriptures speak of God as jealous it means he as sovereign lord is solicitous of his own character name honour and will and not share his glory with false gods. Israel is his wife We shouldn't be jealous with anger but we should have a solicitous concern for our mates.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:24]

Ethical principles of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments [message #12638 is a reply to message #12637 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:44
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Ethical principles of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments

It sets for the basic principles of ethics. Every principle in the 10 can be found over and over in the NT. The first 4 set forth our responsibility to God.

1.Ex. 20/3 The principle of monotheism and loyalty to God. Deut. 6/4 He wants not only first place but the only place. There are many Gods in church today. The NT principle is Luke 10/25-27 Summed up in two phrases. An OT figure setting forth NT truth. The more discerning Israelite could see that for themselves Mat. 10/37-39, Luke 14/25-27

2. Ex. 20 /4-6 We're not make images of God. It is an attempt to finite an infinite God Humans have the tendency to transfer our affections from our invisible God to an visible image John 4/24

3. Ex. 20/7 principle of reverence and respect for God.
To not profane Gods name by the way we live. It forbids perjury and false swearing Lev. 19/12. It was permitted in the OT to take the Lords name and swear by it to wean them away from swearing by other Gods. Not to take his name in vain.

4. Ex. 20/ 8-11 Principle of reverence for the Lords Day. Gods provision for mans need of rest. The NT principle is giving us a twofold blessing for a day of rest and worship. In the OT violating it meant death. We don't celebrate the sabbath because we are under grace. Immediately after Jesus resurrection they started meeting on the first day of the week in honour of it.

5. Ex. 20/12 Principle of respect for authority.
Not just parents but all authority. One reason for the Jews still alive as a race in spite of persecution is their respect for authority in home and elders.
Eph. 6/1-3 in mind as well as deed.

6. Ex. 20/13 Principle of Respect for Human Life
excepting capital punishment Gen. 9/6. This principle refers to unauthorized killing
For the xian it means killing of any kind. - capital punishment- self defence
- possessions - defending an unregenerate state or nation
The NT principle is - anger in the heart Matt. 5/21-22, 38-39 1 John 3/13-15

7. Ex. 20/14 The Principle of Sanctity of Marriage and Family relationships. Marriage and family is the God ordained method of expressing love for your mate. Anything outside that is adultery or fornication. Any sex outside marriage is forbidden.
Matt. 5/27-32, 19/9, Heb. 13/4, 1 Cor. 6/9-10, Rev. 2/18, Col. 3/5

8. Ex. 20/15 The principle is :
Honesty in the acquisition of our possessions. Recognition of the right of others to own property Forms of stealing: Violation of civil laws against shoplifting
gambling acquisition of the property others without paying or working for it
- moral stealing - control of the stock market- concealing defects in something we sell - employees loafing on the job- cheating on exams- stealing from the work or study of others- income tax - betting/lotteries (the idea of getting something for nothing)
Eph. 4/28, 1 Cor. 6/10, Rom. 12/17

9. Ex. 20/16 Principle of Truthfulness
a) respect for another name and character perjury / slander / gossip
criticism- which result in lives being ruined or besmirched
Prov. 6/16-19, Ex. 23/1, Prov. 26/20, James 3, Eph. 4/29,
b) respect for truth and honesty in all our relationships
Eph. 4/25, Col. 3/9, Rev. 21/8,27

10. Ex. 20/17 Principle forbidding an inordinate desire for the things of others.
John2/15,17, Matt. 6/31-33, col. 3/5, 1 Cor. 6/9-10

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:25]

Characteristics of Christian Principles [message #12639 is a reply to message #12638 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:46
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Registered: October 2006
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Distinctive Characteristics of Christian principles

a) Jesus was not a philosopher or social reformer he was a redeemer and Savior.

b) The ethics of Jesus do not constitute a system of ethical and moral rules, but set forth eternal principles which are intended to be guidelines for the motivation of conduct.

c) The ethics of the NT are a christian ethic. It is applicable to a believe under grace. You can't apply them to an unregenerate

d) Christian ethics is conduct. Its a way of life not a system of religion. James 1/22-26, Micah 6/6-8, Luke 10/25-31,

e) christian ethics are based on motives not just conduct. Many unregenerates can live close to the xian ethic but they can't do it from the heart. eg. Gandhi. What was his motive for being a social reformer? self-satisfaction, self-righteousness, and social reform. Prov. 21/4
- a sinner cannot perform any actions untainted by sin
- a sinner cannot perform any unselfish acts
- a sinner cannot perform any moral act that will justify him in Gods sight. Why? Anything he does apart from faith and Jesus is selfishness (satisfying his own righteousness or conscience)

Does having a right motive justify a wrong conduct?
eg. stealing food to feed your starving family or mercy killing ( loved one suffering from an incurable disease)
- its an escape from moral responsibility - robin hood acts are not allowed in the bible. Job never considered suicide - nothing ever justifies sin
- The moral and ethical process has 3 parts - motive - act- consequences
conduct is ethically right when it is the outcome of good motives carried out by right means which results in bionically acceptable consequences.

f) The xian ethic is an absolute ethic
Matt. 5/21-22, 33-34, 38,43,48 lust equals adultery, anger equals murder
What motives is the sermon based on? love,faith,holiness, Gods glory
God required the same perfection in the OT as in the NT. Gen. 17/1,Job. 1/8, Rom. 6/11
Gal. 5/22 Deliverance is not a shortcut to sanctification

g )Jesus ethics are positive in emphasis Matt. 7/12

h) The ethics of Jesus are positive in righteousness Matt. 6/33 We aren't justified by our righteousness but we are to do righteousness. Righteousness comes before answers.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:25]

Sermon on the Mount #1 [message #12640 is a reply to message #12639 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:52
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Ethical Principles of the Sermon on the Mount

Because of its revolutionary purpose several views have arisen to explain it.

1. What is Jesus aim is giving the sermon? Is it to give high ideals to inspire men to do better or is it to give principles to obey?

2. To whom is the sermon addressed? Jews? Christians? The world?

3. When are the teachings to be applied?

a)Past - He offered the kingdom to the Jews but they rejected it so it is past. present? future?

b)present- all believers

c) future - The laws of the millennium when Israel is restored

Views of the Sermon:

1. The Humanistic View

The object is to improve society. It holds that Jesus was a great moral and ethical genius who taught the principles of brotherhood. some of his teachings are valid for today but most are not because they can't deal with the complexities of life today.
a) Truth and moral standards are not relative to time or place

b) The teachings of Christ are the only answer to the complexities of modern life

2. The Liberal View:

This is the view of the seminaries.
They believe in a salvation of works. They deny the blood atonement The high ideal of Christianity is to be a neighbour. We are to apply the teaching of the sermon to society. This would reform society and usher in the Kingdom of God on earth.

Reply: It overlooks mans need for regeneration

3. The Interim view

Schweitzer's view. The sermon was largely an interim ethic. Christ and the 12 taught an eschatological concept which is on end times. They taught the end was near so they didn't teach principles that were permanent to be used between his ascension and his almost immediate return. They say Jesus and the 12 were wrong. Its been 2000 yrs he isn't back yet. He says the sermon teaches a super human righteousness impossible for the present time. Its only for the interim

Reply: Jesus and the 12 do teach the soon return of Jesus but that is the basis for a high ethic. If it impossible on a permanent basis it is impossible on a temporary basis.

4. Dispensational View - 2 views

a) The sermon was only for the first advent. To the Jews. This is the view of Dwight Pentecost

b) The sermon is only for the millennium. Jesus gave it back then only for completeness sake. (LS Chafer) This code of ethics was only for the millennium. The sermon is impossible and unintended for our age. Some of the sermon applies now but very little.
Some say the sermon is system of works for the Jews in the millennium. We won't do them because we are under grace. Naturally none of the men who promote these ideas have the BHS.

Reply: Jews never were and never will be saved by works. The sermon is the highest spiritual truth in the bible. The NT contains all the teachings of the sermon. Jesus contrasts the law with his deeper teaching on the same thing.

5. The Biblical Present Age view:

The ethical requirements of the sermon are the highest expression of conduct and morality in the bible. The sermon has application from the time it was given until the second advent.
Matt. 7/21,24 These refer to the sermon Jesus just gave.
When are we to do them? Now!
The sermon is how a xian is to live under grace in a sinful world. In the millennium righteousness and peace will prevail. On the basis of that it obvious from the word the sermon is not for the M.
Matt. 5/6-8 Unrighteousness is present. Christ wouldn't preach on any of these things if it was for the M.
5/9 strife is present
5/10-12 persecution is present
5/16-17 corruption and moral darkness are present . It says we are the salt and preserver of the earth.
5/31 divorce and adultery are present
5/38-44 xians still suffer abuse from their enemies
6/1-18 religious hypocrisy is still present
6/13 Satan and temptation are still present
6/17-18 with 9/14-15 we are to fast after Jesus goes and Jesus is still absent
6/33 materialism still competes with God for our allegiance. We are urged to seek the kingdom. In the M. we will be in the kingdom.
6/10 we are to pray for his kingdom to come
7/21 he tells us to do all these things

The sermon has the same intention as the law. It is to be obeyed. Jesus makes no concession for weakness or hard hearts. The sermon is more absolute than the law. But we have the HS and the blood which makes it possible. The immense scope of the sermon and its necessity for every age is seen in that it answers so many questions and needs for today

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:26]

Sermon on the Mount #2 [message #12641 is a reply to message #12640 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:54
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Question # 1
In contrast to the law the sermon sets forth certain principles. What is the difference between a principle and a rule?
Answer: Matt. 5/21-22 t
the law: thou shalt not kill
principle: whoever is angry is in danger of judgment

Q. # 2 What does Christ mean when he says to forsake all and follow him?
A. Matt. 6/19-34 Take no thought for the things of the world

Q. # 3 To what motive does Christ appeal when he demands righteous living. What does he warn as a consequence to disobedience
A. Matt. 5/21-22 Judgment and fell fire. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Q. # 4 does it matter how we live? Can a xian do as he pleases within certain limits. booze, gamble dance, xrated movies?
A. Matt. 5/13-16 We are to be lights to the world, separated, salt of the earth.

Q. # 5 What is Christs attitude toward anti-nomianism?
A. Matt5/19-20 The righteousness of the law is to be fulfilled by us through our faith in Christ.

Q. # 6 Can an unregenerate heart perform an act that is completely free fromm sin and acceptable to God?
A. Matt. 7/18 No! No work of a sinner is acceptable with God. Prov. 2/14 Everything a sinner does is sin. Even plowing his field.

Q. #7 What is the danger of confessing Christ (the basis for entering the kingdom) and not being obedient?
A. 7/21-22 If you don't do Gods will you won't enter the kingdom

Q. # 8 Can a true xian justify violence and killing in light of the sermon?
A. 5/38-44 but I say unto you not to resist evil

Q. # 9 does Jesus say your answer to question 8 prove whose child you are?
A. Yes 5/45 says if do what vs 44 says it proves you are a child of God

Q. # 10 Who alone are the blessed in Gods sight?
A. 5/3 The poor in spirit/ those who mourn, the meek, those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, peacemakers, the persecuted for righteousness sake

Q. # 11 What should be the xian attitude toward divorce and taking the oath.?
A. 5/31-37 God allows divorce only for fornication and not to take the oath at all.

Q. # 12 What are the two ways of life and can they be mixed?
A. 6/24 Godly life or worldly life. A xian cannot serve both

Q. # 13 How many will take heed to the Lords teaching in the sermon?
A. 7/13-14 Narrow is the way and few that find it.

Q. # 14 Is a xian supposed to see how much he can do or how close he can come to sin without actually sinning?
A. 6/33 Seek righteousness. A true xian stays as far from sin as he can.

Q. # 15 What is the one basic principle that Christ gives that governs all our conduct?
A. 7/12 Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you do ye even to them.

Q. # 16 What does Christ call a man that takes heed to the teaching?
A. 7/24 The one who does a wise man; the one who doesn't a foolish man

Q. #17 Does Jesus deal with specific sins in the sermon? Does he apply principles to specific situations
A. divorce 5/31-32, oath 5/33-37, prayer 6/9, fasting 6/16, alms 6/1f murder and violence 5/21f

Q.# 18 Do you think the sermon is too radical for today?
A. What was the reaction of the people in Christs day?
7/28-29 They were astonished just like the people today. People do not change

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:26]

Sermon on the Mount #3 [message #12642 is a reply to message #12641 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:56
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Sermon on the Mount Theme:

How disciples should live a xian life in a sinful world

The Character of a discipl

A) Inward man 5/3-6
Vs.3 blessed are the poor in spirit - recognizing our spiritual poverty and need of salvation - after salvation recognizing our need of the BHS - recognizing we are what we are by the grace of God
Reward: the kingdom of heaven
Vs.4 blessed are they that mourn
- before salvation mourning over your spiritual condition
- after salvation mourning for the power or BHS
- mourning over the spiritual condition of the world and the church
- because we have to live in such sinful surroundings
Reward: we shall be comforted

Vs.5 Blessed are the meek
Humble lowliness of mind teachable. Meek is not weak. There is a difference. Moses was meek but he was jealous for God and his word.
Reward: They shall inherit the earth

Vs.6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness
Those who cannot get enough of the word and teaching. Also those faithful in fasting and prayer
Reward: They shall be filled with righteousness

B) How xians react to others
Vs.7 blessed are the Merciful
Not just being fair but going the second mile 5/40-41
Reward: we shall obtain mercy

Vs.8 Blessed are the pure in heart
Good thoughts acts desires attitudes and motives
Reward: we shall seed god now and later

Vs.9 blessed are the peacemakers.
A person of peace. Never causes strife.
The passive side: non-resistance
Active side: seek peace in all things
Reward: We are called the children of God. Why? Because we are like his son Jesus.

Vs.10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake.
Hated, laughed at etc. for your stand on the word. It is a consequence of living the sermon.
Reward: The kingdom of heaven. Need to make sure it is for righteousness sake and not chastisement.

Vs.11-12 Blessed are you when men shall revile you lie about you and persecute you for Jesus sake. Phil.1/29 for trusting and loving Jesus. Why are we blessed when persecuted? It is the evidence we are living the word and pleasing God.
Reward: Great is your reward in Heaven
C ) The twofold influence of disciples on a sinful world 5/13-16

Salt: There are 3 qualities to salt
a) it purifies and is antiseptic. A xian is antiseptic in that his purity of conduct and motives acts as a purifying influence on a sinful world. Salt that only looks like salt is worthless. Jesus speaking here about people not salt. Luke 14/34
b) It preserves. a xian helps preserve a society that is heading for certain destruction.
c) Salt seasons. The BHS gives the season or spice of the xian life. like peace joy security etc.

Light: There are 3 characteristics to light Phil. 2/14-15
a) Position. Light should be seen. People should be able to tell you are a xian. Our light should reveal the worlds sin.
b) Nature. Light vanishes darkness
c) Purpose. It glorifies God. The world is more aware of what we do than what we say.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:27]

Sermon on the Mount #4 [message #12643 is a reply to message #12642 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 15:00
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Registered: October 2006
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D) The Principle of the conduct of Xians 5/12 - 7/21

The revelation of the law and the prophets in the sermon.
What is the Law? It is Gods eternal standard for righteousness. Rom. 8/4, 3/31, 7/12
We keep the law by our faith in Christ. Everything in the law is in the NT. Eph. 6 for eg.
If we break the commandments and you will be least in the kingdom. The scribes and pharisees made void the law and taught others to do the same.

The inner spiritual principles of righteousness that were implicit in the law. Vs 21-48


a) Christ made explicit what was implicit in the law.
b) The sermon is not a law. The xian is not called to live the sermon as if it were a law. The sermon is not a higher law but rather eternal principles of conduct.

The difference between law and principles

Vs 21-26
Law: do not kill
Principle: if you are angry with your bro it is as if you killed him.
Calling someone a fool - in the OT it was calling a person wicked or apostate
NT all men are made in the image of God ans one should never call anyone a bad name
Making it right with someone who has something against you. Do all you can to settle out of court. Avoid anger. Take the initiative to correct a problem with someone even if you are in the right.

Vs. 27-30 Law: Not committing adultery
Principle: Do not even lust in your heart as in Gods eyes you will have committed the act. Who is more guilty? The one who dresses sleazy or the one who looks? both are equally guilty. Proper dress does not call the wrong kind of attention.
Vs 29-30 do we take this literally? Yes! If that is the only alternative to keep from sinning. but for the spirit filled xian there is a better way. eg Job 31/1 I made a covenant with my eyes why then should I think upon a maid. Your body expresses the heart

VS 27-32
Law: You can divorce or write a writ of divorce.
Principle: divorce is only allowed for fornication.
Fornication includes adultery but also means sexual uncleanness. Divorce doesn't make adultery but a divorced person who remarries commits adultery. (except for fornication)
Solutions: If you are married then stay that way. If you are divorced except for fornication then stay single or claim the reconciliation of your marriage. 1 Cor. 7

Vs 5/33- 37
Law: Swear only by the Lord
Principle: Swear not at all James 5/2

VS. 5/38-42
Law: An eye for an eye
Principle: do not fight for anything
We must keep in mind the sermon is for spirit filled xians not the world. Xians do not take people to court. Must be willing to go the extra mile. In this area a person must be very discerning. Christ does not say here to always give what they ask. god does not give what we ask for is we ask amiss James 4/3 eg don't give people money to get drunk. But : when you do give do with no strings attached. give freely and do not discriminate

Principles of conduct and worship in daily practice
Matt. 6/1-18

The principle is to avoid practising your piety before men to be seen and heard. One has to give fast and pray properly to get a reward.

a) Giving: vs 2-5 Don't tell anyone or even think about it yourself.

b) Praying vs 6-15
Avoid prayer that is just to be heard and admired. Jesus prayed public prayer(john17) the disciples (acts 4) Avoid prayers that are semons designed to get back at people or correct others mistakes. Avoid vain repetition. Why? God already knows what you are going to pray. Another reason is that is the way the heathen pray.

c) Fasting. vs 16-18 If giving and praying is for today then so is fasting. Do it secretly. It is a matter of the heart to fast. Fast when you want to avoiding legalism. 1 hour 1 day 1 meal whatever you want. Turn your back on everything to seek him for something. It is turning your attention to him and off other things. sometimes it is the only way to get an answer. Pray and use your faith and you still don't know the answer then fast. When you're wondering about a mans ministry then fast. If nothing else tells us. A fruit juice fast is a restricted diet. It is good but a fast is nothing but water.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:27]

Sermon on the Mount #5 [message #12644 is a reply to message #12643 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 15:07
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
Principles governing material possessions criticism worry and anxiety Matt. 6/19-7/5

Covetousness vs 19-21 No affection for material goods. There is nothing wrong with owning things. It is the selfish accumulation of riches for riches sake. Covetousness is idolatry because it is what we worship.

How do we avoid covetousness?
a) Look upon all your material goods as means to an end and not an end in itself.

b) Let them hold no affection in our hearts

c) A total committal of our possessions to the Lord as we are just stewards.

Anxiety vs 25-34
Jesus forbids sinful anxiety. Concern for material needs in sin. Taking thought is the same as being anxious. Why take no thought?

a) It is unnecessary as he feeds the birds he will feed us.

b) It is unavailing. He says it is easier to grow 18in than to feed your self.

c) It is unfaithful. Just consider the lilies.

The seriousness of Anxiety is 4 fold. It indicates:

a) A lack of faith about basic matters.

b) It calls into question Gods sovereignty. You don't believe he is big enough to do what he says he will. The God we serve is the one we trust day to day. Not the one we sing to.

c) It indicates we are covetous. This is why the poor can also be covetous.

d) It destroys our witness. It makes like the world.

Criticism 7/1-5 What does it not mean:

a) That you shouldn't correct errors that mar the purity of the faith. 11 Tim. 41-2 Jude 3

b) It doesn't mean we shouldn't use discernment.

c) don't judge by appearance
Luke 18/9-14
Don't be self-righteous in our judgment. When we deal with the sins of others we should do it with love.
7/12 The golden principle. The whole sermon on the mount revolves around this.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:28]

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