How can we live our best each day, making sound ethical decisions? According to one dictionary, “ethics” is the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. Perhaps you’ve heard the term “moral compass.” A compass gives direction to help us get where we want to go physically; a code of ethics gives direction to help us know how we ought to behave as we go in life.
Different premises cause different systems of ethics. Therefore, recognizing one’s premise is essential to understanding and accepting the system of ethics it is based upon. Our premise in The Way Ministry is that the Bible, when it is rightly divided, is the Word of God and it is the will of God. Our ultimate authority is the Scriptures. What is right is what God’s Word says is right. What is wrong is what God’s Word says is wrong; likewise with good and evil. Our ethics are Biblical ethics. The goal of a code of Biblical ethics is to help people live virtuously, morally, uprightly. For example, understanding these truths helps us to live our best each day:
MAN’S PURPOSE IS TO LOVE GOD and keep His commandments—to live for the glory of God.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [reverence, love] God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
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.
This is the first and great commandment.
I John 5:3:
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
GOD DESIRES THAT ALL MEN BE SAVED, born again, and come unto the knowledge of the truth so they can effectively witness to God’s glory.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
I Timothy 2:3,4:
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Before a man of body and soul is born again, his conduct, or manner of life, is governed by the course of this world.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation [anastrephō, conducted ourselves] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Once a person is born again, he or she becomes a three-part being of body, soul, and spirit. They now have a spiritual side, and their behavior—manner of life, code of ethics—can be according to God’s Word, giving Him the glory.
II Corinthians 4:6,7:
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
That ye put off concerning the former conversation [anastrophē, manner of life, conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Neither give place to the devil.
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
EVERY MAN IS AN INDIVIDUAL in himself—free to choose his lifestyle and never a means to another man’s purposes. Each person must decide for oneself the manner in which to live. But no one willing to face the truth will deny the positive effects of the new birth and the renewed mind. God places in the Christian believer’s hands the ability to make decisions according to God’s Word. Each person’s future, the future of their progeny, and the future of the world they live in will be affected by those freewill decisions and choices.
Moses declared this vital choice to the children of Israel:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
The Apostle Paul gave clear guidance as to what Christian believers would want their lifestyle to be.
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Holding forth the word of life….
I Timothy 4:12:
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
As we live according to the code of Biblical ethics, we will live virtuously, morally, uprightly. Let’s glorify God as we follow the direction of His Word and inspire others to do the same!