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Christian Morality


Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

MORALITY: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior:

  • "Practical Holiness" Walking in the 'light of God'

    1. LIMITS of Christian Morality (what benefits, advantages, gaurantees?)
    • By Grace save, "NOT OF WORKS"
    • Pr 11:30 ¶ The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
    1. STANDARD of Christian Morality (who gets to say so?)
    • Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (or maturity of age)
    1. LIFE of Christian Morality (What does such a LIFE/style look like? Is there a uniform Christian code?)
    • 2Co 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

I. The Limits of Christian Morality

A. [SAVED] By Grace are Ye Saved

  • A person is not saved by their morals (whether theoretical or practical)
  • Everyone needs a SAVIOR.

v. 8 "through faith" v. 9 "not of works"

  • What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

What does it mean to be saved?

  • YOU do not need to "WAIT and SEE" if you are saved. You can KNOW right now.

Romans 10:9 — 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.

Ga 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

  • SAVED: sozo - "safe"; to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively):--heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
  • When a person is SAVED:
    • Born into the Family of God (John 3:3) "Except a man be born again"
    • Free from the Wages of Sin which is ETERNAL DEATH which is eternal separation from God. Ro 6:23
    • and therefore have ETERNAL LIFE.
    • REDEEMED: Purchased, 1Co 6:20 "belong entirely to God"
    • JUSTIFIED: "not guilty" (but i did do it) "price is paid by Jesus" (Little Jim)
    • RECONCILED to God: Ro 5:1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

B. We are not saved by "good works", but we are "ordained to them"

v.10 "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."


- Being "born again" is not the end, it is the beginning of a **RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with GOD**
  • Which God ORDAINED before

  • That is "HE SET UP IN ADVANCE"

  • God has orchestrated the provision of your NEW LIFE in Jesus in advance. This not something that you must CREATE but was CREATED by God in Christ Jesus. You ENTER INTO IT. It becomes you. YOu are BORN INTO GOD.

  • UNTO a purpose: a WALK

2. WALK in them

WALK: from 4012 and 3961; to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figuratively, to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary):--go, be occupied with, walk (about).

  • to tread all around
  • especially as proof of ability
  • to BEHAVE in a particular manner
  • to follow as a companion
  • to go, be occupied with

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

  • This Walk with God, is a LIFE STYLE, it is comprised of Habits and principles, and precepts.

Php 2:12 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Colossians 2:6 — As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

3. Let No Man Judge You …

  • What is the problem/need Paul is addressing in Colossians 2? v.8 "spoil,cheat", v.16 "judge" , v.18 "beguile, defraud, rob, disqualify" (via Christ+ teachings) - That we are not complete in Christ. (legalism, mysticism, ascetism) <-- these can derail us
  • What is the caution given?
  • Of being spoiled in their relationship with Christ. (Christ is not enough.)

Colossians 2:16 — Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:--avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

  • Colossians 2:4 "beguile" from 3844 and 3049; to misreckon, i.e. delude:--beguile, deceive.

  • Colossians 2:8 "beware"

Colossians 2:8 mdash; Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

  • a) v.11 ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands (circumcision of Christ)

  • b) v.12 Buried in Baptism

  • c) v.12 Risen with Him through faith

  • Nailing it to His cross (the legal document against us)

Colossians 2:14 — Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

  • Let no man therefore judge you ...
    • in meat
    • in drink
    • in respect of an holyday
    • new moon
    • the sabbath days

Colossians 2:17 — Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

  • Let no man beguile you of your reward
    • in a voluntary humility
    • and worshipping angels
    • intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind

Colossians 2:20 — Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

  • v.21 - 1 Timothy 4:3 -

  • These precepts appear wise (a good appearance; claiming by which to worship God), but ... are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

  • "they form a worship which God has not commanded" "neither profitable to the soul, nor of any advantage to the body;" -- Adam Clarke Commentary

Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

  • will-worship: mode of worship which a man chooses for himself, independently of the revelation which God has given. (God will be served in his own way;)

  • will-worship: Albert Barnes -- "they did not urge as being strictly required, but as conducing greatly to piety". God knew best what things it was most conducive to piety for his people to observe; and we are most safe when we adhere most closely to what he has appointed, and observe no more days and ordinances than he has directed.

1 Timothy 4:3 — Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

II. The Standard of Christian Morality

  • What is right?

  • It is not, "follow your heart" (we are not a God unto ourselves"

  • the answer dies nit evven begin eith "chrustusn luberty" it begibs with the lordship of christ.

  • The Christian acknowledges the HIGHER POWER that is God.

  • phil 3:17 not even beginningbwuth spiritual leadership.

    • math 17:5; hear ye Him
  1. A Good Character

  • Character: Who we are andvthe who we are that can be buit and learned. "Of a good character" dl moody ... character is who we are in the dark -"good chsracter" = integrity, honesty, string moral fiber, csrw and concern, for others.

  • being in a condition and living a life that is pleasing to God. Heb 11:6 begins wuth fsith, but follows through in action james 2:18,20,26 -- v22 sunergeo mark 16:20; rom 8:28;1 cor 16:16; 2 cor 6:1; faith cooperatng with works.

  • tge springboard from whichbsllbibday and do in liufe comes. give our cinscirnce a solid founfation.

  • leadt and most in the kingd

  • Character is demonstrated in actions but truely resides in the heart.

  • what is the relationship of the rule/standard and the character of a person? m verse.

  • The NT Walk is merely following the 10 Commmandments or the Words of the Prophets, but is much LARGER.

  • The O.T. Moral Law is not big enough the N.T. Experience.

  • It is not just "Chapter verse" although we will be held accountable to God for EVERY jot and tittle of His Word.

Mt 5:7 ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

  • How to exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees? (As it is clear that must!)

    • Our righteousness must be that which is BY FAITH.

    Ro 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    • WE LIVE by this faith.
    • The standard by which GOOD and BAD is measured is CHRIST [compared as one "maturing to age" === "stature"]

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

And sinces Jesus is a "person", is "personable" we cannot merely read an OT precept and do it as that is the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.

The MATURING comes by experience --- walking with God.

Lord, what about this ... (Following God's Heart, no mine.)

Telemachus, A North African monk, pilgrimage to Rome, Swept by crowd in to the Coliseum. 'We who are about to do salute you'. Bloody murderous, behavior STOP THIS IS WRONG! DO NOT SEPARATE GOD's MERCY in your victory in war by murdering one another --- Gladiators struck and killed Telemachus. "When they saw his death, they began to question their own violence. --- These games ultimately even outlawed as a reaction.

III. The Life of Christian Morality (What does it look like?)

2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

A. A New Wine Skin

Lu 5:33 And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? 34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. 36 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

  • There are falling back into Judaism, by trying to pour the N.T. Experience into that old skin.
  • What are the habits, principles, practices, precepts of Christian morality --- practical holiness?

B. Comparing the OLD Wine Skin with the New Wine Skin

1. "Thou Shalt not Kill"

Mt 5:21 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

  • 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:
  • and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council:
  • but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
  • 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
  • 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

2. "Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery"

27 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

3. "Thou Shall not Bear False Witness"

33 ¶ Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. 38 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.