Biblical View On Morality

There is much in the news of late on the morality of mankind. Morality has to do with conforming to the rules of right conduct. Unfortunately, what is considered right in one society is not necessarily the same in another. Some would say that ethics, or one’s moral conduct, is situational. When we consider the evil that is around us today such as terrorism, mass murder, serial murder, and the like, we can hardly see how this can be justified by any situation. However, it is in some societies. To Christians, there is a difference between good and evil, right and wrong, and love and hate. How do we define the concepts of evil, good, right, wrong, love, and hate? How these things are defined is dependent upon the authority to which we adhere. For Christians, the Bible is our authority!

The Bible identifies many forms of evil. For example, in Matthew 15:19-20, Jesus gives some examples of evil including murder, adultery, thievery, lying, and so forth. He goes on to say that these things, evil things, are what defiles a man.  And Jesus also said, For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21–23 K JV). So, we can see that evil takes on many forms.

Evil, as defined in the Bible, is those things which God has explicitly prohibited, such as murder and adultery. It is also things or behaviors that people exhibit that are against the will of God. This would include coveting a neighbor’s belongings, lying, pride, and so forth. In today’s society, many people would not consider these to be evil but rather a lifestyle. However, with the Bible as our authority as Christians, we can plainly see that these characteristics fall in the realm of those things that are not right.

If the subject of morality is perplexing to us, we can take heart in that the Bible is very much like a roadmap guiding us in the way that we should go to avoid evil. Jesus tells us, A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45 K JV). Jesus did not merely tell us these things to cause us to wonder about them, but He provided a way for us to understand and to develop a heart that is right with God.  Paul, in his second epistle to Timothy, tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16 KJV).

We are admonished throughout the Bible to do good and to avoid evil. Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:35 that a good man brings forth good things and an evil man brings forth evil things. And in 3 John 1:11, we are told not to follow things that are evil but to follow things that are good. John goes on to tell us that if we do good things, it is of God, but if we do evil things, we will not see God. And in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, the Apostle Paul tells us that we should avoid the very appearance of evil.

It is not enough to go through life avoiding evil. We must embrace that which is good. Paul tells us, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21 K JV). And in Romans 12:9, Paul tells us to abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good. And we can rest assured that if our focus is on doing the good, then we will be able to overcome our human tendency to think evil thoughts or even do evil things. Paul tells us in Romans 12:21, “be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” And finally, when Jesus gave us the model prayer that we call The Lord’s Prayer, He tells us that when we pray we should ask God to deliver us from evil.

Some may believe that evil is a powerful force. And, it certainly can be under the right conditions. However, good is a much more powerful force for we know by reading the Scriptures that love will win over hate. Following an evil path will lead to death (hell). But following a good path will lead to life everlasting (heaven). Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12 to, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” Even though our life may not be in a “profession” of preaching and teaching, still we are called to be evangelists for Christ through the way we live our lives.

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