Sunday Morning Dec. 4, 2011

Posted by Sherry

BIBLICAL ETHICS

Romans 12:1

CBC 12/4/2011 SM

TEXT:I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Last week we discussed our mind

this week we will discuss our body

A WORD PICTURE: A LIVING SACRIFICE

  • sacrifices didn’t live in Temple worship
  • source & foundation for Christian ethics
    • how do we know what is right?
    • how do we judge the rightness or wrongness of any action?
    • many ways Christians try to approach it
    • our righteousness is not just “positional”
      • God actually changes who we are

2 Cor. 5:17Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

  • We must move from theoretical to concrete
    • move from just knowing it to doing something with it
    • our faith must impact our everyday life
    • Paul calls us to present our very selves to God as “living sacrifices”
    • transformation of bodily existence into spiritual worship
    • changing: Who we are, How we behave, Not just how we think (last week...)
    • where faith meets practice...this is WHAT WE DO!...Everyday
    • our “calling” is reflected in our “conduct”
  • Moved from Indicatives of Ro. ch 1-11 to imperatives of Ro. ch 12-16
    • indicatives - indicating what something is...ILL: this is a pulpit
    • imperative - command or plea...ILL: stand behind the pulpit
    • indicatives - what God has done or accomplished in us, who we are in Christ, remind us of the power with which we carry out what God has asked us to do
    • imperatives - all that God has commanded us to do
      • we don’t try to do that on our own
      • we need the power of the Holy Spirit working through us to accomplish...
      • we need the motivation of the Holy Spirit working in us to do something
      • confuse the indicatives and imperatives we end up in “WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS” or “LEGALISM”
        • we confuse what the Gospel requires and what it produces
        • requires - repentance and faith
        • produces - obedience to all God’s commands

Romans ch 1-11

  • Indicatives of the Christian Life
    • justification
    • sanctification
    • who we were & what Christ has accomplished in, of and through us
    • now in the 2nd half of the book it gets “skin” on it & we get to DO SOMETHING
    • when ch 1-11 are true OF US ch 13-16 will be true of us
    • ch 13-16 “Little less ‘talk’ and a LOT MORE ACTION

WHAT IS AN ETHICAL (RIGHTEOUS) ACT?

  • works done by the unsaved (although of good use), don’t proceed from a heart purified by faith, aren’t done by God’s manner, and aren’t done to the glory of God makes them sinful and cannot please God.
  • HOW TO JUDGE AN ACTION
    • must be a right action
    • a right heart - purified by faith
    • a right manner - according to the Bible
    • to a right end - for the glory of God
    • then & only then do we have a right “ethical”, action
    • take away one of the 4 steps it makes it a sinful action
    • ILL: right action, right heart, right manner, to glory of SELF...= SIN
    • God doesn’t accept...SINFUL ACTIONS
    • that means our best is all tainted & disqualified by our sin nature

Is 64:6 For we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away [far from God's favor, hurrying us toward destruction].

    • only in & through Christ (positionally righteous), are our actions accepted by God

METHODS BY WHICH WE TRY TO DO WHAT IS ETHICAL

FIRST, THE GOLDEN RULE APPROACH TO CHRISTIAN ETHICS

  • Based on what Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
    • do you want to live in a world where everybody does appropriate actions?
    • then you do what you want done back to you
    • they do what they want done back to them
    • problem: becomes “manipulative” and “man” centered
      • why did I do that action? b/c I wanted to receive it in return
      • makes the foundation of our ethics is...OURSELF!
        • my pleasure, my comfort
        • manipulate you to live in a certain way toward me
        • create a society & environment that does to me what I want
        • self-centered not God-centered for His glory...= SINFUL
        • taking Golden Rule out of context from the Sermon on the Mount
        • not what Jesus was preaching

SECOND, THE “FEAR OF GOD”

  • Some religions extort by terror forced obedience
  • Council of Trent (considered infallible) “If anyone says that the righteousness received is not preserved and also increased before God by good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not a cause of its increase let him be anathema (cursed).
    • curse of damnation for the one who believes in salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus
    • ethics of the Fear of God
    • cannon 30 section 6, “if anyone says that the guilt is remitted to every penitent sinner after the grace of justification has been received, and that the debt of eternal punishment is so blotted out that there remains no debt of temporal punishment to be discharged, either in this world or the next in purgatory before the entrance into the kingdom of heaven could be obtained, let him be anathema (cursed).
    • source of ethics:
      • God is Holy, Righteous and full of Wrath toward the wicked.
      • YOU & I are wicked and deserve God’s wrath
      • We must do all we can to lessen the intensity of the wrath of God
      • which is a two part process, on earth & purgatory through paying for your sin
      • PROBLEM: Christ died for sin, once for all, the Just for the unjust in order that He might bring us back to God.
      • song: “there is a fountain filled with blood. Drawn from Immanuel's veins. And sinners plunged beneath its flood lose all their guilty stains.
      • we do not ACT because of the “fear” of displeasing God
      • that’s not the foundation of our Ethics

THIRD, THE LAW OF GOD

  • we act because God said it is right
    • God set down right and wrong in the 10 Commandments and Mosaic Law
    • all actions are judged, ultimately by that standard
    • everybody, both saved (relationship w/ Christ) & lost abide by this standard in respect of the authority of God the creator
    • PROBLEM: if the law is the foundation of our ethics we have to end up with, “Saved by Grace, but Kept (sanctified) by Works (keeping the law)
    • Sermon on the mount, Jesus speaking, “You have heard it said, (Mosaic Law)...but I SAY UNTO YOU, (there’s a higher standard than just keeping the written word) [previously studied the “essence” of the law is “love” which means the laying aside of our personal desires for our neighbor...”

James 2:10 For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it.

FOURTH, THE MERCY OF GOD (foundation to build our ethics)

TEXT: I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God,

Appeal - Gr. exhorting (giving notice) not begging

Imperative (command) - “GIVE YOUR BODY (whole self, all we have, all we are) TO GOD

WHY? because of God’s mercy...in Romans ch 1-11

The foundation of our ethics, the indicatives (what God has done for us) [made a way to keep us out of Hell for eternity, for one]

  • we get both power and motivation from what God has done for us
  • MENTAL PICTURE IN TEXT
    • sacrifice! instead of laying a lamb on altar and cutting its throat...
    • lay our whole self, living, ready for obedient service on the altar
    • b/c God’s Son shed His blood for us so we could live
    • OUR ACTIONS (ETHICS) are based on obedience to God...
      • initiate personal relationship w/ Jesus that is eternal
      • crucify self (my wants) for what He wants
      • my “LIFE” is directed and controlled by God
      • the Who, What, When, Where, Why & How...of my life in God’s hands...(no questions asked)
      • knowing that He can give me a better life than I could on my own
      • knowing that He has my best interest at heart
      • knowing that He intertwines the activities of my life into His Kingdom work
      • knowing that this is the beginning (chapter 1) of an ETERNAL LIFE with Him

INV:

  • How grateful are you to a loving God for all that He has gone out of His way to do for YOU?
    • will you trust Him by faith?
    • will you accept His offer of salvation by grace?
    • will you obediently let Him call the shots of your life w/out whining?


BIBLICAL ETHICS

Romans 12:1

CBC 12/4/2011 SN

TEXT:I APPEAL (EXHORT) to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

REVIEW: What Does the Process of Ethical Behavior Look Like?

* We’ve been made righteous by God’s redemptive work

Romans 1:16,17 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God's power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,

17For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.

  • The “Gospel” produces “Righteousness” (right acts) in US!

Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,

22Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

23Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [a]which God bestows and receives.

24[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,

25Whom God put forward [[b]before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.

26It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time ([c]in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus.

  • FEAR cannot be the foundation of our Ethics
    • there is no “fear” for the Christian
    • the wrath of God has been fully set aside on our behalf by being poured out on His Son Jesus Christ

*We cannot add to that which Christ has accomplished on our behalf

Romans 3:27-30 Then what becomes of [our] pride and [our] boasting? It is excluded (banished, ruled out entirely). On what principle? [On the principle] of doing good deeds? No, but on the principle of faith.

28For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.]

29Or is God merely [the God] of Jews? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,

30Since it is one and the same God Who will justify the circumcised by faith [[a]which germinated from Abraham] and the uncircumcised through their [newly acquired] faith. [For it is the same trusting faith in both cases, a firmly relying faith in Jesus Christ].

  • Christ’s Work makes us both Judicially and Actually Righteous

Romans 5:18 - 6:4Well then, as one man's trespass [one man's false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man's act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men.

19For just as by one man's disobedience (failing to hear, [a]heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man's obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him). [POSITIONAL RIGHTEOUSNESS IN CHRIST]

20But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God's unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded,

21So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord.

Romans 6

1WHAT SHALL we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God's grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow?

2Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?

3Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

4We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.

* Saved are not just Judicially righteous or Positionally righteous, but ACTUALLY RIGHTEOUS

  • Christ didn’t die so we could have “symbolic” righteousness before God
    • Jesus was the firstborn among many bretheren
    • We (as Christians) are being conformed to His image
    • He died so right acts could be increased in us in real life on this earth

*THEREFORE (because of all that’s been said) WE HAVE THE POWER & MOTIVATION TO OBEY

Romans 12:1 I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God,

  • WHY?
    • because we were made righteous
    • because the work was accomplished through Christ
    • because we cannot add to it
    • because His work doesn’t just make us positionally righteous, but actually righteous
    • IN VEIW OF ALL THAT....GIVE YOUR BODY TO GOD!
    • it just make sense
    • it is our ‘Spiritual Worship’
    • it is our logical course of action
    • that we would give our body to God
  • The GOSPEL is the foundation upon which our Ethics (actions) are built
    • some say because we have the “new” law of love we don’t have to obey the “old” law (OT, 10 Comm. [take them out of the court house, etc]
    • fact is, we’ve studied before, the LAW is Holy, Righteous, & Good
    • b/c we are in Christ we have both the power & motivation to OBEY God’s law

Romans 13:8-10 Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one's fellowmen, meeting all its requirements]. 9The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.(A)

10Love does no wrong to one's neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.

LAW OF LOVE (we can now do it, in & through Christ in us)

  • we CAN honor our parents...w/out whining or pain
  • we CAN deal with a troubling neighbor w/out Murdering them
  • we CAN abstain from committing adultery
  • we CAN not steal
  • we CAN not lie about people
  • we CAN not Covet what our neighbor has
  • if you’re not in Christ you don’t have a CHANCE a keeping those
  • if you’re in Christ you don’t have a CHANCE of breaking commandments w/out conviction & chastening from the LORD!
  • we don’t TRY HARDER to make flesh obey
    • we simply turn toward Christ & run to Him
    • as we pursue Christ & He is increased in Me I do not pursue murder, adultery...
    • trying harder = works righteousness
    • pursuing Christ = humility and faith

ILL: Husband loving his wife (imperative [command] in Ephesians)

  • GOLDEN RULE APPROACH - counselor says to wife, “tell him how it makes you feel when he mistreats you.” I feel bad, hurt, unloved, unappreciated, unwanted....STOP! Counselor to man: “Do you hear what she’s saying? Do you want to feel bad, hurt, unloved, unappreciated, & unwanted? Husband: No. Counselor: Don’t you think you ought to love her in the way that you want to be loved? SUMMARY: If you give her what she needs, she’s more likely to give you what you need. 90% Christian marriage books...IF THAT’S YOUR MOTIVATION & FOUNDATION...IT’S IDOLATRY! Because your goal is “what you can get from that other individual”.
  • FEAR OF GOD APPROACH - “Love your wife” Why? Because God is watching, lightening bolt in hand! You’re gonna have to give an account. Law of God, He commands it.
  • MERCY OF GOD APPROACH - Love your wife/husband. Why? Because Christ gave himself for His Bride, the church. Literally died for her. Nailed to a cross for her. Breathed His last for her. You happen to be a part of “her”, the church. He has said that your love to your wife is a living, breathing picture of what Jesus has accomplished in the Gospel on behalf of His church. So b/c of what Christ has done IN, FOR, & THROUGH you, you now have the motivation and ability to turn that toward your wife. Because of the esteem you have for Christ, and b/c you view her as a member of His body, desire your love to be a sanctifying influence, turning her love back toward Him so that you give to Christ your love for her and the fruit thereof laid before His altar.
  • WHAT IF SHE/HE DOESN’T LOVE ME BACK?
    • When was the last time you loved Christ perfectly?
    • when was the last time you satisfied Him?
    • when was the last time you gave Him your all or your best?
    • then how dare us expect from our spouse what we’ve never given to Jesus as His bride!
    • mercy of God centered
  • Run to the cross when “we don’t feel like it”
  • the foundation of our actions is the mercy of God
    • we see how holy & righteous God is (killed His Son for that reason)
    • sin is never to be taken lightly
    • value and dignity of human life (For God so loved the world (life), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.) [God poured our His wrath on His Son for creatures like us] when we look at the mercy of God, we don’t concentrate on ourself. We concentrate on the value of mankind, b/c of the value God places on His Son & that His Son was sacrificed on behalf of people.
    • focus on mercy of God & recognize the magnitude of the debt you owe. we can’t repay that. we can only let Him live through us. WE OWE IT TO HIM!

INVITATION

Where have you been hanging out?

we’ve been doing the right things, with the wrong motives & that makes it SIN

How about we quit sinning & get this life “right”(eous)

the “Gospel” is how we “do life” together

b/c we are overwhelmed by the mercies of God in Christ


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