“Ethics and Values”
Pastor David Moore
New Testament reading: Matthew 5:17-20 (NIV)
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
The meaning of life is one thing; the way to life is another. Each of us carries a set of ethics; a sense of right and wrong, fairness verses unfairness, which is permissible and what is and was the line. I want to think about several verses to help us think through the basis for our own ethics.
Old Testament readings: Ecclesiastes 6:12 (NIV)
For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV)
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Over the centuries people have believed that there is both a physical realm – where we exist – and a spiritual realm – where spiritual beings are. Both realms are real places. ~D. Moore
We understand that a religion is believed because it is true; it is not true simply because it is believed. ~D. Moore
Most people today have lost a sense of truth. If something feels true, then it must be true, this is what people call open-minded. ~D. Moore
A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.
“Truthiness (noun) – the belief in what you feel to be true rather than what the facts will support.”
Secularization is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious (or irreligious) values and secular institutions.
Theme: today we will explore the area of values and ethics.
Until modern times everyone argued that there was a material world and a spiritual world, and the values and morals came from the spiritual world. ~D. Moore
Everyone was trying to figure out what God thought about right and wrong and there were different conclusions. At one point Jesus said to His followers (Matthew 5:37) “Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no,’ ‘no.’ Anything more comes from the evil one.”
We as a society have made the decision to walk away from Scripture as our base for values and morals, we are trying to figure out right and wrong, but without any guidance from the spiritual realm. ~D. Moore
Solomon through Ecclesiastes is trying to find a basis for morality, for right and wrong without God, it is doomed to failure. ~D. Moore
Unless we know that we were created for a purpose by the Creator, there is no way to figure out the right way. ~D. Moore
Ecclesiastes 1:3 What does a man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? What does it profit him in the long run? ~D. Moore
Solomon isn’t rehashing his thoughts, what he is doing is applying this meaninglessness to ethics and if there is no purpose, then there can’t be any value. ~D. Moore
Solomon is saying if your life is an accident, and there is no God, no Creator, there cannot be a basis for talking about values. ~D. Moore
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Fear God and keep his commandments…
Solomon comes to the conclusion; God exists and the brokenness in the world and in our lives only began to heal when we submit to God. Society only heals when society admits God exists and submits to God. Then we have something to base morals and behavior on. ~D. Moore
The human soul will always want, it will always yearn for something. The only thing that fills a human soul is God. ~D. Moore
Psalm 107:9 For He has satisfied the thirsty soul.
What is my life? Does it have meaning? What fulfills a person, and gives them hope and a future is God, His laws, His commands. On these a life of purpose can be built. ~D. Moore (Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 19:21)
Proverbs 28:14 Blessed is the one who always fears God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
We are to keep the law and what? Fear God. We are to keep God’s commandments out of fear of God. ~D. Moore
Revere God, that’s the best way to live. Keep the commandments, and fear God. And if you feel like the Law is oppressive, maybe that’s good. Because you’ll give up trying to save yourself through it. You’ll just go straight to God, and start to rely on His strength and His wisdom, and His grace and His love and then you are accidentally fearing the Lord, and keeping His commands. Better yet, instead of an accident, make it the purpose of your life, to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever. ~D. Moore
God bless – Make it the purpose of your life, to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.