Five Basic Characteristics of Biblical Ethics In contrast to philosophical ethics, which tends to be more abstract and human centered, biblical morality was directly connected with religious faith. Hence immoral men and women were by the same token irreligious men and women, and irreligious persons were also immoral persons (Ps. 14:1).
Biblical ethics are, first of all, personal. The ground of the ethical is the person, character, and declaration of an absolutely holy God. Consequently, individuals are urged, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2 NASB).
In the second place, the ethics of the Bible are emphatically theistic. They focus on God. To know God was to know how to practice righteousness and justice.
Most significantly, biblical ethics are deeply concerned with the internal response to morality rather than mere outward acts. “The Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 NASB) was the cry repeatedly announced by the prophets (Isa. 1:11–18; Jer. 7:21–23; Hos. 6:6; Mic. 6:6–8).
Scripture’s ethical motivation was found in a future orientation. The belief in a future resurrection of the body (Job 19:26–27; Ps. 49:13–15; Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2–3) was reason enough to pause before concluding that each act was limited to the situation in which it occurred and bore no consequences for the future.
The fifth characteristic of biblical ethics is that they are universal. They embrace the same standard of righteousness for every nation and person on earth.
The Organizing Principle: God’s Character That which gives wholeness, harmony, and consistency to the morality of the Bible is the character of God. Thus the ethical directions and morality of the Bible were grounded, first of all, in the character and nature of God. What God required was what He Himself was and is. The heart of every moral command was the theme that appeared in Lev. 18:5–6, 30; 19:2–4, 10, 12, 14, 18, 25, 31–32, 34, 36–37, “I am the Lord” or “You shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” Likewise, Phil. 2:5–8 (HCSB) agreed: “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God … He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.”
Kaiser, W. C., Jr. (2003). Ethics. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pp. 513–514). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
During devotions this morning, while performing a “Search” on becoming new.. i cam acress this last highlight… “Christ Becoming Obedient… ” Now at no time would i naturally assume Christ, Jesus, was NOT obedient .. however the question arises… Why did He have to BECOME OBEDIENT, even to death on the cross…. We see earlier Jesus does ask his father in heaven to “remove this cup from me” that he may have RATHER not had to go to the cross. At the same time his explains, “if it is YOUR will then let it be done”.
Refreshment in the Spirit or becoming “NEW IN HIM” or salvation… they are all pointing us to the same outcome.. the old self is dead, the NEW self is here and is better and stronger and wiser and more ABLE to perform Kingdom tasks. Yet obedience… continued obedience.. is surely the most challenging task to the new man in Christ. Maybe after thinking awhile on the fact that even Jesus had to BECOME obedient, we may learn to do the same. Start some NEW habit today that promotes your obedience.