MORALS AND GOD
Paul refers to imaginations that go
against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:5:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that
exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every
thought to the obedience of Christ). There are plenty of such
thoughts in society. These include, for example, the theory of evolution, the
worship of false gods that takes place in many countries, and all teachings that
lead people away from God. There are numerous similar examples.
One important issue is morals and ethics or lack thereof. People in
modern societies no longer consider morals to be dependent on God. They do not consider
God to be the source of morals. They do not even believe that there is an
almighty God who has created the universe and its people, and who determines
what is right and what is wrong. People consider impossible the idea that
morals come from God.
They believe that values are created by people who have no connection to
the supernatural. The foundation for their morals is completely different,
because it relies on deistic or naturalistic ideologies; such people put a lot
of weight on what Darwin said. Furthermore, they do not find their ethics in
the Bible but elsewhere. They do not believe in objective truth, or in the
existence of universally and eternally valid behaviour models. The Humanist
Manifesto II illustrates this commonly shared naturalistic view:
that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics are autonomous and situational, and
need no theological or ideological sanction.”
Everything begins from the Creation. If we were to ask a normal person who has not heard any of these popular
theories how likely it is that a fish turns into a person (which is what the
theory of evolution postulates) then the person would most likely think
that we were kidding. Or if we asked whether people, and everything that exists,
could have come from a space the size of a pinhead (which is what the Big
Bang theory states), then the person would most likely reply, “Are you
nutty? How could anyone believe something so crazy?” He would not believe it,
and would probably laugh at the idea.
The fact is, however, that people actually do believe such theories.
They take them as true, even though several errors have been found in the Big
Bang theory, the theory on the origins of life, and the theory of evolution –
errors that are explained in another article.
What do these subjects have to do with morals and ethics, then? What
does it matter if our universe started from the Big Bang, or if we were born in
a primordial soup, or if our earliest ancestors were fish or ape-like beings? What do these things have to do with what we
are talking about here?
Our thoughts about our origins are important. If we were developed from
inanimate substances and our origins are impersonal, then the significance we
give morality is difficult to explain. If there is no Creator, then there is no
purpose to life; there is nobody to whom we will one day have to answer for
what we have done. Nothing is absolute and there is no fixed point to which we
can anchor our morals. We make our own value system; thus, the opinions of one
are as valuable as any other’s. Morals vary from one person to the next. If we
ask a paedophile, a playboy, a prostitute, Saddam Hussein, a murderer and a
regular person about morals, we will get six completely different answers. They
may all justify their actions and consider them to be reasonable, even though
others disagree. Relative morality with no absolute authority produces a huge
variety of opinions. Evolution is a religion that allows everyone to create
their own rules.
This is connected to the fact that your thoughts about your origins
influence your entire view of the world, your purpose of life, etc. If there is
no God and we are only the result of random processes, it means that there is
no absolute authority. And if there is nobody to set the rules, anybody can do
anything and hope that they won’t get caught. Evolution is a religion that
entitles people to come up with their own rules.
(...) If it is difficult for
you to believe that evolution is connected to the issues mentioned above, you
will see the connection clearly after studying a couple of historical examples.
In fact, I have yet to meet a single well-educated evolutionist who disagrees
with me about the connection of these moral issues and evolution. They are not
necessarily of the opinion that this is what should have happened but they do
agree that people have applied evolution in this way. It is important for you
not to misunderstand what I’m about to say. Of course, there were bad
philosophies that go against God already before Darwinist evolution. People did
abortions long before Darwin announced his popular view on evolution. However,
people’s beliefs about their origins influence the way they view the world.
When people reject God -- the Creator -- their attitude towards themselves,
other people and our world changes. (1)
Where do morals come from? Morals
can come from one of two sources: people or God. Modern people believe that
morals only come from people. They do not believe that morals are principles of
behaviour that God placed in them.
What does the Bible teach? Paul clearly addresses this subject in his
Letter to the Romans. Paul writes that
people have morals; they understand what is right and what is wrong. They have
morals even though they have never received instruction about moral laws. This
suggests that we are born with an understanding of what is right and wrong.
- (Rom 2:14,15) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature
the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law to
15 Which show the work of the law written in their
hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean
while accusing or else excusing one another
The next quote describes humans as moral beings, and
morals are global. People all around the world have almost identical ideas of
what is right and wrong. There are very few cultural differences. This can also
be considered proof that people were originally created in the image of God, even though that image became
distorted during the Fall. (Gen 1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them.)The Bible states
that people are sinful in nature even though they understand what is right and
what is wrong.
And what of the second modern objection – that the ethical standards of
different cultures differ so widely that there is no common tradition at all?
The answer is that this is a lie – a good, solid, resounding lie. If a man will
go into a library and spend a few days with the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics he will soon discover the
massive unanimity of the practical reason in man. From the Babylonian Hymn to Samos, from the Laws of Manu, the Book of the Dead, the Analects, the
Stoics, the Platonists, from Australian aborigines and Redskins, he will
collect the same triumphantly monotonous denunciations of oppression, murder,
treachery and falsehood, the same injunctions of kindness to the aged, the
young, and the weak, of almsgiving and impartiality and honesty. He may be a
little surprised (I certainly was) to find that precepts of mercy are more
frequent than precepts of justice; (...) It means that there is
substantial similarity, even though there are considerable local differences of
emphasis and, perhaps, no one moral code that includes everything. (2)
The next quote is about the same
subject. It proves that morals are universal even though there may be minor discrepancies
between different groups of people. Many people today do not consider
homosexuality, for instance, to be wrong (probably because they think it is
an inborn characteristic) even though it has been considered wrong for
centuries in most cultures. These minor differences do not eliminate the fact
that we are moral beings and make choices in our everyday lives. We feel that
many things are right and we should do them, but we are still often reluctant
to do what we feel is right. The inner sense that encourages us to make the
right choice is most often called the conscience. In the verses above, we see
that Paul also referred to the conscience when addressing people’s thoughts and
the choices they make.
Yet even in our moral relativity, we cannot get rid of the sense that
some things are “right” or “natural” and others not. For years homosexual
behaviour was considered immoral by most of society. Now a large number of
people are challenging this. But they do so not on the basis that no moral categories
exist but that this one area – homosexuality – really ought to have been on the
other side of the line dividing the moral from the immoral. Homosexuals do not
usually condone incest! So the fact that people differ in their moral
judgements does not change the fact that we continually make moral judgements
and live by them or against them. Everyone lives in a moral universe, and
virtually everyone – if they reflect on it – recognizes this and would have it
no other way. (3)
What can we deduce about morals? We noted above that morals are universal, and that people are different
from animals because we have intelligence, feelings, language and a religious
sense. All of this suggests that we were originally created in God’s image and
that He intended for us to be close to Him. In addition to eating, drinking,
working and procreating we are supposed to be doing something else. We are
eternal beings, just as we are told in the Bible:
- (Eccl 3:11) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of
men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Niv)
So what can we deduce based on the
fact that morals are universal? Many people nowadays do not believe in God; they
reject that our understanding of right and wrong comes from Him. Why wouldn’t
that be true? If He created the first pair of people, and if people are clearly
different from animals, then why couldn’t our sense of right and wrong also be
a characteristic He built into us? This is highly likely if God is good and
hates injustice, as the Bible states in many places. God’s anger toward things
that are wrong and His holiness are very clearly and powerfully described in
the verses below. These verses prove that He is a perfect God who is against
- (Matt 5:48) Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is
- (Lev 19:2) Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to
them, You shall be holy: for I the LORD
your God am holy.
- (1 John 1:5) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and
declare to you, that God is light,
and in him is no darkness at all.
- (Rom 1:18) For the wrath of God is revealed
from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the
truth in unrighteousness
The worst of all is that we humans
know the difference between right and wrong (either naturally or through
biblical instruction) yet we often fail to do the right thing. We could do good
deeds, be altruistic, help others, and avoid evil -- but we often do just the
opposite (James 4:17: Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to
him it is sin.). The mere knowledge of right and wrong will never
guarantee our correct behaviour. People’s selfishness prevents us from doing
so. C. S. Lewis wrote about morals; people know what they should do, but fail
to behave accordingly.
But the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you
find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will
find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise
to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not
These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all
over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain
way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave
in that way. They know the natural moral law, and they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear
thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in. (4)
People’s defects are described in
many verses of the Bible. These verses show that we have all sinned and fallen
short of God’s glory. We cannot be as perfect and sinless as God expects us to
- (Rom 3:9) What then? are we better than
they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin
- (Rom 3:19,20) Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to
them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the
world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law
is the knowledge of sin.
- (Rom 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
- (Rom 5:12) Why, as by one
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all
men, for that all have sinned
- (Gal 3:22) But the
scripture has concluded all under sin,
that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
- (1 John 1:8,10) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and
the truth is not in us.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him
a liar, and his word is not in us.
- (Eccl 7:20) For there is
not a just man on earth, that does good, and sins not.
Our imperfect nature is clearly
addressed by the two greatest commandments: to love God with all our heart,
soul and mind; and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Those who fail to
always follow these commandments commit the greatest sin:
- (Matt 22:36-39) Master, which is the
great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all
your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
God’s two properties. We noted
above that God doesn’t look upon us with favour. We do not measure up to God’s
standards; our own conscience condemns us. We are far from perfect.
How does God respond to the fact that people fail to meet His moral
standards? Many people often misunderstand this subject. Their notions about
God are in some ways reminiscent of
deism. They believe that God is a distant and impersonal being who neither
reacts to anything nor cares about anything. He feelse neither love nor hate,
and is in no way interested about anything. He does not judge the world nor
does He want people to come to Him. He created the universe but then stopped
working in the world or caring about it.
This idea is based on imagination and has nothing to do with the
reality, however. After all, the Bible says that God is a living personality
and that the key characteristic of God is goodness. He is a good God whose
goodness is manifested in two ways: sanctity and love.
God's sanctity and hatred of sin. We noted above that God hates everything that is wrong and will condemn
it. In fact, only a God who reacts negatively when seeing something bad can be
good. Any god who fails to oppose bad and condemn it is not a good God.
When people commit sins they feel God’s wrath. Historical examples
include the generation wiped out by floods during the days of Noah, the cities
of Sodom and Gomorrah; the Canaanite people; and the early kingdoms of Israel
and Judea. They were not destroyed accidentally. They were destroyed by God
intentionally, because evil had reached huge proportions in their societies.
What about demonstrations of God’s wrath found in the New Testament? The
prime example of God’s wrath is found in the description of an eternal hell
that God has prepared for all people who do not repent. If this were not true,
why would Jesus have talked so much about it?
- (Matt 8:11,12) And I say to you, That many shall come from the east and
west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be
cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- (Phil 3:18,19) For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they
are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God
is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
- (2 Thess 1:9) Who shall be punished with
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of
- (Rev 20:12-15) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and
the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those
things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea
gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead
which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This
is the second death.
whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of
God’s love. The first piece
of evidence Of God’s goodness is the fact that he hates anything that is wrong
and evil. This proves that He sides with the good against the evil.
Another piece of evidence proving God’s
goodness is His love. He is not an indifferent God but a God who really loves
people and wants the best for them. R.A. Torrey preached this a little over a
hundred years ago. He said that God loves people, regardless of their sins.
This applies to everyone.
Is there a
thief here tonight? God loves you. Is there a fallen woman? God loves you. Is
there an egoist here tonight? God loves you. Is there someone who uses foul
language? God loves you. I want to show you something you cannot find in all of
Birmingham. You will not find any woman or man in Birmingham who is not loved
by God. (5)
has God’s love manifested itself, then? Now we are reaching the very core of
the Bible and the New Testament. It manifested itself in the way Jesus Christ, the
Son of God, came under the law into
this world and repaired our relationship with God – God
was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor 5:19), so that we
could be forgiven our sins and get in contact with Him. Jesus came here and did
what the law demanded because people were unable to do so. Now God and His law
no longer judge people who turn to Jesus Christ and give their lives to Him.
- (Gal 4:4,5) But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth
his Son, made of a woman, made under
redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption
- (Matt 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
- (Col 2:13-14) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all
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
- (Gal 3:13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of
the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree
- (Rom 6:14,15) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law,
but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under
grace? God forbid.
- (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to
them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk
not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
following verses also teach about God’s love and what Jesus did for us. In
these verses, you should pay special attention in expressions like for us.
These verses prove that the foundation of salvation lies in something
somebody else did for us, not in ourselves. It is all based on God’s love, the
second piece of evidence supporting His goodness. God is a good God who wants
people to be saved and wants them to get to Heaven:
- (1 John 4:9,10) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because
that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through
Herein is love, not that we
loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for
- (John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave
his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- (Rom 5:8) But God commends his love toward
us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
- (Rom 5:6) For when we were yet without
strength, in due time Christ died for
- (Rom 8:32) He that spared not his own Son, but
delivered him up for us all, how
shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
- (Gal 2:20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless
I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and
the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave himself for me.
- (Gal 3:13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree
- (1 Thess 5:10) Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together
- (1 Peter 3:18) For Christ also has once
suffered for sins, the just for the
unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh,
but quickened by the Spirit:
- (Luke 15:17-20) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants
of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and
will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you,
19 And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father
saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
- (1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God loved people and did what the law demands for us all, how can we share this
love and eternal life?
The answer is easy: we must turn to God and
repent our sins like the prodigal son. God never forgives a person who does not
repent their sins and want to renounce them. This is impossible. If He did so,
He would accept something that is wrong. This goes against God’s goodness.
But God will forgive anybody who repents,
who gives his or her life to Him and places his or her trust in Jesus Christ,
His Son. In the Bible, John the Baptist, Jesus Himself, and the disciples
stated that we must repent (Matt 3:1,2 / Matt 4:17 / Acts 17:30) and believe in
Jesus Christ. When doing this, we actually confess that we have not been
connected to God and we now want to come to Him. Confessing sins may be part of
it, as illustrated in the verses above. And when we believe in Jesus Christ,
our relationship with God will change completely because Jesus has already done
it all for us.
So, when you give yourself to God, confess
that you were not connected to him, tell Him all the sins that weigh you down,
and believe in Jesus. God will forgive you for all your sins. This is not based
on something you do or in your goodness. It is based on Jesus who already did
it all for us! Read the verses above. Place your trust in Him. Believe in what
He has done for you and turn to Him. Jesus is eternal life:
- (Acts 16:30,31) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.
- (John 6:67-69) Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will you also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the
words of eternal life.
And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the
- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
And you will not come to me,
that you might have life.
So, if you have turned to Jesus
Christ and received Him into your life, you are a child of God and have eternal
life. You have eternal life regardless of what you feel right now. Do not base
your assurance of salvation on your ever-changing emotions, but rest in the
word of the Bible and on Jesus Christ, just like the anchor of a ship is never
thrown inside the ship but always outside.
- (John 1:12) But as many as received
him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name
- (1 John
5:11-13) And this is the record, that God has given
to us eternal life, and this life is
in his Son.
12 He that has the Son has life;
and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that
you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name
of the Son of God.
THE PRAYER OF SALVATION: Lord,
Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not
lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and follow
You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through
Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for
the salvation that You have given me. Amen.
1. Ken Ham: Valhe, evoluutio,
(The Lie: Evolution), p. 55,112,113
2. C.S. Lewis: Entisen ateistin
kristillisiä esseitä (Christian Reflections), p. 100, 101
3. James W. Sire: Missä
maailmassa? Maailmankatsomusten perusteet puntarissa (The Universe Next Door. A Basic Worldview
Catalog), p. 36
Lewis: Tätä on kristinusko (Mere Christianity), p. 16,18
Torrey: Joh 3:16