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Session 1: Christian Ethics 101 (Matthew 22:34-40)

Dennis R. Wiles, August 10, 2014
Part of the Summer Bible Study 2014 series, preached at a Evening Service service

Dennis R. Wiles
FBC Arlington

So, What Are We Supposed to Do?
Christian Living in a Post-Christian Context
August 10-13, 2014


Text: Matthew 22:34-40

Ethics – derived from the Greek word, ethos – custom or habit

Ethics – the study of what is morally right or wrong

Philosophical/Secular Ethics
-Reason is the sufficient guide for determining right and wrong
-Addresses issues from the perspective of cultural norms
-Acknowledges the general values of a given society

Ethical Systems
-Utilitarianism – what works is the highest good
-Situationism – love is the highest good
-Absolutism – moral absolutes exist and must be recognized

Christian Ethics – the study of what is right or wrong for Christians

Christian Ethics
-Roman Catholic
-Liberal Christianity
-Fundamentalist Christianity
-Conservative Evangelical Christianity

Conservative Evangelical Christianity Ethics – is Christo-centric and Biblically-based

Conservative Evangelical Christian Ethics
-Revelation is the guide for determining right and wrong
-Grows out of the Person of God
-Absolute truth exists
-Deals with what “ought” to be done – is prescriptive in nature
-Is both Deontological (duty driven) and Teleological (eschatological)

-God is the ultimate authority
-God has revealed Himself through both general and specific revelation
-The specific revelation of God through Christ and His Word is now binding upon Christians

-Embraces the Inspiration of the Biblical text
-Accepts the superintending work of the Spirit through the Church in the process of canonization of the text
-Historical/critical analysis of the Biblical text
-Searches for the original, central teaching of the text
-Seeks the value of the text’s meaning and its connection to the Person of God
-Seeks any general or specific principle
-Embraces the authority of any directive or command
-Allows for suggestion, advice and counsel of God through the text

Matthew 22:34-40

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he 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 great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)