The assumption in this question is that morality is subjective. While different cultures practice varying mores and values, the bible makes it clear that what is right and wrong is objectively based on the revelation of truth. That truth is not so much a system of morality as it is a person. Jesus said, “I am the truth…” in John 14:6. This is the greatest revelation of morality we can have. Jesus came to show us what the Creator’s intention was for man to be moral, normal and functional. The reason man is immoral and dysfunctional is because of the absence of the creator within the creature. God created man in such a way that His presence within us is indispensable to our existence if we are to be normal and functional as moral human beings. What instinct is for animals the Holy Spirit is for man. We were not created as an animal with an inherent instinct that controls our behavior. We were created to function in relationship with our Creator.
God made man in His image, after His likeness so that we may reflect the character of our Creator through everything we do and say and are. Because of sin, man is physically alive but spiritually dead. Sin separated us from the life of God within us. It was what God meant when he told Adam that in the day he ate of the forbidden fruit he would surely die. It was a spiritual death that would later bring physical death. When God gave man the moral law, the Ten Commandments, He was simply expressing His own character. When He said “Do not lie” He was saying that I created you in my image and you are to tell the truth because I am not a liar. One theologian put it like this: “His law states, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ God is simply saying, ‘You are a creature to whom I have given a body to express the fact that your physical and visible form is inhabited and governed by the God who is Spirit and invisible. I designed it that way so that everyone, by looking at your behavior, will know how I Myself behave, and I am not an adulterer; I do not indulge in promiscuous sex.’”
The moral law represents the minimal demands of a Holy God who as Creator has every right to make those demands of those He created in His own image for the very purpose of revealing His character. If that is true and I believe it is, than the law reveals to us the character of God, His perfect nature. The standard of morality is God in all of His perfection and the only righteousness that God recognizes on our part is His own righteousness functioning in us by virtue of His presence within us. Paul put it like this in Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
The good news is that through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God imparts His Divine Nature within us giving us the capacity to reproduce His character so that by our behavior we can reflect the image and likeness of our Creator and live moral lives that please Him. This fact is one of the great evidences for God. It is His presence within man that makes man moral.
//Theological Thursday: Questions are welcome. Asking them makes our faith personal and real. On Thursdays I will be answering theological questions. Enter yours in the comment box below and I will select one each week to answer on our blog.