Faith Chapel

Christian Ethics

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Alden Ho (Host)


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000305

00:30 Hello friend, my name is Pastor Alden Ho.
00:33 I run a ministry in Berrien Springs, MI
00:36 that is dedicated to serving young people
00:38 all around the world.
00:39 It's called Wheel Salt Ministries.
00:41 I want to talk to you today about decisions.
00:44 We all make decisions.
00:46 You wake up in the morning.
00:48 How do you know what you're going to wear?
00:51 How do you know what you're going to eat?
00:52 What actually determines what you will do for that day,
00:56 maybe what radio station or what song you're going to listen to,
00:59 which pair of shoes you're going to wear,
01:01 or which shoe you're going to put on first?
01:04 We all have decisions we have to make.
01:07 There are things that guide us through these decisions.
01:10 And sometimes we make good decisions
01:13 and other times we make decisions that are not so good.
01:17 The talk that I want to share with you today
01:19 is called Christian Ethics.
01:22 Let's pray. Heavenly Father,
01:25 I thank you for allowing us to make decisions.
01:30 I thank you for Your great love for us,
01:32 that You don't dictate to us what we have to do.
01:35 Although, that might be easy sometimes
01:37 it's because of that love that You have for us
01:40 that You allow us to make choices.
01:42 But Lord, help us to recognize the fact that
01:46 there are good choices to make
01:48 and there are bad choices.
01:50 Speak through me this day
01:53 so that we can better see what You have for us
01:57 and that we may follow Your will.
01:59 In Jesus name. Amen.
02:01 Kelly was in the fourth grade.
02:06 Several students in her class
02:08 they took an object
02:09 from the teacher's desk.
02:11 Well, when the teacher was out
02:13 they started playing
02:14 with this object and pretty soon
02:16 the inevitable happened.
02:17 The object broke.
02:19 When the teacher came back
02:20 into the classroom
02:21 she asked all the students in her class
02:24 what had happened.
02:25 Well, all the students denied anything to do with that
02:31 except when it came to Kelly.
02:33 Kelly explained to the teacher exactly from her heart
02:36 what had happened.
02:39 Well, you can imagine what happened.
02:41 The rest of the class ridiculed her
02:44 for making that decision
02:45 and for being able to tell the truth with that.
02:49 She felt very bad.
02:51 That night Kelly's dad
02:53 pulled her aside and said,
02:55 "Kelly, you know, you did the right thing. "
02:57 In spite of what other students have said
03:00 in spite of the harassment you've received
03:01 you did the right thing.
03:03 Kelly's dad asked her, "Kelly, is lying wrong? "
03:08 And Kelly answered, "Well, yes. "
03:11 "Well, why is it wrong? "
03:13 "Well, because the Bible says it's wrong. "
03:17 Her dad responded,
03:18 "Why does the Bible say it's wrong? "
03:20 "Because God commanded it? " Kelly said.
03:23 And her dad responded by saying,
03:25 "Why did God command it? "
03:27 Now Kelly had a blank look on her face.
03:30 She did not exactly why God had commanded her.
03:33 And she said, "I don't know! "
03:34 Her hands went up in the air
03:36 and her father said, "Because God is Truth. "
03:38 and truth comes from His nature.
03:41 And anything that is contrary to God's nature
03:44 is sin.
03:45 You see, if you are a mom or dad,
03:49 in fact if you're a young person
03:50 or if you're any age, really,
03:52 there are things that guide us through.
03:55 And it's not enough for us to simply know
03:58 the why or that something is either right or wrong.
04:02 The Bible actually gives us a strong indication
04:06 as to what is right and what is wrong.
04:08 If we are to keep the culture from capturing our young people
04:13 we must instill in them biblical values.
04:17 They must know the WHY.
04:19 They must know the answers as to why things are right
04:22 and why things are wrong.
04:24 Many of our youth today are struggling
04:27 with the concept of what morality is
04:30 and who defines it.
04:31 In fact studies indicate
04:33 that today's youth are confused about which morals are absolute
04:37 and what makes them absolute.
04:39 Consequently they are making conditional decisions.
04:44 Choosing what seems to be in their best interest at the time
04:47 without actually any reference to any morals
04:50 that are absolute of any kind.
04:54 And that really is quite scary.
04:57 Let's look at three people for example.
05:00 Imagine that there are three people
05:02 in a vehicle there is a $50 bill on the front seat.
05:07 The car door is unlocked.
05:09 The first person goes by
05:11 and they want to take the money
05:12 but they pass up the opportunity to take the money
05:15 for fear of punishment if they were caught in the act.
05:17 The second person goes by
05:21 they see the money, they turn and they walk away.
05:24 That second person rejected the temptation
05:27 out of a conviction that God
05:29 makes certain rules for us to follow.
05:31 And one of those rules
05:32 is that we shouldn't take things that don't belong to us.
05:35 The third person walks by
05:37 they see the $50 bill
05:39 and they refrain from taking the money
05:41 simply from the fact of empathy.
05:44 They're aware of how frustrated they would be
05:47 and angry themselves
05:48 if someone had stolen their own money.
05:50 Now the decision that each of these three people made
05:54 to not take the money
05:56 was for three very different moral reasons.
05:59 The first person's ethics, I guess you could say was:
06:02 'Whatever you do don't get caught. '
06:05 The second person's ethics
06:08 would have been, 'Thou shalt not steal. '
06:10 And the third person who walked away because of empathy
06:14 well their morality is built on
06:17 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. '
06:20 So what determines the decisions that we make?
06:23 Are all decisions calculated?
06:25 Actually, I mean, do we consciously
06:29 think about the decisions we make
06:31 as to what's right and what's wrong?
06:34 Or do we just naturally allow it to happen?
06:37 For some the choice between right and wrong, good and evil
06:42 is based on actually what is most convenient
06:45 at the time, unfortunately.
06:46 others base their morality on
06:48 a cultural conviction.
06:50 Some actually base it on media influence.
06:54 But as Christians we must take our values from the Bible.
06:58 A persons who lives by God's morals
07:00 doesn't steal because that's God's standard.
07:04 Not because a person doesn't like to steal.
07:07 Understand that Biblical theology
07:10 has moral implications.
07:12 It is these implications
07:14 that provide us with the framework
07:16 of discipline called ethics.
07:19 Now morality is actually a life style
07:22 and ethics is a science.
07:24 Morality is a way of life and ethics is the study of morality.
07:28 Now there's different things involved in these values.
07:31 There's three different areas we want to look at.
07:33 The first one is intrinsic value.
07:36 Intrinsic value is something that can be measured.
07:38 For example gold, life, love, freedom, loyalty.
07:43 The second one is extrinsic.
07:46 Extrinsic value is something that somebody puts a price on.
07:50 For example maybe a decision at a hospital
07:53 whether a person should live or die.
07:56 That would be an extrinsic value.
07:59 The third one is actually referred to
08:01 as utilitarian value.
08:03 Utilitarian value is in the eye of the beholder
08:06 and may mean a lot to one person
08:09 but absolutely nothing to another.
08:11 Let's look at a story
08:13 if we look at a story that's found in Genesis 39:7
08:18 we find that Potiphar and Joseph
08:22 it's the story of both of them
08:23 Joseph was put in charge of Potiphar's household.
08:26 And because Potiphar was gone a lot
08:29 Joseph was basically the man of the house
08:32 in charge of all his belongings.
08:34 And we find that it wasn't too long after that
08:38 that Mrs. Potiphar started taking quite a notice to Joseph.
08:42 His olive skin, his nice complexion
08:46 his great looks.
08:48 She began to get a little more interested
08:51 in what was beyond those looks.
08:53 She wanted him.
08:54 Let's take look at the story of Joseph here
08:58 found starting in Genesis 39:7
09:01 It says, "It came to pass "
09:02 "after these things that his masters wife "
09:05 "cast longing eyes on Joseph "
09:07 "and she said, 'Lie with me. ' "
09:09 Well, we can definitely see that Mrs. Potiphar
09:13 had other plans for Joseph.
09:15 So let's look at these values again
09:17 in light of Joseph, Potiphar and his wife.
09:20 Intrinsically, Joseph placed value in loyalty to Potiphar
09:25 and love and obedience to God.
09:27 Extrinsically, Potiphar placed an extrinsic value
09:31 on Joseph by giving him charge of his entire household.
09:35 well, on the other value
09:38 the utilitarian value,
09:39 Potiphar's wife placed value on Joseph's body
09:44 and wanted it for her own enjoyment.
09:46 You see, many decisions such as which shoe do I put on first
09:52 or what color to buy
09:55 lake such importance.
09:57 Decisions acquire moral and religious value
10:00 as they affect our relationship with people
10:03 and our relationship with God.
10:05 The way we acknowledge our relationship with God
10:08 Is actually more important than
10:10 the rightness or wrongness of a specific action.
10:14 You see, when Jesus commanded His disciples
10:17 to go and make disciples of all nations
10:19 teaching them to observe all these things
10:22 that I've taught you. To preach, teach and baptize
10:24 He required them to communicate Biblical ethics.
10:28 Biblical ethics therefore establishes the basis
10:32 that produces goodness
10:34 purity and holiness.
10:36 God's character is reflected in these Biblical ethics.
10:39 You see, God is morally perfect.
10:43 And all Biblical values are an extension of His character.
10:46 Perfect.
10:48 His divine attributes proclaim His holiness
10:50 and are translated into moral values.
10:53 All the pleases and thank-yous
10:55 are derived from Biblical imperatives.
10:59 Thus God defines these virtues
11:01 as we find in one of the first texts we're going to look at
11:05 here in Philippians 4:8
11:30 Those are some of the things that God defines
11:33 as right virtues.
11:35 Let's look at some other ones here.
11:37 They're found in Galatians 5:22.
11:40 Galatians 5:22
12:00 This is very interesting when it comes to these values
12:04 that God is talking about here.
12:06 Paul writes these and he says, "Look the fruit of the Spirit "
12:10 and if you look at that text again
12:13 go back and read in your Bible
12:14 Galatians 5:22 you'll find
12:17 that it is actually singular, it says the 'fruit' of the Spirit
12:22 he's not saying, 'the fruits of the Spirit. '
12:24 Why does he not refer to them as 'fruits ', plural?
12:28 He says singular because
12:30 all these things are what make up the virtues
12:34 that God wants us to have.
12:36 It's like a bowl that we call fruit cocktail.
12:39 We don't refer to it as fruits cocktail.
12:42 We refer to it as fruit cocktail.
12:44 All of it together is the fruit.
12:47 However, if you look back
12:49 in a few verses back
12:51 in Galatians 5:17 it says,
12:55 "for the flesh lusts against the Spirit. "
12:59 and it says, "These are the lusts of the flesh. "
13:02 And they were listed as plural.
13:05 Lusts. Because there are many.
13:07 All it takes is one of those lusts of the flesh
13:10 to wipe out the fruit of the Spirit.
13:13 That's why it's important to have all these fruits.
13:17 All of them together is what we need for our virtue
13:21 and to be able to guide us.
13:24 These virtues that are listed
13:27 are not subject to personal or private interpretation.
13:32 They are as God stated them to be.
13:34 Without God there is no basis for objective ethics
13:38 and moral behavior.
13:40 Because if there was it would be
13:42 very tenuously governed by subjective personal opinions.
13:46 Our opinions.
13:47 All values become relative at that point
13:50 because they are based on what I think or what you think
13:54 rather than on what God says.
13:56 I guess there is security in knowing
14:00 that these values are actually derived from the Bible.
14:03 And they are unchanging.
14:05 These moral requirements by which Christians live today
14:08 are the same yesterday, the same tomorrow
14:12 and the same today
14:13 because Jesus Christ as we read in Hebrews 8
14:19 implies this
14:28 Implied here is this:
14:30 These timeless values flow out from His character.
14:34 Yesterday, today, tomorrow they do not change.
14:37 Just like the Ten Commandments.
14:39 They do not change they hold fast.
14:42 Christ did not come to do away with the Ten Commandments
14:46 they weren't nailed to the cross
14:48 He came to fulfill those commandments.
14:50 And in the same way these timeless values
14:53 flow out of His character.
14:55 This is who He is.
14:56 Now, parents who turn their back
15:00 on the only legitimate source of values
15:03 God's revelation
15:04 allow personal values to substitute for truth.
15:08 And eventually, believe it or not, it shows up
15:11 in your children.
15:12 Let me give you an example.
15:13 The phone rings and your child answers it.
15:16 The child says, "The phone's for you. "
15:19 But you tell them to say we're not home right now.
15:24 Tell them we're not at home.
15:26 So the child gets on the phone
15:28 and right in front of the mom or dad says,
15:30 "I'm sorry my mom or dad is not here right now. "
15:33 What is that exactly relaying to your child as far as values?
15:38 What values are you setting for them?
15:41 For the community of believers
15:43 what is at stake is our Christian values,
15:46 our Christian witness.
15:47 No non-Christian can damage a case for Christian ethics
15:53 as bad as a Christian parent whose child is continually
15:57 out of control.
15:58 Or a parent who is continually making
16:01 excuses for those behaviors.
16:03 The bottom line in Christian ethics is this:
16:06 We are to call right, wrong, good and evil
16:10 what God calls right, wrong, good and evil.
16:13 Moral judgments should not merely be personal opinions.
16:18 For the Christian an ethical lifestyle
16:21 is a matter of allegiance to God.
16:23 It's not one of personal interpretation or preference.
16:28 Biblical ethics first serves to reveal God's holiness.
16:33 Second, it establishes a character
16:36 of acceptable behavior.
16:39 And third, to reveal sin.
16:41 Do you know that of all the ethical systems in the world
16:46 there is no higher standard for moral behavior
16:50 than the Bible?
16:51 For there are many wonderful religions
16:55 and ethical teachings in the world.
16:57 But the motives for doing deeds of righteousness
17:00 is the pursuit of salvation,
17:02 man seeking favor with God.
17:05 For many, individual acts of goodness
17:08 are but just steps to heaven.
17:10 Not so for the Christian.
17:12 For the Christian, we're to have
17:15 a very different to it.
17:17 We are actually not working
17:18 our way to heaven.
17:20 Let's see what Paul writes here in Colossians 3:1,2
17:25 Colossians 3:1,2
17:44 There is a call that Paul speaks of,
17:47 'Don't set your values based on this world. '
17:51 Don't set your values, friends, on Hollywood.
17:54 Hollywood should not dictate how you live your life.
17:58 Just because some actor or actress shows up
18:02 wearing this particular garment
18:04 doesn't mean you have to go out and get it.
18:07 That's becoming more like the world.
18:09 And Christ tells us we are to be separate from the world.
18:12 We are not to be of this world.
18:15 We live here. But we're not to be part of it.
18:18 We shouldn't dress the part.
18:20 And if you've noticed the way fashions are nowadays
18:24 it's all going to pot.
18:26 The body is so revealed
18:29 in the way fashions are.
18:30 I don't think that's what God's morals were.
18:33 If you look at the fact that in the Garden of Eden
18:36 when Adam and Eve sinned
18:38 they put on fig leaves.
18:41 Well, God didn't actually think that was good enough.
18:44 So he covered them with furs.
18:47 He actually covered more of their bodies
18:49 then they covered themselves initially.
18:50 You see, God's values are far more than ours.
18:54 In 1 John 4:7
19:14 You see, therefore we are to be targets of God's love.
19:21 We ought to be targets of one another's love.
19:25 This is actually the summation of the entire Ten Commandments
19:29 and the duty of us if we are called to be Christians
19:32 if you consider yourself to be a Christian
19:34 this is actually what we're to do.
19:36 We are to treat one another the way we want to be treated.
19:41 That is part of Christian ethics.
19:44 Love God. Love your neighbor.
19:48 According to what Mark 12 says.
19:51 Now, this is a very interesting situation.
19:54 We have to follow what God says
19:57 God has the highest authority.
20:00 Over any worldly empire authority
20:03 over any movie, yes even over our moms and dads.
20:08 Recently I was in the country of Ghana
20:11 holding some meetings there.
20:13 I was speaking at the Beckwye SDA secondary school there.
20:18 Many of the 1500 students
20:21 that attend the school there
20:23 are not Seventh Day Adventists.
20:24 Many of them are Christians.
20:26 But many of them are not Adventists.
20:28 In fact there were some of them
20:29 who were not considered Christians themselves.
20:32 What I find that was interesting
20:34 in the course of the meetings
20:35 there were some young people
20:37 who came to me and said,
20:38 "Look, I hear the message that you are preaching "
20:41 "I understand, God is calling us to keep the Sabbath holy "
20:45 "the seventh-day Sabbath. "
20:46 "My father is a Muslim. "
20:49 "Or my father is a Pentecostal preacher. "
20:52 "Now, I want to honor my father "
20:57 "cause the Bible tells us in the Fifth Commandment "
20:59 "that I am to honor my father. "
21:01 And in fact, it writes here
21:03 Paul writes here in Colossians 3:20
21:14 Well, if we look at Christian ethics here
21:16 these young people in Ghana
21:18 are facing a struggle.
21:19 And the struggle is this:
21:21 They're stating this, "Look, the Bible "
21:22 "tells us: 1. I need to honor "
21:25 "my father and mother "
21:26 "and it tells us again that "
21:27 "we are to obey our parents in all things. "
21:29 But here is what you must understand:
21:31 Yes Paul does write to the Church at Colossae
21:35 and he says you need to obey
21:37 your parents in all things.
21:39 Because he is writing to a church
21:42 that was a Christian believing church.
21:45 And because they were a Christian believing church
21:48 the children were to obey their parents
21:50 in all things.
21:52 Because that's how they were raised.
21:54 They were to be raised because
21:57 their parents were believers in Christ.
21:59 However, at the same time
22:01 Paul writes to a different church.
22:04 He writes to the church at Ephesus
22:06 and he says something a little different there.
22:09 Let's look at Ephesians 6:1
22:21 Now why this difference?
22:22 First he writes, "Obey your parents in all things. "
22:26 Now he writes, "Obey your parents in the Lord. "
22:28 Well, he's stating this because
22:32 for you young people, for anybody
22:36 we are to obey our parents
22:39 in the Lord, because if they are not believing parents
22:44 if your parents have not accepted
22:46 Jesus Christ as their own Savior
22:49 and you're struggling with the fact to accept them
22:52 but your parents say no
22:53 who has the higher authority?
22:55 Paul is writing here to confirm the fact that
22:57 we are to obey God first.
23:00 God we must obey first and foremost.
23:04 Then our parents and then ourselves.
23:07 There's a simple word, an acronym we can use
23:10 the word is JOY.
23:11 Jesus = J, O = others, Y for you, JOY.
23:17 Jesus first, others second, you yourself last.
23:21 It's very interesting, we will have to take a stand.
23:25 These ethics that we have will be tested.
23:28 So, in light of all this
23:31 the young people in Ghana
23:33 it was very interesting to watch.
23:35 73 young people were baptized during those meetings.
23:39 Young people came forth after they understood
23:42 what this passage meant and that they were to obey God first,
23:46 then their parents.
23:47 Young people came forward
23:49 and they came to the waters of baptism.
23:51 Isn't that a wonderful thing.
23:53 We praise the Lord for the good things He did over there!
23:56 Now, I want to tell you a story.
23:59 This story takes place at the University of South Carolina.
24:03 There was a professor there,
24:06 a professor of philosophy
24:08 He was actually tenured. He'd been there many years.
24:11 And he would make a point
24:13 at the beginning of his philosophy class
24:15 to ask if there was anybody here
24:17 who believed in Jesus.
24:19 And then he would go on to ridicule them
24:22 and make them so small they would shrink from the class.
24:25 Among the 300 students that attended that class
24:29 not one in all his years ever stood up to take a stand
24:34 that they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior
24:37 and they believe everything He says.
24:40 Year after year, class after class
24:43 the professor would mock Jesus Christ.
24:48 There was a student in the class
24:51 who was told of the challenges of taking this class
24:54 and what the professor would say.
24:56 That student prayed about this.
24:59 And so, earnestly said, "Look, I understand the appeal "
25:03 "I understand. But I must take a stand for Jesus. "
25:07 At the end of that class
25:09 at the end of that term
25:11 the professor stood up
25:12 If there's anybody here who believes in Jesus
25:16 let him stand up.
25:17 This one man stood up.
25:18 And the professor called that young man and said, "You fool! "
25:22 "How can you believe in Jesus? "
25:24 "If you believe in Jesus "
25:25 and customarily he always did this, he took a piece of chalk
25:29 and he would drop the chalk
25:30 and the chalk would shatter on the ground
25:32 Year after year, class after class
25:35 he would drop the chalk
25:36 and it would shatter.
25:38 And he said to the young man,
25:39 "If you believe in Jesus "
25:41 "let Him stop this chalk "
25:44 "from breaking on the ground "
25:45 "and shattering into hundreds of pieces. "
25:47 And with that the professor went to drop the chalk
25:50 and in the process of dropping it
25:51 he stumbled on the chalk.
25:53 It rolled off his cuff link
25:55 and it went down his pants
25:57 and it rolled down off of his shoe
25:59 onto the floor unscathed and unbroken.
26:02 With that the professor in horror, ran out of the class.
26:08 He was shocked. Never in all his years
26:11 had that ever happened.
26:12 But it took just one person to stand up for Jesus.
26:15 That one young man went down to the front of the class
26:20 and he shared his testimony and the love of Jesus
26:24 with the other 299 students who were in the class.
26:28 You see, we are coming to a time friends
26:32 where we will be tested.
26:34 We should not be afraid to stand for Jesus Christ.
26:37 We should not be afraid to call right, right
26:42 and wrong, wrong.
26:43 In fact, there is a passage in 'Education' found on page 57
26:48 a little old lady wrote it
26:50 her name is Ellen White.
26:51 And she writes, "The greatest want of the world "
26:54 "is the want of men. "
26:55 "Men who will not be bought or sold, "
26:57 "men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, "
27:00 "men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, "
27:03 "men whose conscience is as true as the needle to the pole, "
27:06 "men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. "
27:09 Friends, will you be that man?
27:12 Will you be that woman,
27:13 who will stand for the right no matter what?
27:16 Time is ticking away.
27:19 Jesus is coming soon.
27:21 He needs to know whose side you're on.
27:25 Will you stand for Him no matter what?
27:28 Will you be true as the needle to the pole?
27:31 I pray that you will be.
27:33 Let's pray.
27:35 Father help us. Help us to stand true
27:39 and point true north.
27:40 That is what you would want of us.
27:42 That's what you would do yourself.
27:44 And we want to be like you in all that we do.
27:47 So Father, continue to direct our ways.
27:50 In all that we do, we love You.
27:53 In Jesus name. Amen.


Revised 2014-12-17