The Basis of Morality, Part 2

by Bryant Evans on January 18, 2015

Last week, we discussed two possible sources for the existence of morality: law and society. In either case the resulting moral code is subject to change and to the vagaries of society. That which is wrong today is right tomorrow. All it takes to shift the moral code is a change of opinion on the part of culture. We now look at the third possible source of morality. We will see that the God of the Bible is the only satisfactory explanation for the existence of a global moral code.

The Christian argues that there is a firm basis for morality which is the God of the Bible. We accept that the atheist denies the existence of any supernatural being which would include Jehovah. But the Biblical portrait of God does offer a reasonable, rational explanation for morality.

The Basis of Morality is External to Humanity

The weakness of the atheistic position is that morality is established by culture. As one skeptic opined on Twitter: “There is no right or wrong. There are socially acceptable behaviors and socially unacceptable behaviors.” We would argue that there is a deep divide between “socially acceptable” and “moral.”

Any lawgiver must be separate or apart from that which he governs. Otherwise, he is subject to the same criticisms as the societal model of morality. The God of the Bible is separate from His creation. Remember, we only seek to show, at this point, that the Biblical model is consistent.

The Bible open with the familiar “In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1). At the very beginning the Bible declares that God already existed. Genesis 1:2 declares the presence of the “Spirit of God” at creation and John 1:2, 3 says the Son of God, Jesus, was likewise present at creation. Thus, the entire Godhead is present before creation and is the Creator. The God of the Bible must be separate from that which it created.

The difference between the creation and the Creator is maintained in the prophets. Isaiah wrote: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

The final 4 chapters of Job highlight the superiority of the God of the Bible over his Creation. The consistent Biblical picture of God is of one external to his creation. Therefore, he is not subject to the same criticism as leveled against internal participants. We have established that the God of the Bible may consistently be viewed as the creator.

If Jehovah is the Creator, and He is, then we would expect to be submissive to his will and way. He has the power to tell us what to do. We are thankful, however, that the God of the Bible is a God of love, mercy and justice. He is benevolent and loves his creation. Therefore we have two reasons to serve our God. The first is obvious. We love him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). But it is also true that we respect or fear the God of the Bible. His power is great and his might is beyond words. He has the power to compel our good conduct. Yet, he has chosen not to. Instead, he has given us a choice to obey or disobey. But, he has reserved unto Himself, the power to punish as a consequence for disobedience. Let us choose now to serve him gladly for his love and grace toward us.

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