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Christian morality and ethics consist of one living their life in the light of the scriptures and the Christian1. In other words, the Christian ethics are mainly obtained from the scriptures. For Christians, the bible is the major reference when it comes to ethics. A study of the bible reveals that it provides for what is ethical and what is not. Although the bible was written centuries ago, Christians take its teaching as relevant even in the contemporary society3. They believe that the bible contains the word of God or rather is the word of God. The word of God is alive and is like a double edged sword2. One of the main contributors to Christian ethics is apostle Paul. Paul wrote several letters, especially to the gentiles with the aim of preaching the good news and encouraging the church to emulate Christ. In this paper, we will focus on some of the teachings of apostle Paul to determine the basis for Christian ethics. Particularly, the essay will mainly draw from the book of Romans chapters 8 and 12.
In Romans chapter 8, Paul encourages the Romans to live in the spirit. Any person who received Christ is no longer condemned. They are no longer under the law of sin and death. It appears from the text that the first step that a Christian should take to lay a good foundation for Christian life is to accept Christ and his teachings. After doing this, Christ will honour His promise and will send the holy spirit to guide the person. Therefore, one of the greatest pillars in laying a foundation for Christian ethics is accepting Christ or living in the spirit. When a Christian takes this step, the holy spirit of God will guide them towards doing
what is right/ethical. In addition, the holy spirit will also help them overcome temptations to be unethical or do evil. This is therefore a very important step in explaining the basis for Christian ethics. The holy spirit is part of the holy trinity. He is therefore God for Christians believe in one God who exists in three beings, Being God, the holy spirit has the ability of guiding God’s people in to doing what is right/ethical.
In Romans chapter 12, Paul continues to give some great pillars to Christian ethics. He advises us cling to what is good and to hate what is evil. He emphasizes the importance of loving one another in a genuine way. It is worth noting that love is the greatest commandment. Christ commanded us to love God and to love one another. By alluding to love, Paul is reminding us that it is only by love that we can do what is good or ethical. Unless we love one another in a genuine way, we cannot be able to live well. If one loves God, it is impossible that they will disobey His commandments. In the same way, it is impossible for a person to plot any evil against another if there is genuine love 4. Therefore, love appears to be the greatest pillar to support the basis for Christian ethics. Let us take an example. It is impossible for a person to steal that which belongs to their neighbour if they genuinely love that neighbour. This because genuine love involves caring about the neighbour 5. A person who genuinely loves their neighbour as apostle Paul advises us, cannot plan to steal from that neighbour since such an action will make the neighbour suffer in a way. It follows therefore that love is paramount for any Christian who intends to be ethical. Apostle Paul further advises us not to repay evil with evil. We should be filled by love so that we strive towards caring for other people and ensuring their wellbeing.
In conclusion, Christians use the bible as the guide to their beliefs. Although the bible was written centuries ago, Christians believe that its contents is and will always be relevant in
the current age and even in the age to come. The bible contains the word of God. Heavens and earth shall pass away but this word will never pass away. Apostle Paul was appointed by God to preach the good news to the gentiles. His letter to the Romans sheds some light on the basis for Christian ethics. In chapter eight of this letter, he emphasizes on the importance of living in the spirit. This would help the Christian overcome temptations of this world. He helps Christians live according to the will of God. Living this way is definitely right and ethical. In chapter 12 of the same letter, Paul advises Christians to love one another genuinely. People who love one another genuinely are likely to do what is right, just and ethical. Therefore, love is a key foundation for Christian ethics.
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