Romans 12:2 “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.”
Continuing from the lecture on Romans that I heard: One of the biggest problems we have in our society today is the confusion between two classic words, the word morals and the word ethics. The term “ethics” comes from the idea of “ethos” and has to do with the philosophical or theological foundation for determining the “good” or what is “righteous”. Morals come from the idea of “mores”, which simply is the study of the given practices of a given people in a given society at a given time. Every culture has its behavioral customs and practices, which change from age to age. Things which were thought of as unspeakable evil in the past are now the custom of our society, because our morals have changed. But ethics never change. The character of God never changes. We confuse morals and ethics by the use and practice of statistical morality, saying that we determine what is “right” by what the majority of people believes and is engaged in as being normal, thinking that if it is normal, then it is ethical. If we do this consistently, we have no hope of ending anywhere but hell. We have no hope of escaping the judgment of God because the Almighty Lord is not going to change or negotiate His own righteousness according to our customs or preferences.
That’s why Christians in every generation have to learn that they walk and march to God will, not the world. God’s people are called to be different, holy and set apart from what everyone else is doing in their culture. That’s why we are told not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by what it means to be a Christian. God plants His law in the conscience and soul of every human being. We know the difference between “right’ and “wrong”. All have the law of God written upon their hearts (Romans 2:15). We want the things that can only be found in God, and the benefits that only God can give, but we do not want God, because we love the blessings (happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind, etc), but not the Blessor. We naturally work on the disposition of every fallen creature – sin in thought, word and deed. There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We all belong in hell for our disobedience and rebellion against God. Can we earn our way by the law?
Romans 3:20 “No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” The only hope of heaven is not in what we've done, but in what Christ has done. How easy it is to think, “ I've served God all these years.” The truth is that we are going to be judged on our works or Christ’s work. How can people say that they do not feel a need for Jesus. Jesus is necessary for our survival. Justification is by faith, not by works. It’s by faith in Christ and by His righteousness alone we can the righteous judgment of God against sin. God doesn't lower His standard or negotiate His righteousness or do away with His justice, but retains His righteousness and justice by truly punishing sin. Because there really was a Cross, and on that Cross was really propitiation, an acceptable sacrificial atonement, where there was a real satisfaction for the requirement of God’s justice. But it was done vicariously. This satisfaction for sin, if we are Believers, was accomplished by Jesus, not by us ... because we couldn't. It required a sinless person and that eliminates all of us. But the glorious gospel is now the righteousness of God revealed through that One whose righteousness is made available to all who believe in Christ, and Christ alone. The imputation of the righteousness of Christ by God is by faith the grounds of our salvation, not works. Praise be to God and our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ! Amen.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In Christ, Brian