Top 7 Principles of Christian Ethics: How to Practice

If you want to know more about the 7 principles of Christian ethics, then this article is for you. You’ll also get to know how to start practicing Christian ethics.

Instead of creating a pharisaical list of dos and don’ts to follow, we should look for biblical ethical principles to help us make decisions. 

These can be summed up in the verses from Matthew 22:37–40 that instruct us to “love God with all our heart, soul, and mind” and “love our neighbor as ourselves.” 

While we should obey the ten commandments, true Christian morality requires moving beyond the word of the law to the very spirit of love on which it is built (1 Cor 13:4–8) (Mt 5:21–22, 27–28).

Moral theology, commonly known as Christian ethics, is a multifaceted ethical framework. It is a virtue ethic that emphasizes moral character and a deontological ethic that emphasizes responsibility. 

It also includes natural law ethics, which holds that the very nature of humans – created in the image of God and capable of morality, cooperation, rationality, discernment, and so on – informs how life should be lived, and that sin awareness does not require special revelation. 

Other components of Christian ethics, such as the social Gospel and liberation theology, may be integrated into a fourth field known as prophetic ethics.

The Christian Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Old Testament prophets, and the New Testament apostles serve as the foundation for Christian ethics and the Christian moral code. 

The Christian moral code is based on the Bible’s instructions on how to conduct oneself, what God considers wicked, and how to treat one’s fellow man. The teachings of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, particularly the Sermon on the Mount, and the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament provide the basic foundation of Christian ethics.

Christians rely on Christian ethics and morals to guide them. They submit to living a life consistent with Jesus’ teachings and regard ethical and moral living as a way to worship God and serve Jesus.

These beliefs influence their decisions as well as how they approach and interact with others.

7 Principles of Christian Ethics 

  • The authority of God 
  • Characteristics of Christ (Christ-like character)
  • The Purity of Life
  • The Divine Identity and Purpose
  • Veracity
  • Contentment
  • Stewardship

The authority of God 

You must not worship any other gods but me (Ex 20:3). In Genesis 1:1, God is identified as the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Lord of all life. 

Additionally, he is the final arbiter of right and wrong and has made his intentions known to humankind through his word and through his Son, Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1–2). In him, all of his fullness dwells (Col. 1:19). He must always come first for us.

Characteristics of Christ (Christ-like character)

Jesus Christ is the exemplar of all virtues and the standard of character. We can become like Him as a result of His Atonement. Private virtue cannot exist without public virtue. America’s Christian past provides the world with unique examples of public and civic morality.

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Our activities will reflect Christian virtues such as humility, faith, charity, courage, self-government, virtue, industry, and wisdom as we strive to build Christlike character.

You will approach Christ and accept His grace in order to develop Christlike character. You intend to research and emulate Christian character models from America’s past.

The Purity of Life

You are not to murder (Ex 20:13).

All human life is created in God’s image (Gn 9:6,7) and deserves to be respected from beginning to end. This includes the unborn (Ps 139:13-16; Is 49:1; Jb 10:8-9), disabled (Lv 19:14), vulnerable (Ex 22:21-24), and elderly (Lv 19:32). The core of Christianity is that we must love as Christ loved (Jn 13:34), and that the strong must lay down their lives for the poor (Phil 2:5-8, Rom 5:6-8).

The Divine Identity and Purpose

All persons are Heavenly Father’s offspring. Each of God’s children and all of God’s creations have a distinct, divine purpose. Understanding our divine identity and purpose is critical to achieving and defending liberty.

By pursuing our divine mission, we can realize our divine potential through Christ.

You will learn everything you can about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish my divine mission. You shall respect others’ uniqueness and agency.

Veracity

False testimony is prohibited (Ex 20:16).

We should always “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15), using our words to uplift rather than denigrate others. Committing or omitting to lie is against the character of God (Nu 23:19) and results in injustice. According to James 5:12, we ought to live by our word.

Contentment

You must not covet. (Ex 20:17)

According to Philippians 4:11–12, we should not be motivated by resentment or desire for another person’s goods, relationships, gifts, or honor. Instead, we should be thankful and content with what God gives us.

Instead, we ought to long for doing his will, receiving his gifts to use in serving others (1 Cor. 12:31), and, most of all, longing for God himself (Ps. 37:4), trusting that he will supply our every need.

Stewardship

You must not create an idol for yourself (Ex 20:4-6).

As stewards of his creation and defenders of the earth, God has appointed us (Gn 1:26, 28). This supports scientific inquiry and application, but it does not grant permission for exploitation or the idea that medicine will save humanity instead of God. 

We must constantly use the power we have been given for good, especially for the benefit of particular people. In addition, we ought to conduct ourselves in accordance with God’s stated principles of good and wrong. The means do not always justify the ends.

Basics to know about Christian Ethics 

How to live

Christian ethics inquires into what the entire Bible tells us about which deeds, attitudes, and particular character qualities are approved by God and which are not.

In other words, Christian ethics tells us how to live. It is critical to study Christian ethics in order to better understand God’s plan and to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him” (Col. 1:10).

Christian ethics is crucial for gospel proclamation

Some Christian speakers now minimize or exclude any appeal to unbelievers to repent of their sins, although evangelism in the New Testament plainly includes a call to repentance. 

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Just before ascending to heaven, Jesus instructed his followers, “that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).

But how can unbelievers repent of their crimes if they are unaware of God’s moral standards? I do not believe that widespread revival will occur in any country unless there is widespread, real contrition for sin. As a result, gospel proclamation today must contain an element of teaching about God’s moral norms, sometimes known as Christian ethics.

God doesn’t want us to choose a lesser sin

Although numerous evangelical ethics texts suggest that we occasionally encounter situations of “impossible moral conflict” in which all of our options are wicked and we must simply choose the “lesser sin,” this theory is not taught in Scripture. 

It is countered by Christ’s life, “who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15), as well as the promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13, which states that God will always offer a “way of escape.”

The “impossible moral conflict” viewpoint quickly becomes a slippery slope, encouraging Christians to sin more and more.

Using the Old Testament for ethical direction necessitates a grasp of redemption history

Many Christians have read the Old Testament and questioned how we should interpret the specific regulations that God gave to the people of Israel through Moses. This necessitates a grasp of the “history of redemption”—the general progression of the Bible’s major tale.

Understanding the Bible’s progression from the old covenant (under Moses) to the new covenant (inaugurated by Christ) is especially essential when considering the Bible’s teaching on civil government today.

It is vital to recall that God’s intelligent laws about crimes and punishments that he gave to the civil government of Israel as a nation back then are very different from God’s wise intentions for secular governments today.

The ultimate source of Christian ethics is God’s moral character.

God takes pleasure in his own moral nature, which is supremely excellent, constant, and eternal. His moral standards for humans originate from his moral character, and hence they apply to all people throughout history (though the Bible also contains many temporary directives designed exclusively for specific individuals at a specific time).

Because God is love, he instructs us to love (1 John 4:19). He is holy, and he mandates that we be holy as well (1 Peter 1:15). He is merciful, and he instructs us to be merciful as well (Luke 6:36). 

He is trustworthy, and he forbids us from bearing false witness (Titus 1:2; Exodus 20:16). The moral character of God, as well as the historical truth that he has given us moral commands, offer the foundation for a Christian response to the question of how we may advance from “is” statements to “ought” statements in ethics.

Christian Ethics is Bible-based

One of the Bible’s aims is to teach us how to live a God-pleasing life (Col. 1:9-10; 1 Thess. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:17). The Bible has a higher authority in ethics than tradition, reason, experience, expected consequences, or subjective views of guidance because it is the Word of God.

While these additional elements will never be able to override the teaching of Scripture, they can nonetheless assist us in making sound decisions.

Obedience attracts numerous blessings 

The New Testament teaches at least seventeen different types of rewards that occur with living in accordance to God’s mandates in Scripture. These blessings include the joy of deeper fellowship with God (John 15:10); the joy of pleasing God (2 Corinthians 5:9; Colossians 1:10); the joy of becoming a vessel for God’s “honorable use” (2 Timothy 2:20-21); the joy of being an effective witness to unbelievers (1 Peter 2:12; 3:1); the joy of increased answers to our prayers (1 Peter 3:10-12; James 5:16; 1 John 3:21-22); the joy of closer fellowship with

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Willful sin has a number of negative repercussions in our daily lives

The New Testament discusses various negative repercussions of purposeful sin in a Christian’s life. These consequences include a break in our daily fellowship with God (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:21), a sense of God’s fatherly displeasure, and the possibility of experiencing his fatherly discipline (1 Cor. 11:30; Hebrews 12:5-11; see also Ephesians 4:30; Revelation 3:19), and a loss of fruitfulness in our ministries and Christian lives (John 15:4-5).

Christians should pray for forgiveness of sins on a regular basis (Matthew 6:12; 1 John 1:9), not to obtain justification over and over, but to repair our personal fellowship with God that has been hampered by sin.

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How to start practicing Christian Ethics

The ethical or unethical treatment of people, animals, places, etc. is frequently discussed in news reporting. Our duty is to spread the love of God by the way we live. We can instantly turn to God when we learn about difficult circumstances to ask for His direction on how we might assist. 

Some people are called to serve as missionaries in other nations, distributing supplies of food, water, clothing, and the Bible. Others are asked to serve as missionaries in their own neighborhoods. Some ways to demonstrate our love for God’s creations include feeding the hungry, caring for the elderly, and volunteering at animal shelters.

God does not want us to take care of one other by ignoring and ignoring others who are in need of assistance. When we are unsure of how to assist, we might pray to God and ask for guidance, discernment, and revelation.

FAQs 

What is the significance of Christian ethics?

Christian ethics are moral standards that show Christians how they should live their lives. They are significant to Christians because they adhere to the Bible’s and Jesus Christ’s teachings.

What are a Christian’s principles?

Resist what is bad and cling to what is good. Be lovingly committed to one another. “Honor one another more than yourself” (Romans 12:9-10). “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,” the Bible says, “but those who close their eyes to them will receive many curses” (Proverbs 28:27).

What is the most significant Christian principle?

The belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah (Christ) is the core premise of Christianity. Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as humanity’s savior and that his arrival fulfilled Old Testament messianic prophecies.

What exactly is a spiritual principle?

Spiritual principles lay out the road for us to live our lives free of unnecessary suffering, with the courage and resilience to face the grief and terror that come with the territory.

What are the five ethical codes?

The updated Code creates a conceptual framework for all professional accountants to follow in order to assure conformity with the five core ethical principles:

  • Integrity.
  • Objectivity.
  • Professionalism and caution are required.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Professionalism in Action.

Conclusion

The article will simplify the principles of Christian ethics, the basics of how to guide you through Christian ethics, and how to maintain the Christian lifestyle. We hope the article brings all that you are searching for together.

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