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Lord, save us from morality!
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Morality has to do with human behavior. It distinguishes between good and bad, or right and wrong behavior. Right behavior cannot merely be enforced as rules to be obeyed. No person really wants to go through the discipline to be ‘good’ just for the fun of it. He/she must know the reason to behave decently; the goal of moral living must be understood. God gives the reason: He is preparing an eternal kingdom of peace where there will be no destructive, damaging behavior towards others or oneself. People will live in peace, harmony, happiness, joy, mutual respect, love and safety. For peace and safety to be possible there, ‘the cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murders, sexually immoral, those practicing magic arts, idolaters and all liars’ will not be allowed there, because ‘their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur’ (Revelation 21:8).
If morality is not based on love for the Lord Jesus Christ, obedience to God’s Word and administered by the Holy Spirit, then it is only empty words. God proved with the history of the Israelites that it is impossible for people to live moral lives even if they have very clear laws (they had the Ten Commandments, but did not and could not keep them). Morality comes from an inner conviction. It is only when a person’s heart is renewed, because he/she accepted the forgiveness of all his sins through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43), and has received the Holy Spirit, that he/she has the ability to live a holy life that will please God. Reporting that society is disintegrating without morals, is the truth, but unless the whole Gospel message with God’s provision to live a moral life, is explained, it is like speaking Latin to a Chinese. It is incomprehensible.
God uses his commands for a moral lifestyle to test if people love Him and will be loyal to Him for eternity: ‘If you love me you will obey what I command’; ‘If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching’; ‘He who does not love me will not obey my teaching’ (John 14:15, 23, 24). In Luke 6:45 we read, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored op in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart”. A life that pleases God is not one of rules, but of a relationship with Him. Love comes from a free will, not by force, or by being a robot. Trying to be moral without the inner conviction and power to do it, amounts to something, but it won’t accomplish that goal that God planned: Seeing His face for eternity.
In Colossians 3:12-13 we have these words: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against each other. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” These qualities are part of the moral code that will be in effect in the eternal abode. At present it entails putting others above your own interests. But the returns that God gives are entirely out of proportion to the effort we put into being His loyal subjects. It is so wonderful, that it staggers the mind to think what is waiting in eternity. It is worthwhile to get to know God better and trust Him more fully, so that we will not be ashamed to tell our friends, family and work associates about this wonderful Father who leads one to a moral life where others are safe in one’s company.