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Christian Ethics, Part 1: Love, Sex, and Marriage

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2020 4:00 am

Christian Ethics, Part 1: Love, Sex, and Marriage

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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June 8, 2020 4:00 am

Who are you when you’re alone? Does your public testimony match your private behavior? Today on Grace to You, John MacArthur considers those penetrating questions as he launches his study “The Integrity Factor.”

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What are Christian standards for living friends. We have a very serious responsibility in the face of the world. We have a continuing permanent obligation and privilege to live for the glory of God and to shut the mouths of the site size and the unjustly not just and in private.

How do you resist the temptation to compromise in the quality of work you do when no one's looking for the kind of joke you tell her what you think or say or do in those unguarded moments. John MacArthur has answers today on grace to you as he launches a study called the integrity factor will John. It's a question that comes up often in this generation.

Even in discussions among Christians. This character really matter for the record, you'd say it does matter, but for much deeper reasons than most people realize you've just opened a Pandora's box with that very question. Because integrity has been redefined in its postmodern culture and it we would define as Christians, we would define integrity as living consistently according to divine law. We would follow the biblical morality right we would say God has ordained morality there is that there is a true and fixed and set an established and required morality, right and that's God's morality revealed on the pages of Scripture. Since this is a post Scripture post-Christian postmodern world.

There is there is no interest in the Bible there is no interested in a fixed morality. There is no interest in the more morality that God has ordained and in his word and the Christians of always held to so we have a culture who has no real authority based on something that's changeless, by which they can measure what character looks like what character is. So when you say this character really matter to this culture and I don't even know how they would answer that question right character whose character who will what's the standard so the idea of anyone having what we would call us Christians. Integrity any non-Christian having integrity would be very hard to define. The whole thing has been so convoluted in a post-Christian environment. In fact, the biblical standards for morality have been virtually condemned by this modern culture they want nothing to do with biblical morality. Look, the Supreme Court doesn't he want anything to do with biblical morality, but integrity does matter, and it matters when it is based upon the word of God and it comes with all kinds of benefits and blessings and we're going to begin today to launch a study on personal integrity. A basic course in Christian ethics from Hebrews 13. It's a how-to guide for you to be the person God wants you to be in personal have an impact on everybody around you don't miss a day. This is a very practical series.

It lays out a path any Christian can follow for growing in righteousness. As John said it's based on Hebrews 13. If you have your Bible turn there now and here's John MacArthur to begin his study called the integrity factor. What does God expect out of us. What are the practical guidelines for the life of a Christian and covers many areas. Peter said so is the will of God.

That was well doing, you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Peter said you need to live so that no one can cast any doubt on Christianity by the kind of life that your living. Christians are to so live that they shut the mouths of the critics of Christianity. When planning the governor of Bithynia examined the Christians and reported back to Trajan. The Emperor, he had to admit, although he was looking for a charge on which to condemn them.

That, and I quote, they bound themselves by an oath not for any criminal land, but to avoid theft or robbery, or adultery never to break their word, or repudiated deposit when called on to refund it." He said characterizing the Christians.

They do not commit crimes and they pay their debts.

In many cases in the early church. The Christians were presented presented themselves to the world as a review so the world was in a hurry to find something for which to blame them, but very often was unable to do so. Examining the case very closely. They often came up empty. This in mind, I think I in the words that he spoke to Titus in chapter 2 verse seven in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works in doctrine showing on correctness gravity which is dignity, sincerity, sound speech that cannot be condemned that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

In other words, so live that there are any valid criticisms over in verse 14 of chapter 3 says and let ours also learned to maintain good works for necessary uses that they be not unfruitful you know anything about fruit in the New Testament.

Fruit includes the winning of people to Christ and part of that is living an exemplary life that if we are to be fruitful we are to maintain good works. This results in the salvation of some in Hebrews chapter 13 we find that it is important for us to do good works, not only because some people get saved but because God gets glorified in verse 21 talks about God making us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. So let it be so. The glory of God is another reason that the believers to live a pure life, a life that is without review. We are so live that when the world slanders us.

The only valid slander they can make is when they slanderous for doing good if we are to be criticized for something let us be criticized for our well doing, not for our evil. Now, if we are to live up your life and if we are only to be criticized for good, then we ought to know what to avoid and we got to know what's good and so in Hebrews chapter 13 there is a very careful statement regarding the practical ethics of the Christian life that result in a portrayal of Christianity to the world.

That is, without review, and this is important, as I said, for that wins people to Christ and it gives glory to God. He gives the standards of Christianity here in a very condensed sense and will try to expand them a little bit and we can ask ourselves some very pertinent questions as we approach the chapter such as what are Christian standards for living or what are the principles of life that will make my life a positive testimony or how my lack in the face of a priceless world to bring them to Christ or what do I do to really bring glory to God.

All that is wrapped up in this chapter friends. We have a very serious responsibility in the face of the world. We have a continuing permanent obligation and privilege to live the glory of God and to shut the mouths of the critics and if anybody's going to criticize Christianity. Let them criticize Christianity unjustly, not just the world that Alexander McLaren takes its notions of God. Most of all, from the people who say they belong to God's family. They read us a great deal more than they read the Bible. They see us, they only hear about Jesus Christ. How do you usually tell a lot about mom and dad watching Junior people make the valuations of God on the basis of you and me and of Christ Jesus said the same thing in the sermon on the Mount Matthew five verse 16. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. A good son brings honor to his father. That's true spiritually. Also, we should so live that when men see us.

They give glory to God. Not only do they not criticize but they wind up glorifying God because of our lives and believe me I'm not about theatrical goodness. I'm not tying about that kind of of artificial faade was a conference at which DL Moody was present. I always wished I had the nerve of some of these old St. but anyway he was at this conference and there were some very zealous young people there who took the Christian life very seriously and they decided on all night prayer meeting so they did a prayed all night and as they were leaving in the morning, they met Mr. Moody on the way out in the asked them what they'd been doing and and yet one young man spoke up and said Mr. Moody. We've been having all night prayer meeting. Mr. Moody see how our faces shine and Moody look the guy in the eye and said Moses knew not that his face shown the goodness that is self-conscious is hypocritical.

I'm not talking about that kind of goodness I'm talking about the goodness that results in the glory of God, not in the glory of me. So we are to satisfy God's glory by maintaining a pure kind of goodness in the face of the world that shuts the mouths of the critics of Christianity. Now, as we look at this chapter I want to show you three things the ethics the example in the energy what are the ethics who is our example or whom are examples and what is the energy to carry out the ethics. All three are very important.

The ethics the example in the energy before we enter the text specifically one more word of necessary preparation. There can be no ethics unless there is doctrine did you get that because if there's no doctrine, then there is no foundation for the ethics. That's why people in our world have crisscrossing ethics because there is no solid universal ground source standard of absolutes.

You cannot have ethics unless you have a solid moral base UC so ethics always follow doctrine in the New Testament always you cannot require something of somebody unless there is an underlying undergirding universal moral law that gives the right and the necessity of that ethic to exist. People say, well, the world would be such a beautiful place noisy about that. If you only forget all our doctrine and our dog men just flew out of each other all year that will work. That doesn't work, you can't do that is what a lot of people in a big and a big room signal each other.

They will know how to love each other. There are no absolutes. One guy thinks love is one thing to somebody else think that something else and one guy goes over why guys live as I think all of you know know you won't. You cannot write on that basis because there's no foundation. There are no absolutes. There's no morality to underlie the ethic so you don't require the man anything until you laid a foundation for the requirement. There is no uniform morality without a standard and is no standard without God. So you gotta start with him. Believe me, let me say this at the very outset, you'll never be able to maintain Christian ethics and leisure Christian for two reasons. Number one, you don't have any desire to number two don't have any ability to the sermon on the Mount Romans 12 through 16, Ephesians 4 to 6 Hebrews 13.

That's all ethics, but it all in every case marketed all presupposes that you have faith in Jesus Christ that gives you number one the desire and number two, the standard and number three the energy so all kinds of ethics are founded on doctrine are, let's begin by looking at the ethics of chapter 13, the ethics now.

The term ethic. Just to give you a frame of reference means a standard of conduct for moral judgment standard of conduct or moral judgment. There are classes in ethics and that in most cases, they haven't got the faintest idea what the ethics are they just try to rattle around and they wind up with Fletcher's famous situation ethics.

Whatever accommodates the situation. That's the ethic that you apply which is the elimination of absolutes and that's why you have problems ethics are standards of conduct's conduct and moral judgment, and we believe there are absolutes on the ethics of this chapter are divided in the three categories in their very simple categories but they help us to kind of pigeonhole. Some of these thoughts three basic categories for the ethics and the chapter number one in relation to others. Ethics in relation to others or how we act toward others ethics in relation to ourselves.

Secondly, or how we act for ourselves and this will be in the future. Ethics relation to God. How we act toward God. First of all let's begin with ethics in relation to others. What are the standards for Christianity in relation to others. Now remember people we are presupposing that you already have met Christ right on the basis of that here is what is required of you. First of all, in relation to other people. Number one the first ethic sustained love verse one here is the first ethic and it's a dominant one because it really is the feature that overrides everything else. Let brotherly love continue. That's it.

Verse one. This is sustained love. This is the supreme ethic for the Christian to follow and that is that he love his brother. Brotherly love is one word in the Greek it's the word Philadelphia city of brotherly love.

Taking its name from it. The discussion to words below to have a great affection for auto Foss brother from the same auto Foss means from the same room so please have a great affection for those who came from the same womb.

Others can have two significant applications.

Think of it.

Also the book of Hebrews is an interesting feature. Although the book of Hebrews. He has been telling them to separate themselves from Judaism right the new covenant is it that's all you need sufficient complete so for just separate from Judaism. They were getting hassled by the Jews there getting persecuted by the Jews and they were told to separate now. Great serious conflict could have come back right in the face and answer of a backlash type thing and so they are worn here to let brotherly love continue and it may well be that the brotherly love concept includes Jew because one of the very familiar terms in the New Testament for Jews and even used by Christians to speak of other Jews who weren't saved is they considered them as brother and for Jews were in the purest sense, auto Foss from the same womb. They were all physical children of Abraham, so it may be that in one sense he is saying don't begin to hate the Jews don't separate yourself to the place where you have ceased to love your people so the writer of Hebrews then may be implying in this statement of continued love for Israel, but I think is a greater significance than that I think is a significance that that is most obvious. To that end, to us, and that is the fact that we need to love our brothers in Christ, for they are, though not physically from the same womb spiritually from the same womb, having been born again, having gone to the new birth. We are all brothers in Christ is that so it is joined to the Lord is one spirit where one where all children were brothers of Christ is not ashamed to call his brother and where heirs and joint heirs with Christ. We've been adopted as sons Romans says we have all the rights of son ship.

We are his children. Ephesians 1 God has brought us in his sons. Although statements in Scripture indicate we are brothers in Christ, we are all sons of the same family. Therefore, we are all brothers and so he says as Christians let brotherly love continue, I want you to notice something wonderfully look at the word continued.

It doesn't say I'm so glad about this. It doesn't say get brotherly love started that it doesn't say where, but brotherly love invent. Brotherly love, or generate brotherly love.

It says let brotherly love what continue, which implies lot, it already is there and you know you can usually tell when somebody saved immediately. They have a desire to be with a believer. It's only after little while that they find that the believers are rather cantankerous and the begin to pick and choose when you get division usually happen with baby Christians. They just kind of enjoy the fellowship and they find out later. There's some certain people who do funny things that they're not supposed to like in first Peter 122. I want you to get it from Peter standpoint, it's very clear the way he puts it, seeing first Peter 122 that you have purified your souls in obeying the truth watch through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren using a set up our salvation was always again seeing that you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren. One of the byproducts of obeying the truth is what unfeigned love of the road and seeing that you come into unfeigned love of the brother and listen see that you want another with a pure heart at the Nace stretched fervently reach out for the global one scratchers already saying seeing that you have brotherly love exercise it. That's what he said you are your something wonderful mother.

That's exactly what the whole New Testament about seeing that you have all these things use amusement. How many times we talk about the fact you want to go scrounging around like you are in some spiritual treasure hunt to find the goodies that God is stashed, they're all yours in Christ peers as you have all things pertain to life and godliness therefore is not a question of getting anything it's a question of using what you have right. Our choice is not saying whip up or generate brotherly love be saying let me sustain is granted to you at salvation, said Peter is a result of obeying the truth unfeigned love comes see that you love one another letter continues exactly what he saying that's the key. Now this is truly giving other illustration comes to mind. Ephesians 4 in verse verse three. Listen to this well-versed want to start either for the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation to which your call with all loneliness, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another in love. I look at it, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit is essay endeavoring to invent clearly the spirit endeavoring to start unity. The spirit endeavoring to whip up the unity of the spirit endeavoring to what keep it. Why was that apply.

It's already there when you become a Christian.

All of these things are you words it's only a matter of sustaining them in your living that affection is yours. He just says don't destroy it, thought polluted. Don't mess it up. Don't blacken it, let it continue taking a step further to prove that you have brotherly love for this one is for night but as touching brotherly love, Philadelphia was, you need not that I am right under you say what you don't need to tell us why for you yourselves are taught of God to love one another dear that when you are saved. Part of being saved was the love of Christ was what the love of God.

Romans five I was shed abroad where in our you were taught of God to love all you do is use what you see, this is an exciting point because so many Christians are scrounging around looking for what they got.

I need more loan I need more peace little anymore unity know you have it, use it in your bank account.

Just checking out first John 51, whosoever believe it that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Notice this and every one that love him that be God love him, so that is begotten them was that mean that means if you love your little love all the others who love him. That's just part of being saved, if you don't you correctly what you have.

You haven't failed to get you got it and you corrupted in your living cross grain with your own nature as a believer. June 21, same statement, keep yourselves in the love of God is not beautiful don't find it not important. Pray for an escort.

You got just keep yourselves in it enough on that you get it you got it, use it, but brotherly love continue this group had already shown it all my they had shown the love of the brethren back in six is not verse 10 for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love what you've shown toward his name and that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

So this group here little accommodation whom is writing the book of Hebrews they had shown love. They had brotherly love and they had exercise it and he says let it continue.

When I am preoccupied of myself.

I have not really continued in brotherly love, Paul says the flip is all I want you to be of the same loud and you say will how I got to do that was to say that each esteem others better than himself. Look not every man on his own thing. Things but on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus you thought. Not something to hang onto, but gave up what he had in heaven and humbled himself, took upon himself the form of a man and was obedient even on the death that's humility and that's the essence of love love love is spawned out of humility. Humility grows out of right spiritual knowledge which we shared many times right. Spiritual knowledge is setting your life up against the right standard as long as you measure yourself by some other guy in this world you going to come out all right as you pick the guiding will be anywhere near where you are when you can begin to measure yourself by the standards of the word of God by the person of Christ to come out humble when you come out humble you're able to love. Not until they say will John why is brotherly love important. It's important number one because it reveals who we are to the world doesn't John 1334 a new come out right.

I needed to love one another.

By this shall all men know what you are my disciples, if you have love one further and God gave the world the right to evaluate who we were on the basis of our love. So it's important that we have brotherly love that we consider others better than ourselves that we condescend that we are meek and humble that we are giving and granting the needs of others.

Whether we sacrifice everything we have to do it or not is important because if that we don't the world going to be sure to sure who would belong. Second reason it's important reveals our identity to us. This is a tremendous thought.

First John 314 we know that we have passed from death on the life you know that you say how because we love the brethren here that you can tell your own heart, but your say you love other Christian forever people are coming to me and saying how do you know your state how you get security etc. etc. etc. that's 1 Great Way right there you love other Christian you love their fellowship. Love to be with love to minister to that reveals our identity to us as it does also to the world 1/3 thing that I think is important. In brotherly love as it delights God I love a statement of God made in Psalm 133 one. Never heard this how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. God said, you know that God gets happy about that.

If you really want to give glory to God living brotherly love Brotherly love and not talking about some saccharine sweet sentimentalism telling about the kind of brotherly love that issues and commitment were 16 of first John three lesson by this perceive we the love of God because he lay down his life for us.

Here comes a ready for this can handle it. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren talk about some little some some insignificant little condescension.

We had a late lives for the brother but whosoever hath this world's good, you've got some of the goodies the world as well.

You got money you got. He sees his brother have need, and shuts up his compassion from him, how dwell at the love of God in him you see a need, and you got supplied you don't supply. John says don't tell me you're Christian. It just doesn't square my little children, let us not love in word, neither in time, but in deed and truth.

And by this we know that we are the truth, and shall assure you have trouble doubting your salvation.

Check on your love for your brother. This is grace to you. John MacArthur thanks for being with us.

John is Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary.

The study he launched today is all about how to live without compromise. It's titled the integrity factor will a quick reminder that most everything we sell is now on sale at 25% off the regular price with additional savings on select editions of the MacArthur study Bible is a great time to pick up the MacArthur study Bible, or another book to take advantage of the sale prices. Contact us today. Call 855 grace or go to our website TTY.org again nearly all of our products are 25% off the normal price that includes the CD album of our current series.

The integrity factor in books like one perfect life biblical.gospel according to Jesus, as well as individual volumes of John MacArthur's New Testament commentary series to place your order call 855 three or visit TTY.when you get in touch let us know how John's verse by verse. Teaching is blessing you, perhaps it has prepared you to tell your loved ones about Christ or help you through a trial related to the covert, 19 pandemic or maybe God drew you to himself through these radial when you have time.

John a note and send it our way.

Email is great for that. Our email address is letters@TTY.more time that letters at TTY.now for John MacArthur in the entire Greece to use staff on Phil Johnson invite you back tomorrow when John continues his look at the integrity factor be here for another half hour unleashing God's truth one verse at a time wasting


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