A word that many of us seem to have an idea or an opinion or even think that it is something that is obtainable or possessed by one.
As humans many have the assumption that one person can be more moral than another or that one can be less moral than another. When in reality this concept is not a very feasible idea when one looks at morality for what it really is.
Morality can be looked upon as a constant, in that it is always within its full value “morality is morality” there is not a small part of morality or a partial part, or even a large part…morality is all together as a whole and does not change. In view of this then, there is no human more or less moral than another…but when the understanding of human depravity or our depraved nature is realized and recognized, then we may ascertain that its not an amount of morality that one may possess, but each one of us will have a certain capacity for morality, whether it be a deep capacity or a shallow capacity. This capacity for morality is what affects their direct inclination to instill God’s moral law.
I believe that to fully understand morality we must first go through the concepts of morality as it pertains to the Moral Law of God. In this we will see that morality itself as a distinct nature of God which is a part of His attributes of goodness and greatness and also something that has been instilled with our own heart and soul upon His creation of man.
When we read Genesis 1:26 – 28
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” NKJV
Within these versus we read that we have been created in God’s image and this image is not a physical likeness…since God is Spirit and man was made corporeal. But since man was also given spirit and soul, in their image, He means that we carry the same moral attributes as His and that His moral law has been instilled within us along with other attributes such as intellect, ability to communicate and an emotional nature that goes beyond instinct contrary to animals (when considering Morality), which live on instinct alone. When I say emotional contrary to animals, i mean that the morality that is displayed within humans to abstain from committing evil such as murder, adultery, etc. does not exist within the animal kingdom, since the animal will kill and mate out of shear instinct for survival on a regular basis.
God’s moral law is not something that is foreign or impersonal to Him but it is an expression of His very person and will. It is His very nature. God does not decide to command love and forbid murder or human hatred, it is His very nature that instills a particular action and prohibits others. Just as God states love to be good because He Himself is love, and that to lie is wrong because God Himself cannot lie.
For this matter we conclude that moral law of God is somewhat of a record of His very nature, and when we agree with it or disagree with it, is not as we are basing our decisions relating to any type of document, but we are relating our decisions to the very nature of God. When disobedience of God’s moral law becomes an affliction within our actions then it is considered an attack on the very nature of God and is sinful and carries consequences.
Moral law is not to be obeyed for its own sake but must be obeyed and understood as a means of relating, communicating with and loving God. This is the very way of instilling a loving personal relationship with Him, and when the Spirit of God is living within you, He convicts you of your disobedience through your conscience that recognizes the moral law of God that man was created with in the beginning. This conviction becomes very prominent to the true believer in Jesus Christ, and is the means by which God keeps him on the path to obedience and righteousness. This is not the righteousness of man that God sees in man’s heart, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ shown in a man’s heart through his faith, which tremendously deepens his capacity for morality and therefore the believer adheres to God’s moral law through his Christ like nature.
I believe that for the true believer that has the Spirit of God within them, the deeper their capacity for morality becomes; then the more consciously capable they are to instilling and recognizing God’s moral law that has been instilled within them through conviction by the Holy Spirit. Thereby fulfilling the will of God to an extent that He desires, since faith and the love of Jesus Christ has permeated their hearts.
In the next section of Understanding Morality, we will define morality in the Biblical sense and the secular sense and go through what it is and what it is not.