Romans 2.12-16 – Your moral compass

So often nowadays we hear people justifying their lifestyle by saying things like “Only God can judge me”, which of course is true. Or sometimes people get all morally relative and say things like “I’m a good person, I’ve never killed anyone.”, but the comparison game has to come to a head somewhere, doesn’t it. Often people are working from their own moral compass, that thing inside of us that tells us whether something is right or wrong, our conscience. But the problem is that our consciences can be violated, as a result of our inherent sinful nature, our conscience can not be so true, and our moral compass can point somewhere other than true north. Paul speaks to this in Romans 2.12-16,

12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

We see that, basically, there is no excuse whether we have the law or not (v.12), and, actually, even if we hear the law, and even if we hear the Good News of Jesus, simply hearing doesn’t actually save us (v.13), we need to do something with it! 

Paul goes on to say that even those without the law in front of them can still abide by it because it is written onto their hearts (Jeremiah 31.33 and the New Covenant). This is a wonderful privilege we have; to be living under the New Covenant of grace and to have the law of the Lord written on our hearts. That still, small voice, the tug of the conscience from inside, our conflicting thoughts that accuse or excuse, this is all our moral compass at work.

Through being in right relationship with God the Father through faith in God the Son, Jesus, we have God the Holy Spirit living in us.

This guarantees us that our moral compass is pointing to the absolute True north and means that no matter the circumstance, situation, dilemma, or problem we may face that we always have the right path before us, because God has put His law within us, and it is written on our hearts

Point to ponder – Is my moral compass pointing True?

Prayer – Father thank you for the world changing, life giving sacrifice you made for us by sending your Son to die for our sins. We know that this was the turning point in the history of the world, and in our own lives too, when we came to acknowledge and accept this. Help us to keep our minds on your law, and help us to keep our moral compass pointing to You. Amen.

Interested in morality? Our worldview devotional series covers the four big questions a worldview has to answer; origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. 

Read it here.

Worldview 3/4 – Morality

Today we continue with our four-part devotional on worldview and now the ethical question; Morality – How do I differentiate between good and evil? 

Can we live without God? Can we determine for ourselves what is good and what is evil?
Without God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, is it possible to make good decisions when faced with difficulties?

Atheist ethicist (oxymoron, no?) Kai Nelson –

“Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.” 

Atoms, particles, logic, or reason cannot impart on us an ‘ought to’ can they…

We all have a sense of morality, objective morality. By this, I mean something is objective if it does not depend on the opinions or beliefs of another person, or even many people to make it true. In other words, whether everyone else agrees with you or disagrees with you about something, you know it’s right/wrong. A wise man once told me, ‘James, you just know it in your knower…‘.

Simply, our morality flows from His nature…we are made in His image (Genesis 1.26-27).

This implies an absolute, and we cannot make sense of the objectivity of morality without God.

We have an inbuilt sense of right and wrong, stemming from God Himself, the Bible tells us that God has written His laws onto our hearts (Jeremiah 31.33, Hebrews 10.16, 8.10). 

Our Christian lens on the world tells us that God is goodness itself (Mark 10.18, Psalm 119.68), and our Christian lens tells that in the face of moral decisions, there is a sense of ‘oughtness’, there is a sense of compulsion to do something, or to refrain from something. 

Simply, our view of morality, of Truth, is personified in Jesus Christ. Contrary to the teachings and beliefs of human philosophers and others, Truth, absolute Truth, exists. Truth” occurs 141 times in 130 verses in the ESV. 

And here’s the impact, the take-home, this means we have the answers to every ethical difficulty, dilemma, or decision we ever need to make.

Truth is recorded in God’s Word, John 17.17 says ‘…your word is truth.’, and Psalm 119.160 says ‘…the sum of your word is truth.’ We can find the answers to life’s questions in the Bible, wherein we read the Word of God.

Truth is meant to be the focal point of our lives. We are to know the Truth and to live it, and with Jesus and a Christ-shaped lens on life, we can, for His glory.