Christian Spiritual Vision
Christianity is a religion built on a strong faith in God. Christians are people with a strong belief in the love and works of God through his son Jesus Christ. They are called the followers of Christ because they decided to believe and follow Christ as the universal savior. The nature of God is supernatural, with great characteristics. God created everything on the universe, was Himself not created. He saw everything he created been good and pleasant. Significantly, He created man in His image and likeness. God made man the ruler of the rest of the creation, as a show of how he honored the man. To cement his love for mankind, God sent his only begotten son to die for the salvation of humanity from the slavery of sin. Indeed, God is amazingly good. Through faith, believers have established their picture of God. As discussed by Mueller and Lewis, the Christian idea of God develops with the deepening of their faith in God. The Christian picture of God has a great influence on Christian ethics.
Christian ethics are bounded on the Christian picture of God. As stated in the second letter of Paul to Corinthians, Christian lives by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Paul implies that it is through faith that Christians get the image of God. No one has ever seen God physically, thus Christianity is founded on a spiritual vision. A set of Christian traditions and scriptures inspire and guide believers to uphold Christian morality. Christian ethics entail the application of these traditions and scriptures in formulating and critiquing theories and ethical norms and applying them to ethical issues. The scriptures and Christian traditions form the backbone of Christian ethics. The will and revelation of God also define Christian ethics. Christians can understand the will of God by reading the scriptures, through prayers and even through visions. It is by understanding the image of God that Christians shape their ethics and discipline.
In the Old Testament, Christian ethics are based on the laws. After God created man, He gave him instructions on how to stay in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 2:16, God commanded the first man to eat of all the fruits but never touch the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. He warned that the man would certainly die after eating the forbidden fruit. This was the first rule given to guide the lifestyle of mankind. The law tested the obedience of mankind, hence forming the basis of Christian ethics. In the story of Exodus, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments that were meant to guide the daily lives of the Israelites (Exodus 20). The commandments guided the Israelites in their relationship with one another and their trust in God. The nature and character of God played a key role in defining Christian ethics in the Old Testament. The people honored and worshiped the supreme God. His character as a loving and caring God made his people put their total trust in his providence. In chapter 9 of Genesis, God made a covenant with Noah in the mission to save his people. Abraham was named the father of faith because of remaining faithful to God (Genesis 22). In the Old Testament, Christian ethics is the set of disciplines as defined by the law. The law bounds Christians to maintain holiness and righteousness.
Jesus Christ is the central focus of Christian ethics in the New Testament. He was sent from heaven to earth as a universal savior of mankind from the slavery of sin. Christian ethics in the New Testament are guided by one’s conscience in a faith unlike in the Old Testament where the law dictated the ethics (Roman 2). Jesus Christ came to break the law written on the tablets and bring a new law to be written in people’s hearts. In his ministry and teachings, Jesus Christ associated the Old Testament law with issues of hypocrisy because people acted in fear of punishment and not because of the love for God and one another. Jesus brought in the new law that is manifested inside a person’s heart and has no outward punishment. In chapter 3 of Hebrews Jesus is revealed to be greater than Moses. The new law by Jesus is thus superior to the Mosaic Law in the Old Testament. The life and ministry of Jesus ushered in the new set of Christian ethics.
The word of God in the scriptures empowers Christian ethics. Christians no longer live by what the law states but by what the word of God says. The Bible acts as a significant manual to guide Christians in their daily lives. The Holy Spirit plays a role in supporting Christians to adhere to the set of ethics. The Holy Spirit provides a set of fruits to guide Christian in their relationship with God and others (Galatians 5: 22-23). The Holy Spirit also gives Gifts that help Christians in their service to God and humanity. Christians are called to imitate the life of Jesus Christ their savior. The Christian spiritual vision is based on the love of God. It is founded on the strong faith in God and the sacrifice to follow the teachings of Christ. The picture of God guides Christians to lead ethical lives.
Version, King James. Holy Bible. Arcturus Publishing Limited, 2017.
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