Moral Choices

In the last blog, we laid out all the Biblical support for the position that salvation is the renovation of our soul so it becomes like God.  Salvation is a free gift from God.  The gift he gave is that he sent Jesus to die for the sins of the entire world.  Jesus’ death and resurrection applies to the entire human race, not just those who believe in Jesus.  So now the entire world has a choice of becoming more like God or continuing our rebellion against God.  It is this choice that will determine if we spend eternity with God or without God.

This view of salvation does more than conform to Biblical teaching.  It also answers all the questions we have previously raised about this doctrine. [1]  Those who have never heard of Jesus and those whose culture and/or religion tell them Jesus is irrelevant still have the opportunity to go to heaven provided they live up to whatever light God has provided for them.

It also answers the question of why God would require us to believe in something for which we cannot obtain certain proof:  Jesus’ death and resurrection for our sins.  God knows our beliefs are primarily determined by the culture in which we were raised and our life experiences.  God knows our beliefs are largely not under our control.  That is just the human condition; that is the way God constructed our existence.  So it does make sense that God would not require us to believe in an historical fact to obtain salvation.

However, there is one area of our lives where God has given us the capacity to do what he requires and that area is the moral choices we make.  In fact, God forces us to make these choices.  Robert J. Fogelin states there is no way to avoid making moral choices without losing one’s essential humanity. [2]

One could make the argument since we are finite we will not know what moral choices to make.  So how can we make the proper moral choices?  God provides us with three ways.

First, our life experiences teach us.  We only have to look at the world around us to see what we humans have created.  Our world reflects back to us, in a physical form, the reality of our moral choices.  This applies to our world, our nations, our communities, and our families.  The moral choices made by each of these entities are reflected in its character and actions.  And if we do not like what we see, this should give us the motivation and opportunity to change our moral choices.

Second, God gave us the Bible.  Not everyone has access to the Bible but other religions do provide guidance consistent with the Bible.  C. S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man notes how similar Christianity and other religions are in terms of their values.  He maintains there is an objective reality of our universe; there are everlasting ideals which are part of the fabric of our universe; there exists a sole source of values for all of humanity.  He refers to this universal principle as the Tao. [3]  In the Appendix, he provides examples of similar values held by peoples of different times, religions, and geographic areas. [4]

Third, God gave us the Holy Spirit who convicts us concerning sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-8).  We can ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit as Paul teaches (Romans 1 and 2) but that is a moral choice we make.

God knows what he is doing.  God knows we are finite; that is why he will not judge us for our beliefs if we do not have sufficient information to rationally arrive at a particular belief.  Jesus did criticize the people of his day who did not believe in him because they experienced firsthand the teachings and miracles of Jesus.  For the rest of us God knows that while we cannot have definitive proof of Jesus’ life and resurrection, we are very capable of making moral decisions and he will judge us for those moral decisions we make.


[1]   See my blogs dated May 15, 22, and 29, 2011.

[2]   Robert J. Fogelin, ed., Right and Wrong (Fort Worth:  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1986), p. 2.

[3]   C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, (New York:  HarperCollins Publishers, 1974), pp. 15-19.

[4]   Lewis, pp. 83-101.

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