• Ethics is the practical application of belief
• What constitutes appropriate conduct?
• Morality refers to the decisions that an
individual makes
Ethics are based on relationship
With God
With one’s neighbours
With self
1. The Ten Commandments (Ex 20:2-17)
2. The Beatitudes contained in the Sermon on the
Mount (Mt 5-7)
3. Jesus’ commandment of love (Lk 10:25-27)
• God loves people as they are
• As seen in the life, death and resurrection of
• So a Christian responds by trying to live in
accordance with God’s commands
• A Christian will often make the same decision as
someone of another faith or no faith
• The difference is the reason for making the
• What would Jesus have done?
“If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your
feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet
Paul in 1 Cor.11:1 “Follow my example as
follow Christ’s
Is the decision in accordance with
the law of love?
“I give you a new commandment: love one
another; as I have loved you, so you are to
love one another. If there is this love among
you, then all will know that you are my
disciples” (Jn 13:34)
Summary of the Commandments
All three synoptics record Jesus summary of
the 10 Commandments. “Love the Lord your
God with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your mind and with all your strength”
and “love your neighbor as yourself.”
(Mk 12:29-31, Mt 22:37-9, Lk 10:27-8)
Paul’s version
‘All commandments are summed up in one
rule, “Love your neighbour as yourself”:
therefore the whole law is summed up in
love’ (Rm 13:9-10)
Paul’s Hymn of Love
1 Cor. 13:4-7
• A love which is central to all Christian morality;
“Love is patient, love is kind and envies no
one. Love is never boastful, not conceited, nor
rude, nor selfish, not quick to take offence.
Love keeps no score of wrongs, does not gloat
over other men’s sins, but delights in the truth.
There is nothing that love cannot face; there is no
limit to its faith, its hope and its endurance.”
John’s Love
The love that is demanded of Christians being a
gift from God to be received and shared.
(1John 4:7,16,19)
There is not and never can be ONE Christian
ethic. Basing one’s response on love gives
flexibility of action and variety to the possible
answers to a problem
In an ideal situation
1. Prayer
Praying for guidance – the belief that God can
guide the individual through the work of the
Holy Spirit which Jesus promised would guide
them into all truth (Jn 16:13)
Demonstrates that the HS and speak to people
through their consciences
2. The Word of God is an important source of
Infallible --- studied in context --- applied
to particular situations
3. Traditional teaching does not exist on all
moral issues.
Sometimes one part of the church will offer
clear guidance eg Roman Catholic Church – in
the belief that God’s HS guides people
through the tradition of the church as a body
rather than as individuals.
Denominational Filters
Sources of authority eg traditional or Episcopal
• Protestants – Biblical primacy
• Catholics – Natural Law
• Pentecostals – the pastor’s instructions
• Both Natural Law and Biblical Primacy are
absolutes – certain actions that go against our
human nature – Aquinas
• It is RIGHT or it is WRONG
• Based on the centrality of love
• It depends on the context or situation in
which it occurs
• Situation ethics claim that Jesus came to do
away with the legalistic approach replacing it
with the law of love (Mt 5:17)
• Life is a gift from God but death is inevitable
• Medical care can now prolong life in ways that
it never could have before.
• Is sustaining life at any cost appropriate?

similar documents