Americans are extremely influenced by a Greek worldview. This worldview compartmentalizes life and partitions our behavior into a variety of categories. In order for us to be ethically correct, we need a fixed set of rules for each compartment that applies to each of our behaviors.
The foundation of Christian ethics is not rules but the changeless character of God. The divine characteristics confronting Christian behavior are holiness, justice, and love.
When questioned by a lawyer regarding the greatest commandment, Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37–39, NKJV) With this answer, Jesus clearly establishes love as the integrative principle for our lives.
We are called to obedient love; a love through which we respond to God’s love for us. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:10-11, NKJV) Jesus was “obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8, NKJV) Knowing the will of the Father, He was prepared to obey even if it meant His death. We too are called to know God’s will and obey it, despite great personal sacrifice. This is the definition of obedient love. A love that contains both the will and character of God (holiness, justice, and love) as its orientation and is determined to obey that will. Should you be wondering, what is God’s will? Jesus made it very clear when He stated, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35, NKJV)
The integrative principle guiding us into personal integration of our faith and life is love. This love is best described as faith in action. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:6, NKJV) It is extremely likely that on judgment day Jesus will ask us, “Did you learn to love?”
We must learn to love. We must put our faith in action. Our neighbors probably have difficulty distinguishing Christians from non-Christians. This is our fault. Think about how we act. Does our behavior make anyone want what we have? Can they see Jesus when they look at us? Show your love for your neighbor. Show the world what Jesus has done for you. Love your neighbors throughout the nation.
God gave us free will. This means that all things are permissible. However, not everything is beneficial. In America we can express our free will through governing our nation as “We the People.” “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8–9, NKJV) It is our responsibility to combat the evils of this world with the love of Christ. Express your love by getting involved in governing our nation, instilling Christian values, and proving that (whether people believe it or not) God is in control of everything and adhering to Biblical principles will ensure a brighter future for our nation.