The Bible stresses that we are responsible for our moral choices. God holds us accountable for these decisions. He is fundamentally an ethical God. His moral character is the standard by which all mankind is judged. A righteous God demands righteousness in the lives of those who would seek fellowship with Him.
Psalm 15 defines those who desire to draw near to God and worship in His presence.
O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart (Psalm 15:1, 2).
The life of a man of integrity is characterized by the rejection of sin. God despises the sinner, but honors those who fear the Lord (Psalm 15:4).
God’s holiness, righteousness and justice are ethical terms. The choices involved in living an ethical life are two dimensional—vertical and horizontal. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus said to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” stating that this is the greatest commandment. He then added, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). It is not enough for people to say that they are only moral before God. Each of us is also accountable to God to live morally before mankind.
When dealing with the gray areas of Scripture, the Apostle Paul applied these two commandments to everyday life in the book of 1 Corinthians—integrity in relationships with God and with others.
In Titus 2:11-12, Believers are challenged to reject temptation and live a godly life.
For the grace of God appeared, bringing salvation to all men; instructing them to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.
The Apostle Peter challenges believers to godly living,
But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
The challenge to us as believers today is to live a live of integrity. The motivation for our morality is to glorify Christ. May we be become like Paul, whose goal in life was to know Christ. May we live a life of integrity as a witness for the gospel that others may know Him!
Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity; And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering (Psa. 26:1).
But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16).