Is the System of Christian Ethics Biblical?

God wants Christians to follow His teachings, which Christian ethics are based on. Christian ethics teach that we should love others as God loves us. It also teaches us to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to others.

Contributing Writer
Published Sep 18, 2021
Is the System of Christian Ethics Biblical?

In short, yes Christian ethics are biblical. Christian ethics is one of the many ethical systems in the world today.

Correct Christian ethics are based on the teachings of the Bible. Christians should follow Christian ethics because following Christian ethics is following God.

The Basis of Christian Ethics

Ethics is the principle of morals. Christian ethics roots morals in the divine Word of God. The Bible contains everything a believer needs to know for salvation, the right way to live, and following Jesus.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

It is best for all people to root their ethics in the Bible and not in the ethical systems of the world. Following the morals in the Bible will result in the best life for us and others. Ultimately, Christian ethics teach us the correct way to live in order to serve, obey, and honor God.

As rightly stated by theologian Wayne Grudem, “Christian ethics asks what the whole Bible teaches us about which acts, attitudes, and personal character traits receive God’s approval and which ones do not.” Christian ethics are not just rules to follow, rather, they are a way of life.

Christian ethics are based on the perfect, true, moral character of God. Everything God teaches us in the Bible aligns with His holiness. Within God’s character, He is loving, merciful, forgiving, kind, compassionate, just, right, and holy.

Since God has these morals, believers should too. God cannot commit sin, but human beings can. This is why believers need to follow Christian ethics because they are in accordance with God’s nature. To obey God is to love Him (John 14:15).

God wants Christians to follow His teachings, which Christian ethics are based on. Christian ethics teach that we should love others as God loves us (Mark 12:30-31). It also teaches us to be kind, compassionate and forgiving to others (Ephesians 4:32).

Within the Christian ethical system, mercy is taught as well as holiness and truthfulness. Each of these morals is based on the Bible passages of Luke 6:36, 1 Peter 1:15, and Titus 1:2. Christian ethics stress the importance of not lying to one another (Exodus 20:16). Since God does not lie, Christians should not lie either.

Even in tough times, honesty is always the best policy. Some Christian educators believe there is a value to lying in the event of a major catastrophe, such as was the case when the midwives lied to protect Moses (Exodus 1:15-21). In the event of life or death, you may have to lie in order to save another person.

This still falls within the proper realms of Christian ethics. An example is if you were a Christian hiding Jews during World War II, and a Nazi came to your door asking if you had seen any Jews. Obviously, you would say no in order to protect the Jews’ lives.

This type of lying is protecting the individual of evil intent. However, common lying or “white lies” have no place in the Christian ethical system. 

Christian Ethics in Marriage

Christian ethics oftentimes become placed in the spotlight because of its stance concerning marriage. It is not uncommon for Christian ethics to be attacked because of its view on marriage. As previously stated, Christian ethics are built upon the Word of God, thus, everything within the Christian ethics system comes straight from the Bible.

The Bible says marriage is between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24), which is why Christian ethics affirm marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman. Christian ethics does not allow marriage between two men, two women, or a man to have multiple wives nor a wife to have multiple husbands.

The Bible teaches that marriage before God is strictly between one man and one woman without exemptions. This is a major cause of dispute in mainstream media today with the belief “love is love” and the increase of accepting homosexuality. Homosexuality should not be practiced by Christians nor encouraged (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

This does not believers should shun or push away those struggling with homosexuality, but rather, to help and be a friend to them. Homosexuality is a mental illness as well as a sin. Christians should help those struggling with homosexuality seek out God’s guidance, help, and love.

It is a misnomer to believe that a person cannot be a Christian if they are a homosexual. This is an erroneous teaching as the Bible does not tell us this. Just as a Christian can struggle with anger and still be a Christian, another Christian may struggle with homosexuality and still be a Christian.

This is because being a Christian is not based on what a person does or their “good deeds.” Being a Christian is placing faith in Jesus Christ for redemption (Ephesians 2:8-9). It would be best for those struggling with homosexuality to abstain from same-sex desires and live a life of singleness. Singleness is a great calling and should not be looked down upon.

The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others — and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it” (Matthew 19:10-12).

Furthermore, Christian ethics teach that it is immoral to divorce one’s spouse. This is in direct correlation with the Bible as Jesus reaffirms in the New Testament that divorce is not permitted (Matthew 19:3-9). The only grounds for divorce is marital unfaithfulness (Matthew 19:9). If a married couple does get a divorce, they either had to both remain single or be reunited together (1 Corinthians 7:11).

Marriages will have conflicts, but Christian husbands and wives need to be able to stand by each other even in the most difficult circumstances. God should be the foundation of all marriages and each marriage needs to have understanding, forgiveness, kindness, love, and mercy.

Why Does This Matter?

Christian ethics are biblical because each teaching of Christian ethics comes from the Bible. The Bible contains everything we need to live a holy life for God, and we would be wise to follow its teachings.

The other ethical systems of the world are created by man, which means they are going to have sin involved or have “flexibility” in relation to moral norms. For the believer living in the 21st century, the best ethical system to follow is the Christian ethics system. This system is completely biblical and will lead you to living a life to the glory of God.

For further reading:

Does God Expect Us to Be Perfect?

Wanting to Want What God Wants

Why Should We Not Be Weary in Doing Good?

What Is the Difference Between Obedience and Legalism?

Are You Making Decisions out of Love or Legalism?

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/kieferpix

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.


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