Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Gospel of Moralism

On Wednesday evenings we are going through a series called Building a Biblical Church. This program is based on the Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. The main emphasis of this session is on defining a Biblical view of the Gospel. The Nine Marks ministry provides the following definition of the Gospel.

"The gospel is the heart of Christianity. But the good news is not that God wants to meet people's felt needs or help them develop a healthier self-image. We have sinfully rebelled against our Creator and Judge. Yet He has graciously sent His Son to die the death we deserved for our sin, and He has credited Christ's acquittal to those who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus' death and resurrection. That is the good news. The gospel is clear from Scripture, but unfortunately it can be clouded by many false teachings."

The video below is an example of moralism.

Moralism is an external change of behavior or conformity to a prescribed standard regardless of the inward condition of the heart.

Jesus was not very politically correct when dealing with this type of hypocrisy.

Matthew 23:25–28 (NKJV) 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Your diet will not improve your righteous standing before God. Jesus said it is the matter of the heart not the stomach.

Mark 7:18–20 (NKJV) 18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.

Through the course of history God has imposed various restrictions to man’s diet. Initially it was all vegetables, except for the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After the flood all living creatures were allowed. Under the Mosaic Covenant there were many restrictions given. Finally, under the new covenant all dietary restrictions were removed.

• Adam Diet Genesis 1:29 (NKJV) 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

• Noah Diet Genesis 9:3 (NKJV) 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.

• Moses Diet Leviticus 11:46–47 (NKJV) 46 ‘This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, 47 to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.’ ”
• Jesus Diet 1 Timothy 4:4 (NKJV) 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;

Christians are not regulated by specific dietary restrictions, but rather they are governed by conscience and conviction to glorify God at every meal.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV) 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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