Following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, my friend Franklin Graham said that he was “a strong conservative and a staunch defender of the Constitution who upheld moral values.”
I began to think about that statement and I realized anew that there aren’t many people in the public square these days who you can say that about. It is a tragedy of our time that so many people do not see moral values and personal ethics as principal concerns. It should be a primary concern for followers of Christ.
The late theologian and pro-life activist Dr. Francis Schaeffer stated, “The moral absolutes rest upon God’s character. The moral commands He has given to men are an expression of His character. Men, as created in His image, are to live by choice on the basis of what God is. The standards of morality are determined by what conforms to His character, while those things which do not conform are immoral.”
That is why we, the followers of Christ, must remain true to His Word. It must be our focus each day as we lean on the Lord to ensure that we are living rightly. My dad said, “Constant study of the Bible will keep us clean.” We certainly can’t be clean on our own.
In fact, in Ephesians 5:26, we read, “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” (NKJV). The Bible cleanses us and revives us; it allows us to be moral and honorable beyond ourselves. As Psalm 19:9 reminds us, “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
The renowned Christian author and pastor A.W. Tozer said, “As the excellence of steel is strength, and the excellence of art is beauty, so the excellence of mankind is moral character.”
We certainly need moral character today. Our nation cries out for moral character because there is no moral clarity among men. Our young people need moral character because on seemingly every front they are being assaulted by those who want them to forget morality and truth. Our families need moral character because God loves families that define their character by His own character. And our churches need moral character because we have an assignment: to be pure and holy so that we can effectively call people to a relationship with the Living Christ.
As Christians, we are constantly in a moral battle. The combatants reside within each of us: the old nature and the new nature we have in Christ. The old nature desires sin, but the new nature craves righteousness. Who will win? That depends on you. It depends on me. When the child of God is following the Savior, committing himself to God’s holy, infallible Word, morality and truth become a way of life and we can live in amazing ways.
As I said, our world needs truth and moral clarity. It must come from the church and Christian believers because there is no truth beyond that of Almighty God.