Christian Ethics research papers show that the true significance of Christian ethics is the necessary correspondence between the abstract system of principles set forth in scripture and doctrine and the decisions, choices, and actions that one undertakes in navigating daily life. The lived life of Jesus Christ stands as the ultimate example of a dynamic, nuanced, profoundly meaningful embodiment of Christian ethics, demonstrating the absolute inseparability of theory and practice in this unique ethical framework. Using Christ's life and teachings as an ideal exemplar, this discussion will seek to delineate and explain the most salient principles and practices that comprise Christian ethics.
Based on the teachings of Jesus, in addition to the accounts of the early Church that are provided by Paul, Luke, and other canonical and non-canonical writers, we see that the early approach to Christian ethics was largely based upon adherence to a few simple principles that Jesus reiterated repeatedly in His teachings.
- Jesus asked that His followers loved one another
- Treat each other with the same respect and regard that they hoped for themselves
A close reading of the New Testament reveals that the wide array of parables and examples that Jesus provides in His ethical teachings can all be viewed as variations on these important themes.
Ethical Principles to be Researched
While many ethical principles can be distilled from the example of Jesus' public ministry, as set forth throughout the New Testament, most of these principles can be viewed as stemming from the two core premises of the Christian ethical framework, often called the Great Commandments, which are set forth in Mark 12:28-34. These principles exhort believers to love God absolutely and to love one's neighbor as oneself. Despite variations, virtually all of the ethical guidelines set forth in Christian doctrine (particularly in the New Testament) can be traced back to these principles.
The Study of Ethical Principles
Ethics are commonly regarded as the fundamental principles against which a person judges his or her potential actions. The study of ethical principles without a corollary emphasis on actions would amount to little more than an intellectual exercise. Interestingly, though, Jesus' statements on ethical principles are more often directed towards the steps the individual must take in directing spiritual or emotional disposition and temperament than in dictating specific rules for behavior.