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The title about morality immediately poses three questions. 1. Can or should we define good and bad behavior? 2. Do morality and behavior matter in human affairs? 3. Can there be one worldwide code of ethics to establish a basis for well-being?
This chapter will answer those questions. The context is practical psychology, the internal and external influences on all humans, our consciousnesses and minds. Should this impact from all sides be regulated? I just got a new phone, and in the settings, there’s a heading, Digital Wellbeing and parental controls. It includes sections like supervising this phone remotely, keeping an eye on screen time, setting limits as needed, and adding restrictions to services like app approvals or content filters…
(Mind-Body Problem Solved, Chapter 37 – Table of Contents)
First, we have the very deliberate word control. It’s giving parents the authority to manage content accessible to their children. In biblical terms, it’s saying have dominion over (Genesis 1:29). This means parents have a responsibility to supervise and set limits for what their children see, hear, and do with their phones. Put another way; parents govern what influences impact their children’s minds. That’s practical psychology and applies to all parents and children worldwide.
Since, not If, parents manage what goes into children’s minds, WHO and WHAT supervises what goes into parent or adult minds? What control is there over influences and forces that affect the population? In other words, is there a universal code to define what good and bad behavior is? The answer is yes.
The Explanation has developed the five areas of consciousness (purpose, function, socialization, rulership, and reasoning). How humans function includes 7 steps, the fourth of which is ethics; they define acceptable behavior (3rd component of how humans function) and are guaranteed by equitable justice (5th component). Common sense, terms and conditions of use (which govern everything we come in contact with), and the Bible indicate, without hesitation, that morality and ethics are essential for societal relations to run smoothly. That’s the answer to questions 1 and 2 above.
A worldwide code of ethics
The definition of Godly psychology is Scripture, as it influences human consciousness and mind. In the last chapter, we saw God clothed disobedient Adam and Eve, the parents of humankind. I wrote, figuratively, clothing, like nakedness, points us to a frame of mind, a way of critical thinking coupled with a way of acting, in short, behavior. Clothing for undisciplined human beings represents God’s code of morality. Despite Adam and Eve’s rejection of God, He clothed them, representing His desire for human well-being via a code of ethics. We’ve just answered the third question.
Furthermore, God told Adam and Eve (humankind) to govern the world (Genesis 1:28). He told them their purpose It follows that He also gave them a code of HOW TO GOVERN themselves, how to socialize, and how to rule to reach peace and prosperity for all.
The only question is, what is this universal code?
As we look at the theological answer to this all-important question, please realize why we’re doing this. We want favorable mental health for all humans. Psychologically we must have the RIGHT INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR INFLUENCES ON PEOPLES CONSCIOUSNESSES AND MINDS to reach that goal. The universal code or morality represents those influences. That’s practical psychology. So, while we establish the theological answer, we are designating the foundation for mental health. God’s morality and ethics, His universal code that governs all human behavior, is the road to humanity’s well-being.
We’re talking theology, but we’re tackling applicable psychology. I use the word tackle because of its meaning; determined efforts to deal with a difficult task. The Apostle Peter describes Paul’s epistles; some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures (2 Peter 3:15).
We are going to briefly discuss Paul’s writings on morality and ethics. Those terms are not in the Bible; instead, Paul uses the expression law. And so, all sorts of questions arise as to what law? The Ten Commandments, civil, moral, or ceremonial law? Then there’s the law of Moses and the law of Christ. Yes, we have to talk about law, but it must apply to influences on humans.
Here’s the context. The Apostle Paul is writing to a group of converted Christians in Galatia, the area of Ankara, Turkey, today. He describes the spiritual state of all human beings before and after a specific event, the death of Jesus Christ. Christ’s death took place about 2000 years ago. But, this is primary, Christ’s death applies to an individual human being, you and me, only when it’s accepted in one’s personal life. Paul accepted Christ on the road to Damascus a few years after Christ’s death and the Galatians a few years later when Paul preached to them; I accepted Christ some 50 years ago.
Understanding this timeframe distinction is important because Christ ushered in the New Covenant, but an individual person is only part of the New Covenant when they sign it; in other words, when they accept Christ, repent, are baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit, which is the seal of the New Covenant (Ephesians 1:13 …In whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise). For those converted Christians, we shall discuss Christian psychology in Section 7, the next, and the last one of this book.
Paul is writing to converted Galatians and explaining their and his spiritual state BEFORE and AFTER this crucial turning point in their individual lives. This Sixth Section of Mind-Body Problem Solved refers to all people worldwide BEFORE they accept the death of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins in their lives. Section 6 addresses UNcoverted people worldwide and what should influence their psychological makeup so they and all humankind can benefit from favorable mental health. The worldwide code of ethics applies to them.
22 But the scripture has concluded all under sin (Sam: every human being who has ever lived), that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe (Sam: at the time each person accepts Christ).
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up to the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (Sam: this is the before and after. Paul and the Christians in Galatia and elsewhere are after, but all other humans are before, hence they are still under the law… we shall see what that means)
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Sam: the law leads people to Christ).
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Sam: Christians are no longer under the law, but all others are still under the law. Their schooling under the law will be over when they meet/accept Christ).
26 For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Sam: those who have repented, been baptized, and received the seal of the Holy Spirit).
From these verses, five points are clear.
- All under sin means every human being. past, present, and future. We are ALL sinners.
- The law was a schoolmaster, and schoolmasters are a good thing.
- The law teaches us what sin is. It instructs us what to do and what NOT to do. It reveals right and wrong, good and bad.
- People are no longer under a schoolmaster when they accept faith in Christ, are baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit.
- Summary: ALL are sinners, ALL are under the law, and all need and are under this schoolmaster, except Holy Spirit-led Christians.
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The Ten Commandments
What is this schoolmaster law? Paul tells us in Gal. 3:17, the law that came 430 years after the promises made to Abraham, The Ten Commandments, the law given after the Exodus to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not to forget the mixed multitude (non-Israelites, they represent the Gentiles.) who exited with them (Ex. 12:38). This is a primary issue. ALL (Israelites and Gentiles) people, past, present, and future are sinners and, therefore, under the schoolmaster law, now defined as the Ten Commandments. We will discuss ceremonial, moral, and civil law; for now, at a minimum, ALL people are UNDER the Ten Commandments.
That’s the theology; now apply it to practical psychology; the interior and exterior influences each person should practice and submit to are the Ten Commandments. For now, let’s just take the last six Commandments.
5. You shall honor father and mother
6. You shall not murder
7. You shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal
9. You shall not lie
10. You shall not covet
We’ll discuss the first four Commandments later. Just imagine the psychological effect on people if all of society, the WHOLE world, applied just those six laws. Had a schoolmaster that taught children and adults they are liable to (under) those six laws. In the last chapter, God clothed Adam and Eve, parents of all humankind, with coats of skin representing the right way of life in the world outside the Garden. At a minimum, the above six commandments should clothe ALL humans.
This morality and ethics are the fundamentals of practical psychology. Do you see how this application would increase mental health? If you knew your neighbor and children would abide by these rules. I realize this is hypothetical, but God clothed all humans with the potential to reach this goal. Not to get ahead of the story, but the Bible reveals there will be a Godly society of UNcoverted inhabitants on Earth governed by the Ten Commandments that will have psychological peace. See Micah 4:4 “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.” That’s physical prosperity and psychological peace for EVERY human.
Paul continues this theme of being under the law into the next chapter of Galatians.
1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: (under sin)
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
I’ve bolded four phrases that begin with the word under. Verses 2, 3, 4, and 5. All people, past, present, and future, are under tutors, the law, and sin… UNTIL the time appointed of the Father. Yes, Christ came at the appointed time, about 2000 years ago. BUT, and I repeat, a person only receives the adoption as a child of God when God the Father calls them at His appointed time for them. John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which haw sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Here’s an analogy to clarify how God works with humans. God has a signed contract, with the blood of Jesus Christ, to forgive sin. That contract is ready for anyone God calls. But that contract, like any contract in only valid when the second party’s signature is affixed to that contract. The person must accept the conditions, the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Only then are they no longer under the schoolmaster of the law. They have other obligations we’ll discuss in the last section of this book.
The point of this chapter is that until a person signs the contract with God, they are under the schoolmaster, under the law. And the basis of that law is the Ten Commandments. Is that a good or bad situation for those under the law? To have a schoolmaster?
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life (Sam: positive influence on the neshama-ruach), I found to be unto death (When Paul signed the contract).
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me (Sam: the law is the tutor explaining/defining what sin is).
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (Sam: these are the Ten Commandments that are the foundation of morality).
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? (Sam: Paul is asking, “is the law bad?”) God forbid (No). But sin, that it might appear sin (the commandments tutor us about sin), working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (Sam: the Ten Commandments define the code of morality, it is this spiritual law that should impact the neshama-ruach of all humans, This is God’s law impacting the mind, appropriate psychology leading to favorable mental health).
God’s Word establishes that the Ten Commandments teach us what sin is and, therefore, what morality is. They show us what our thoughts, free choices, and behavior should be, what should influence each human being’s consciousness and mind and what should not, positive and negative psychology. Over the following chapters, we shall show the extent of these fundamental rules for life; morality and its favorable impact on mental health.
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