What are five implications of St. Paul's teachings for setting ethical standards?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

St Paul is attributed with having written the Pauline Epistles although how many of them he wrote remains contentious. Many people will be familiar with the book of Romans and with Corinthians , and to a lesser extent, Galatians, Thessalonians and others. The Acts of the Apostles, believed to have been written by Luke also contains many of Paul's teachings. Paul wrote some of his letters whilst in prison.    

Paul taught that men will be judged according to the way they lived their lives in the faith. In Ephesians2 (8-9)it states:

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

This is not a universally accepted mantra however, although it is the strictly Catholic interpretation. It is the translation that causes problems as different academics translated the word"grace" to mean "favor" and, as such, the favor must be repaid in life.

However, what is universally accepted is that any Christian "by faith" will do good unto others and therefore the good works are part of the person and not to be measured on their own.  

Ethically, setting standards in a business environment will be affected by the compassion any Christian is expected to show and putting others before oneself should create a work environment where teamwork and interaction are imperative and good communication is ensured.    

St Paul's letter to the Romans 2 (16) refers to the issue of conscience and how man cannot escape guilt on judgment day

"..when God...will judge the secret thoughts of all."

Romans is considered to contain Paul's most complete statement of his message (Good News Bible. 1982). A good person will know what to do from an ethical standpoint as his( or her) conscience will guide him.

St Paul ministered to the people often through his writings as a way of encouragement in a very hostile environment such that his and the other writings provide

 the story of the early Christian church and its battle for survival 

In Philippians2 (8) Paul tries to provide guidelines for living a good Christian life by using Jesus as his example. Humility and putting the lives of others first is paramount in his teachings.

In the modern world, much emphasis is placed on material goods and the accumulation of them. Those more fortunate amongst us should be humbled by the fact that we are in the position and the statement "there but for the grace of God go I" should resound in any household.

St Paul set the standard high and expects much of the world in the practising of sound principles and ethica standards.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What are the implications of at least five of the teachings of Jesus for setting ethical standards? Give the Scripture reference.

One teaching of Jesus Christ is the command to "Judge not, that ye be not judged."  (Matthew 7:1, King James Version). Here, Jesus is saying that He is the final judge of all human beings. The implication for us is that we should not spend time judging others, we have our own problems, sins, and weaknesses to work out and we're no better than others.

Another teaching of Jesus Christ is His call for us to "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4: 17, King James Version). The implication is that only by way of true repentance can we be reconciled to God. In addition, our repentance causes us to change our way of thinking and living. We strive to overcome sin and live by the laws of God, which in turn is beneficial to us and our fellow man.

A third teaching of Jesus Christ is "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." (Mark 11:26, King James Version). The ethical implication here is that we cannot demand forgiveness from God for our sins and wrongdoings if we refuse to extend forgiveness to others. Jesus Christ is showing the extreme importance of mercy and forgiveness towards others.

A fourth teaching of Jesus Christ is to "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's." (Luke 20: 25, King James Version). Here, Jesus is telling us that it is right to obey the governments who have authority over us. In essence, he's talking about paying taxes, giving to the authorities what they have the legal right to claim from the citizenry. The implication is that we must obey the laws of the nation in which we live.

A fifth teaching of Jesus Christ is " A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34, King James Version). The implication here is that love solves a multitude of problems. When we obey Jesus Christ's command to love others we will think and act in their best interests, desiring no harm or misfortune to come upon them. This is the essence of ethical behavior.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on