God’s Values Clarified

Author: Robin D. Fish

Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.

Values clarification is the new thing among educators. Values clarification seeks to lead the student to abandon the values handed down by parents and church and encourages the student to develop “his own” values. What is not being said is that when one abandons a set of values, the other values he or she adopts must be different, and if one abandons the values of God, they must arrive at a different, ungodly set of values. Far from making values clear, values clarification confuses the subject. But if one is to abandon a set of values, it is well that they understand what it is that they are abandoning. This study will attempt to briefly identify and examine the values God has revealed as His own.

1. The first and most familiar statement of values by God is the Ten Commandments. Don’t just go by memory, but read them again. They are recorded in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

Without quoting the commandments, make a list of the actions and/or attitudes commanded in these commandments. Is there anything here that needs to be abandoned?

Do these commandments need clarification, or are they clear by themselves?

2. Look at Psalm 41:1. What value is being praised here?

Notice that although this Psalm was written about 3,000 years ago the values are very modern. In America today we might call this attitude “social conscience”. The Bible calls it mercy or compassion. Should this value be abandoned in favor of something else?

3. A second great record of the values of our God is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew in what we call the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5-7. Turn to the Sermon on the Mount and examine the values expressed by our Lord.

Law can be viewed as forbidding and negative, but it need not be viewed so. Read Matt. 5:32, for example. If the value endorsed here were stated positively, what would you say the Lord was saying?

Is chastity or marital fidelity something undesirable? Would anyone say that divorce is, as a general rule, desirable or pleasant?

4. Matt. 5:39-41 deals with a very modern problem, abuse. This is not, of course, dealing with life-threatening abuse but casual (or not so casual) social mistreatment. How does the response of the Lord differ from the accepted response of our day?

What positive values do you see here? Do they need improving?

What mother doesn’t try to teach her children to share? Now look at verse 42. Is this a positive value?

5. Verses 43-48 express an uncommon and unpopular value. What is it? Is it bad?

Why do you think it is so uncommon and unpopular?

Would this value improve life on this planet? Does this value need to be “clarified”?

6. On a piece of paper, list the topics of the following verses in one column, and then the values expressed in these topics in a second column: Matt. 6:19-21, 24, 25-27, 29-33, 34.

Which values are yours?

Which values sound “good in theory” but are difficult in practice?

Which values would improve life (if generally held to) and which would make life less pleasant? Do any of these need to be changed?

7. Matt. 7:1-5 speaks of judging others. It could also be understood as addressing justice and humility. What values do you see there?

Humanists are fond of quoting various old sayings like “Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.” How does this compare?

Is it even more comprehensive? How so? Are these (from the verse) good values?

8. Certainly Matt. 7:12 is a familiar rule. What is it usually called?

Discuss how this value compares with popular “modern” values such as equality, patience, understanding, and consideration for others. Try stating this verse as rule for others when dealing with you. Is there anything objectionable in this rule then?

Why do you suspect anyone would want to change or “clarify” this value?

9. Scripture often catalogs values – gives us a list of commandments. Look up each of the following passages and list the commandment, and then identify the value stressed by each commandment: Matthew 18:21-35, 1 Peter 3:8-9, James 1:26-27, Romans 12:9-21.

If these were the general principles of human conduct, how would the world be different?

Look at the parable in Luke 18:1-8. Notice the point of the story, mentioned in verse 1. What would this one value do to the suicide and drug abuse rates if everyone accepted it?

10. Discuss: Why is there a push against these values? Are they bad values? Is there a power behind this desire to have other values?

What is there in man that makes him seek other values? Does man’s inability to keep these commandments have anything to do with his rejection? How would that be so?

Romans 3:20 tells us that the Law teaches us how sinful we really are. Naturally, that makes it unpopular with man. Who wants to be seen as wicked?

11. The final value of God we will look at in this study is found in Romans 8:31-39. We are what is valued here. What is our value (v. 32)?

What is that value called (v. 39b)? What is the effect of that valuing (v. 35-37)?

What confidence can we draw from this gospel valuing of us by God (v. 38- 39)?

Is this not a pleasant value? Would you like to see this abandoned or changed?

Close this study with prayer for God to lead you into a closer harmony with His values by the power of His Spirit, for Christ’s sake.


1986 Bible Science Newsletter.

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