The World Teaches:
The purpose of doing good in the world is to improve our own situation, to earn favor with others (even God), or because it simply makes us feel better about ourselves. What is in fact the right thing to do, though, is for each of us to decide on our own. No one person knows for sure what’s right and wrong, so no one should impose their morality on anyone else.
But Christ Teaches:
Christ’s life of love and His death on the cross moves us in love and gratitude to seek out a life pleasing to Him (John 15:5). The law that condemned us as unbelievers now becomes our guide in life, and, because of the working of the Holy Spirit on our hearts, we strive to take pleasure in living the way He originally designed us to live. The Ten Commandments remains for us a summary of the moral laws God wants us to live by, and they shape how we interact with God, each other, and society (Matt. 22:38-40). For example, one of the commandments teaches that all life is a gift of God. So we celebrate and cherish all life in whatever form it comes and reject abortion, suicide, and euthanasia. But God does not give us specific commands for every situation in life; instead, individuals are free to make decisions over many things that are neither forbidden nor commanded. In the end, though, no matter how well we think we pattern our lives after God’s Law, we realize that our works are still tainted by sin and that it’s only through Christ’s cross that God looks on us as His children and considers our works good (Rom. 7:18-21). The Holy Spirit enables us for this life of love, as well as equips us with all the spiritual gifts needed for spreading His Word and preserving our faith (1 Cor. 12:4-11). In the early church, the Spirit provided charismatic gifts (like healing and speaking in tongues), but these gifts functioned for the sole purpose of pointing people to Christ. It was recognized that these charismatic gifts were for establishing churches and were to be replaced in Christian maturity with faith, hope, and love (1 Cor. 13:1-13).