Theology, Ethics, & the Imitation of Christ
“Paul sees the community of faith being caught up into the story of God’s remaking the world through Jesus Christ. Thus, to make ethical discernments is, for Paul, simply to recognize our place within the epic story of redemption. There is no meaningful distinction between theology and ethics in Paul’s thought, because Paul’s theology is fundamentally an account of God’s work in transforming his people into the image of Christ.”
“The distinctive shape of obedience to God is disclosed in Jesus Christ’s faithful death on the cross for the sake of God’s people. That death becomes metaphorically paradigmatic for the obedience of the community: to obey God means to offer our lives unqualifiedly for the sake of others. Thus, the fundamental norm of Pauline ethics is the christomorphic life. To imitate Christ is also to follow the apostolic example of surrendering one’s own prerogatives and interests.”
From Richard Hays in The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics, 45-46.