The Conscience

One of the most important assets of life is the conscience, and one of the most important for believers is the subject of a clean conscience.  The conscience can be ignored and defiled but not without loss and failure.

When the conscience is ignored or defiled over and over, the result is a loss of sensitivity to it, and therefore a greater boldness to commit sin.

First, look at Acts 23:1 where the Apostle Paul said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”

Then in 24:16 he said, “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.”

Look at 2 Cor. 1:12 and notice that our conscience testifies!  “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.”  The conscience of man will testify to the rightness or wrongness of something in our lives.  If we continue to refuse it’s testimony, the time will come when we will not be bothered by it’s testimony. 

1 Tim. 3:9 and 2 Tim. 1:3 speak of “a pure conscience”, and Tit. 1:15 speaks of “a defiled conscience.”

Look at Heb. 13:18 and notice: “Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.” 

The word “conscience” is from a word that means, to see completely; become aware; to be informed; to know; internal or self-knowledge of right or wrong.  I could call it “The courtroom of the heart.” Our conscience is our internal critic, our inner voice. 

Read John 8:1-11 and notice,  these are not saved people, but they were religious people, and I think there were some in the crowd who were guilty of the same sins. Notice verse 9 which states,  “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

Jesus appeals to their conscience in verse 7.  “So when they continued asking him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

He did not accuse them of being sinners, however, their conscience did!

A “convict” is one who is judged to be guilty.

There are several factors in how the conscience is responded to.

1. Desire. If we desire to be right with God, we will respond in righteousness. Psm. 145:19 “He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”   Prov. 11:23  “The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.”

2. Deception.  If we are deceived (and want to be), we will respond in denial of our conscience and excuse our actions. Rom. 7:11 “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.”

3. Defiance.  If we desire to do our own will, we will respond in unrighteousness and violate our internal witness.  James 4:17

My dear friends, please for our own sake and the sake of those we love, let us listen to the good conscience as God deals in love with our hearts.

Guard your heart….Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

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