Our Conscience

Our conscience is given to us by God.  It is described in Rom 2:14-15 “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,  who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them.”  Our conscience is defined as the moral sense of right and wrong, chiefly as it affects our own behavior.  In Genesis 3 we read how that Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They then realized they were naked so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  I understand that their eating of the tree gave them a conscience and since then, all people have had a basic knowledge of good and evil and a conscience.  Our conscience tells us when we do something wrong and it also tells us when we do something right.  But it can be an imperfect guide.  If a person has not been taught God’s will, they may think they are doing right but in reality they are doing wrong.  1 Timothy 4:2 tells us that people can have their conscience seared as with a hot iron.  When our skin is seared with something very hot, we lose the ability to feel.  In the same way, our conscience can lose its ability to feel that something is wrong and is no longer a good guide.  Sometimes our conscience reminds us of the sins of our past.  We continue to feel bad about things we have done years ago.  But through the blood of Jesus, we can have a clean conscience.  Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”  1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  If God has forgiven us through the blood of Jesus, we need to forgive ourselves and clear our conscience.

As Christians, we need to be led by the Spirit.  Romans 8:13-14 “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”  How do we receive this leading?  I believe that the Spirit can lead us through our conscience.  Since He will never lead us in ways contrary to the will of God revealed in the scriptures, we can always check what our conscience tells us through the scriptures.  But we have to follow the leading of the Spirit.  If we ignore the Spirit, I am confident we will grieve Him.  Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”  Let us then follow our conscience.  1 Timothy 1:19 “Holding on to faith and a good conscience.  Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.”

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