We have heard the mantra all our lives: "Let your conscience be your guide."
Some well-meaning person tries to help us make a choice by appealing to the power of emotion and feelings. Make no mistake about it, though, a conscience is a powerful and good thing. A conscience properly trained is an effective guide, but one improperly trained will occasionally or often lead to the wrong decision.
Consider the case of the apostle Paul, whose conscience misled him, though he obeyed it without question. After persecuting the Way of faith for many years, his conscience was confronted with its error and was cleansed and made practical again.
How can we build a conscience into a positive force in times of decision? The answer is simple. Your conscience can only be an effective guide when God is its teacher.
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines conscience as "the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good …. conformity to the dictates of conscience."
Continue reading » Walking Worthy: Conscience as a Guide?
The Bible overflows with exhortations to purity. Note the following passages as examples of this:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man” (Matthew 15:18-20).“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart“ (2 Timothy 2:22).
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8) .
“Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters,’ Says the LORD Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
From the preceding passages of scripture, the call of God to purity among His people becomes very clear. This call to purity covers the gamut … every aspect of our lives. One very interesting area where God demands purity is in conscience. However, a proper understanding of the term “conscience”, and the use of the term “purity” in connection with it is necessary for us to understand the teaching of scripture. This we will endeavor to establish in this article. Continue reading » Be An Example … In Purity: Purity in Conscience
Romans 2:12-16 says:
“For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained 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) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
Romans 1 had established that the Gentiles are in sin and need salvation. The point of chapter two is to show that the Jews likewise are in sin and need salvation just like the Gentiles. The point of the above verses (vv. 12-16) is an amplification of the point in v. 11 (God is no respecter of persons). So, his point is that God will condemn those who sin whether they be Jew or Gentile. Those who sin without the law (Gentiles), God will condemn. Those who sin in the law (Jews), God will condemn. Continue reading » Solid Food: The Gentiles and the Law of Conscience (Romans 2:12-16)