by pastor david
“I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”
At www.dictionary.com, we find the official definition of the word, “conscience”. It reads, “The inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action.”
The Bible teaches that our conscience, or inner sense of right and wrong, is a part of our original DNA. However, like everything else about us, that aspect of our DNA was polluted by sin in the Garden of Eden. The corrupted DNA has been passed down to each of us, from that day until now. It is a part of our “sinful nature” with which we are born and a part of us that needs to be redeemed.
In (Acts 23:1) we read Paul’s bold declaration, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day”.
Every person who has come to God and acknowledged Christ as personal Lord and Savior should strive to maintain a clear conscience toward God and toward his fellow man. A clear conscience involves that inner freedom of spirit toward God and others, that comes by knowing that God’s holiness is not offended by one’s thoughts or actions. It also includes the freedom that comes from knowing that no one can point a finger at you and say, “You have offended me, and you have never asked for my forgiveness”.
Far too often, when our conscience alerts us to our wrongdoing, we begin to rationalize. It is our natural inclination, because of our polluted conscience, to find other people or circumstances, which are to blame for what we have done. The greater our guilt, the more we must blame. The resulting bitterness and guilt are devastating to our mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
It is essential that we recognize and confess wrong actions against God, as well as others we have offended. However, it is more important to discern, confess, and change wrong attitudes, which either caused or resulted from our wrong actions.
In (1 John 1:9), we read, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. The wise writer of the Proverbs tells us that, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy”. (Proverbs 28:13)
The only way to “live in all good conscience” is to keep short accounts with God.
According to Jesus, one of the tasks of the Holy Spirit is to convict us when we have done wrong. (John 16:8) The moment we sense in our spirit that we have done something wrong, we should pray for clarity: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24) God will immediately make perfectly clear to you what you have done wrong and will graciously forgive your sincere confession and repentance. Again, (Proverbs 28:13) is applicable here: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
The peace of mind that comes from a clear conscience is priceless. Knowing your sins are forgiven and that nothing stands between you and your Savior is inestimable. Let us make it our goal to “always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men”. (Acts 24:16)
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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