How’s Your Conscience? Acts 23:1 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Could you make the same statement? How’s your conscience? What is a “conscience”? What does it do? What things affect it? Let’s look at the Bible and see if we can answer these questions.
What is a Conscience?
Internal or self-knowledge, or judgment of right and wrong; or the faculty, power or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns them.
[Jn.8:9] “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. “
My pastor shapes his sermons
From A to final Z
In clear and forthright language,
And aims them straight at me.
And when he gets to preaching,
I look around to see
If there might be another
Deserving more than me.
But every soul looks saintly
Their hearts to heaven turn
While I, in my conviction,
Can only sit and squirm.
You know, I often wonder
If I should miss a day;
Would he, without his target,
Have anything to say?
- Some say that your conscience is your “heart” in the Bible, [1 Sam.24:5] David’s heart smote him when he cut off Saul’s skirt.
- [Rom.2:14-15] seems to show a separation between your heart and conscience.
- [Titus1:15] seems to make a distinction between the mind and your conscience.
- When we look at scripture, your conscience seems to act as a filter. You run all your thoughts (mind) and feelings (heart) through your conscience (filter) and then act (will). Sometimes you then “let your conscience be your guide”, right or wrong. Sometimes we disregard our conscience and do what we want.
Your conscience is the filter within you to stop impurities from getting through. You are responsible for what “media” your filter is made of. [John 15:3] Jesus said “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” The word of God needs to be the filter media used in your conscience to be sure of a clean conscience before God.
When you get saved the blood of Christ Purges your conscience, [Heb. 9:14] When you purge the files on your computer you get rid of all unnecessary or corrupt files. Christ purges your conscience (filter) from “dead works”.
During the early years of my mother’s married life, she had a young girl, Ida, helping with the housework and babysitting.
One day mother left the girl with my four-year old brother for the afternoon. When mother returned she noticed that a box of chocolates on the library table had disappeared—only an empty box remained.
She questioned Ida, who said that my brother had eaten them all while she was upstairs cleaning. Mother accepted this explanation, gave small Bill a little lecture, and dismissed the matter from her mind.
Eighteen years later, and 1500 miles away, we were surprised (there were now three children) to receive in the mail a box of candy from a Mrs. William Brown. Mother puzzled over it until the next day when a letter came, explaining that Mrs. Brown was once Ida, the hired girl of long ago.
She went on to say that she lied that day about the candy as she had eaten the chocolates herself. She had accepted Christ as Savior, joined a church, and wanted to make restitution and seek forgiveness, where possible, for wrongs of her old life. Eighteen years had passed but she still remembered the box of chocolates.
Christ purged her conscience from dead works!
Unless you strengthen your conscience, it can become weak and defiled.
- [Titus 1:15] Your conscience can be Defiled. [1 Cor.8:1-13] It will be defiled because it is Weak.
- [1 Tim.4:2] Your conscience can be Seared. [Romans 1:32] is an example.
- [Heb.10:22] You can have an Evil You probably would not want to trust in one like that. Before you were saved your conscience had no problem with some of your sin. It also by nature tried to make you do right, [Rom.2:14-15]
- Now, your conscience Convicts you [John 8:9], Bears Witness [Rom.9:1], and Testifies [2 Cor.1:12]
A tourist in Egypt had his purse stolen one night.
The sheik guide said, “I will get it for you.”
Mark his shrewd steps. He called the camp before him and asked who had the money. All denied having it. Then he made them go alone and think solemnly for an hour. Same result of denial. Only the guilty man was getting more restless all the while.
The sheik guide then had a mule placed in a tent and ordered each man in the company to go in there alone, close the flap and pull the mule’s tail, telling them the mule would bray as the guilty man pulled. One by one they filed in and out—no sound from the mule.
“Now,” said the sheik, “let each man approach, and put his palms on my cheeks. I will pick the thief.”
They had not proceeded long before the old sheik cried, “Behold the guilty man!”
He was right, and the convicted man confessed.
How did he know?
Before they went in with the donkey the sheik had daubed the donkey’s tail with some aromatic oil. Every honest man pulled the tail and his hands were fragrant. The thief was afraid to touch the tail—his hands were different.
Only a trembling hand or a finger print—that is enough.
“Be sure your sin will find you out” Your Conscience will testify against you.
- The Holy Spirit works through your conscience to accomplish His will. If you submit your conscience (filter) to the things of God (The Bible) then you will have a conscience like Paul, Void of Offence, [Acts.24:16]