A Clear Conscience (Part 1)
This week we will be looking at the Conscience. Why is it important to have a clear conscience? What is conscience? How do we keep it clear? These are the questions we will be looking for in God’s word today as we study. We will learn how important it is to be in right standing with God. I hope you all will be blessed.
Handout: The Clear Conscience
Acts 24:16 “16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men”
What is conscience? The dictionary defines conscience as, the complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual. The inner sense of what is right and wrong.
Have you ever done anything wrong, maybe told a lie to someone, or took something that didn’t belong to you, or gotten angry and said words you should not have said and then you feel terrible? That is your Conscience telling you that you should not have done what you just did and that you need to do something about it!
Many times in God’s word we read about having a clear conscience. We also learn in Titus 1:5 that if we continue to sin, our conscience is defiled and in 1 Timothy 4:2 that one who keeps on sinning against God can sear their conscious so that they are not convicted by their wrong doing anymore. In other words they are no longer tender toward the leadership of the HOLY SPIRIT.
God placed a conscience inside every person. It’s that knowledge of good and evil. Most grow up knowing what is right and what is wrong. Then when we surrender to JESUS and accept Him as LORD and SAVIOR, the Holy Spirit will move in and as we grow in faith and in learning God’s word, He teaches our conscience and will lead us in the right ways if we will yield to Him. There are some people, unfortunately, who stop listening and they go against what their conscience is telling them and soon it is seared and they are no longer sensitive to the HOLY SPIRIT’S leadership and it causes coldness, and a dead spirit.
We are known according to the fruit we bear.
Luke 6:43-45 “ 43For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
The more involved with sin we become the more hollowed out we become as a human being and we need more and more sin, because we are not fulfilled by God. Today we are going to learn some of the things that happens when we do not have a clear conscience with God.
I heard a story once about a young soldier in the army who was a Christian but when he went to a different country to serve in the military, on his days off he decided to go to a local hang out and play some games. That place was filled with people who were non Christian and it was a very sinful place. The young man reasoned with his own conscience that he could keep himself from the sin, but just play the game of billiards. VERY soon he found himself doing things he never thought he would do, and he found that every time it was harder to say no to the temptations that would come at him, until one day he found himself completely cold and indifferent with God. He began to distance himself from his other Christian friends because he felt so guilty of his sin, and soon he was in a stronghold that he could not get out of alone. He was fighting as a soldier in the army but in the spiritual battle against evil, he had sadly become a casualty of war. This is how we all are. If we play around with sin, and we ignore our conscience, and we keep doing things that are wrong, each and every time it will be harder to say no until we are completely defeated and entrapped by the enemy. We must learn to be wise and repent as soon as we sin and stay spiritually strong against the enemy and his tactics so that we never become entangled in his web of sin. We want to be victors, not casualty.
When we allow our conscience to stay defiled we will have:
Matthew 15:14 “14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
Holy confidence comes from righteousness. When we have unconfessed sin in our lives, we are filled with fear and insecurity and condemnation. Yes in Romans 8:1 it tells us that there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. However, MANY people fail to read and understand the rest of that verse.
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
When we are walking in the flesh, our hearts and the Holy Spirit will convict our hearts and will feel that condemnation until we make right what is wrong and have a clean conscience.
When we are telling the good news of Christ, or trying to help people come to Jesus, it takes the anointing of the Holy Spirit to draw people, if we are walking in sin ourselves, we cannot help others until we ourselves get right with God. My dad always says that not everyone that is saved is right with God. Yes we are eternally saved, but it takes much prayer, study and correct living to be right with God!
Next, when we have a defiled conscience:
The Holy Spirit is what leads and guides us in the directions and the decisions that we should go. When we do not have a clear conscience before God because of sin, we have built up a wall of sin and the communication is not clear with Him until we repent and turn away from that sin. We cannot hear God’s voice as clearly when there is unconfessed sin in our lives. We MUST have a spirit of obedience and learn that if we are going to succeed, we MUST be able to hear God’s voice so that we can follow in the right paths. Otherwise we will be lead by satan straight to a pitfall that he has dug for us. It’s a long, hard, painful road back home. Remember the prodigal son in God’s word in the book of Luke chapter 15? He left his father’s house, and he could no longer hear the guidance and wisdom of his father and he kept making bad decisions until he had lost everything he had and was living with pigs. We will be the same way when we can no longer hear the voice of our Father telling us the right paths to take. We must know that Yes our Father is loving to us, but He is also a just and righteous God and we must respect Him and live a life of righteousness or we will have to suffer the consequences of our bad choices.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.”
Another thing that will happen if we do not have a clear conscience is:
When a Christian is living in sin, they become ashamed and they do not want to face that shame so they isolate themselves from their other Christian brothers and sisters. That’s why many of today’s Christians will not step foot inside a church and fellowship with their brothers and sisters because of the guilt that they feel. This is a tactic of the devil, he knows that if he can get you alone, out from the influence of God then he can devour you and destroy your life with this disease called sin. Sin does bring pleasure to this flesh for a little while, but it is worse than a cancer and when we don’t even realize…it is killing us spiritually and binding us up in a hold that will be so painful to get free of. We must be wise and repent daily and do our best to stay away from sin that so easily besets us.
We will stop here, but God willing next week we will continue this lesson with part 2 of The Clear Conscience. May the LORD bless and hold you this week as you live and serve our Father. God Bless you all.
Dear Righteous Heavenly Father…
Thank You for loving us and keeping us safe in Your hands. Father we come today asking You to help us keep a clear conscience before You so that we can remain sensitive to Your voice and the prompting of Your Holy Spirit in our lives. Lord we want Your favor and Your anointing. Without it, life is not worth living! We need You for ever single breathe that we take. We are Yours and we give ourselves to You happily and freely. Help us to gain control over this flesh and it’s desire for sin. Help us to die daily to this sinful nature and follow after Your ways in the Spirit. We know that if we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of this flesh and Lord we need help with that. Do it through us because alone we can do nothing! We love You, worship You, thank You and praise You because YOU ALONE ARE WORTHY! In JESUS lovely name we pray…Amen.
January 15, 2012