Friday, November 1, 2013

Don't Violate Your Conscience

Don’t Violate Your Conscience
Acts 24:16
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

Have you taken great pains to have a clear conscience before God and man? Or, have you allowed the culture we live in to train you to ignore your guilt feelings–––making your conscience weak? This is a dangerous position in the life of a Christian. If you have found your conscience to be contaminated by this fallen world, you are certainly not alone. Many just like you have come out of all kinds of sinful backgrounds, and praise be to our God and Savior, He has "cleansed your conscience from dead works to serve the living God" (Hebrews 9:14).

As a Christian, you have the capacity to walk before God with a clear conscience, your daily privilege and joy. God graciously implanted something powerful within you to aid you in the battle against sin. He gave you your conscience, and that gift is the key to bringing you joy and freedom. Examining your guilt feelings in the light of Scripture and then confessing and forsaking your sin will cleanse your conscience. This is an on going characteristic of the Christian life and it is important that you deal with the sin God’s Word reveals–––immediately.

Sometimes people put off dealing with their guilt, thinking their conscience will clear itself over time. This won’t happen. Procrastination allows the guilt feelings to become infected generating depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. Guilt feelings may persist for long periods of time and could show up in other areas of life making people feel guilty and not knowing why. This could be a signal that something is very wrong spiritually. Titus 1:15 ~ Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

A weak conscience that is easily grieved is a result of a lack of knowledge of the Word of God. Always respond to your conscience, even if it's weak, and continue to learn from God's Word so you and your conscience can begin to function in the light of Scripture. Never ignore your conscience and don’t live on feelings only. If your conscience looks at only your personal feelings, it can accuse you wrongfully. Discouraged or melancholy feelings will provoke unnecessary doubts and fears in your soul when not kept in check by a conscience that is well-advised. The conscience must be influenced by the Word of God, not by your feelings.

The conscience is a precious gift that God has given every living soul. So, don’t violate your conscience! To violate your conscience means you are willingly doing what you think to be wrong. The conscience is a voice that speaks deep within you. It cries out when it’s being spoiled by sin. With a bad conscience, your faith becomes withdrawn or damaged, causing doubt to manifest itself along with insecurity and fear.

Many who were once among us, but today find themselves a part from God and fallen in the world, rejected their conscience, because "...the spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron..." (1 Timothy 4:1-2) With a good conscience, we have conviction to enter the "Holy of Holies" (Hebrews 10:19-22), like we also have the conviction to: "... proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound," (Isaiah 61:1).

Thought: What is your conscience saying to you? Can you say with Paul, “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day” (Acts 23:1) or, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 9:1)? Christian, fight to keep a pure conscience, by sanctifying yourselves every day, in order to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. (2 Timothy 2:15).

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