God's will and our desires - Part 9

SERMON TOPIC: God's will and our desires - Part 9

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 30 July 2017


Sermon synopsis: To a great extent, it is our human conscience that defines who we are. Morals and moral codes are not enough to keep humans on the right path. Not even the law can do that all the time.
Only conscience stops a man from stealing something in the dark when no one else is looking.
Without human conscience, many researchers into the field argue that the behaviours of human beings would become practically unpredictable.
The boundaries between actions that are rational and those that are not would become blurred and there would be nothing to hold us back from whatever action we contemplate, be it right or wrong.
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God’s will Part 9 (Conscience)

Jeremiah 17:9.

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it.

God’s will and man’s conscience.

Romans 2:12-16.

All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.

They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Quotes on conscience.

The disease of an evil conscience is beyond the practice of all the physicians in the world.


After God, let us have our conscience as our mentor and rule in all things, so that we may know which way the wind is blowing and set our sails accordingly.

St. John of the Ladder

There is no witness so dreadful, no accuser so terrible as the conscience that dwells in the heart of every man (Polybius, c. 208-126 BC, History, bk. XVIII, 43)

Trust that man in nothing who has not a conscience in everything. (Laurence Sterne, 1713-1768, Tristram Shandy, bk 17)

Guard your heart.

The Viewpaper:

To a great extent, it is our human conscience that defines who we are. Morals and moral codes are not enough to keep humans on the right path. Not even the law can do that all the time.

Only conscience stops a man from stealing something in the dark when no one else is looking.

Without human conscience, many researchers into the field argue that the behaviours of human beings would become practically unpredictable.

The boundaries between actions that are rational and those that are not would become blurred and there would be nothing to hold us back from whatever action we contemplate, be it right or wrong.

Guard your heart.

Many studies have shown that people throughout history, who have been responsible for the greatest atrocities often showed very little remorse when they were made to account for their crimes. We often wonder how mass murderers and serial killers can actually kill people in cold blood without flinching.

Some people argue that it is because they are braver than other people and more determined but none of these is true. The reason is that their conscience is compromised.

The compromise may be due to traumatizing events in the past or due to medical deficiencies. Either way, the outcome is the same. These people have little or no conscience left in them and this is why they are able to commit such soulless crimes.

They have completely no capacity to sympathize or empathize with their victims, no capacity for mercy and, worst of all, do not feel any sense of remorse or guilt once they have committed such murders.

We are shocked by certain sins.

Police will pursue charges against five Florida teens who taunted and videotaped a man as he drowned, according to a statement released on Friday, July 21.

Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office will prosecute the teens, aged 14-18, under a statute that requires residents to report a death to the medical examiner. The charge is a misdemeanour.

“When we initially reviewed this case it was determined there were no laws broken as the teens were not directly involved with the death,” said Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe. “Further research of the statutes and consultation with the State Attorney’s Office yielded the decision to move forward with charges under this statute.”

Police said the five teens were near a body of water smoking marijuana on July 9 when they filmed James Dunn, 31, drowning. Instead of calling for help or informing the authorities, they posted the video on YouTube.

We are shocked by certain sins.

In the video, the teens said that the man is going to die, but they won’t help him. The boys laugh at the man and curse at him. When Dunn drowns, the teens laugh.

However of more concern than this is the fact that things which are blatant evil in God’s eyes are not only condoned but those criticising these actions and life styles are called bigots and unloving.

The nature of conscience.

Once an impoverished woman stole something in a store, but no-one saw her. On her way home a disturbing feeling gnawed at her peace of mind. She had to return to the store and replace the stolen item, after which she returned home feeling relieved. There are countless similar examples of people being compelled to do not what they want but what is right.

Every person is familiar with his inner voice which on occasion accuses and oppresses him, and on occasion brings him joy. This small subtle voice, an inborn feeling, is called conscience. Conscience by its nature is a spiritual instinct, which more clearly and quickly differentiates between good and evil than does the mind. He who listens to the voice of his conscience will never regret or be ashamed of his behaviour.

The nature of conscience.

Our personal experience convinces us that this inner voice, called conscience, is not under our control but expresses itself spontaneously in spite of our will. In addition, just as we cannot persuade ourselves that we are full when we are hungry or that we are rested when we are tired, similarly we cannot convince ourselves that our behaviour is correct when our conscience tells us otherwise.

In studying the culture and customs of past and present nations, one notes that all people, even the most primitive tribes, distinguish between what is good and what is bad, between good men and evil men, between virtue and vice. They are all agreed on this: that the good is worth striving for, that evil be shunned, and that the one deserves praise, the other, blame. Though in individual cases they may not be one in denominating the same thing good or evil, they are nevertheless agreed as to the general principle that good is to be done and evil avoided.

The nature of conscience.

In general, conscience is a very sensitive moral evaluator - especially in children and young people, who are still pure and innocent. If we were not stained by sin, we would not need any external guidance, and conscience alone could precisely direct our behaviour. The necessity for written law arose from original sin when man, dimmed by passion, failed to hear clearly the inner voice. In the present condition, both the written law and the inner natural law of conscience are needed;

In daily relationships with people, we subconsciously trust the conscience more than written laws and regulations. It is impossible to have laws for every imaginable situation and to foresee how to preclude any attempts at breaking them. After all, shrewd people manage to twist and manipulate even the clearest of laws. So we hope that conscience, which works inside every person, will compel the person we are dealing with to do what is morally good and just.

Adam and Eve and conscience.

Having tasted the forbidden fruit, felt ashamed and attempted to hide from God Gen. 3:7-10. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid

from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid

because I was naked; so I hid.”

The nature of conscience.

The body is a complex physical creation by which a person relates to this world and to other people in the world.

The soul includes the conscious and subconscious minds, the realm of emotions and the will and gives a man personality, self-awareness, rationality and natural feeling..

Man has a non-physical aspect which is referred to as spirit.

It is with his spirit that a man worships and may contact God..

Conscience is part of our Spirit-being but works in conjunction with our mind which is part of soul.

The nature of conscience.

The body relates to the environment. God equipped the body with five senses and the capability to be aware of the world.

The soul relates to others. Man was uniquely created with an ability to think, feel, choose and have convictions.

The spirit relates to God.

Being made in the image of God meant among other things that unlike animals, man alone could communicate and be communicated to by God in his spirit.


Adam's home was to be the earth, and God made a body for Adam out of the earth and when he died it went back to dust. 1 Corinthians 15:47.

"The first man is of the earth, earthy…"

The body which God created for man is truly amazing. It is a combination of marvels.

God made the human ear somewhat like a grand piano except that it is a million times smaller and has 100 times as many "strings." These nerves enable the ear to distinguish between thousands of sounds. How tiny is the hearing mechanism, and yet how perfect!

God created the human eye so that it is more remarkable than any camera ever made. It has been called "the wonder of wonders."

God made the heart of man so that it could beat 100,000 times a day and work a lifetime.


God made the brain of man so that it could do what tons and tons of complicated computers cannot do. The human brain contains more nerve lines than all the telephone lines of the world put together, and yet it weighs less than three pounds!

Every part of the human body is a testimony to the infinite wisdom and skill of the One who created it. We can say with the psalmist,

Psalm 139:14. "I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…"

But to put things in perspective.

This is your PHYSICAL component of being. It is flesh made from a collection of unremarkable mineral elements (but is mostly water) and is in harmony with the nature and spirit of this world. It grows, matures, begins to deteriorate, eventually dies, and then decomposes back into its constituent elements and remains a part of the dust of the world. The body is a part of you but is NOT ALL of what defines who YOU are.

The heart of man

The Bible reveals that God is concerned with our whole being.

1 Thessalonians 5:23.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The heart referred to in Scripture is not the organ responsible for the circulation of blood in our body, but as that organ is absolutely vital to the life of the body so our spiritual heart is vital for our survival spiritually.

The spiritual heart is a composition of the three parts of your soul, mind, will and emotion, plus your conscience which is the leading part of your spirit.

Let us see what the Bible says about the parts of the heart:

The mind.

Jesus told the religious scribes who were reasoning against Him.

Matthew. 9:4.

Why are you thinking evil in your hearts

Thinking is the function of your mind. But here it speaks of “thinking… in your hearts.”

Thus your mind is a part of your heart.

The will.

Both our mind and will are parts of our heart.

Hebrews 4:12.

“For the word of God is living and operative…and able to discern the thoughts and the intentions of the heart.

First, it confirms that the thoughts are of the heart. Then it speaks of “the intentions of the heart.

Since intention is a function of your will, we can see from this verse that our will is also a part of your heart.


Before the Lord Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples.

John 16:22.

Therefore you also now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you

Since rejoicing is an expression of emotion, for your heart to rejoice means that your emotions are also a part of your heart.


We can see from Scripture that our conscience is also a part of our heart.

Hebrews 10:22.

Let us come forward to the Holy of Holies, with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience

Having your heart sprinkled from an evil conscience”

This implies that your conscience is also a part your heart.

To come to God, you need to have a heart free from condemnation, to do this you need to have your conscience sprinkled with the Lord’s cleansing blood.

God has given animals instinct in order to preserve their lives and existence and likewise he has given mankind a conscience to preserve their lives and well-being.

Unlike animal instinct however, man’s conscience is subject to his free-will and is not compelling.

The foolish heart.

Man cannot create life and cannot even understand the body fully, how much less the soul and the spirit, but from Scripture and with some simple diagrams we can get a bit of a clearer picture of the complexity of man remembering that we have been made in the “Image of God”.

No wonder Scripture says the following.

Psalm 14

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”. They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no-one who does good, not even one.

Commentary: Spurgeon regarding the fool.


For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

They became foolish by exchanging the truth of God and exalting the creature over the Creator.

Vs 26-32. Tells us that, because of this exchange, God gave them up to vile passions and a debased mind.

It would appear that part of this debased mindset is the denial of the (verse 20)

Universal revelation of His eternal power and Godhead.

Commentary: Spurgeon regarding the fool.

So the fool who has said “no, God” eventually becomes foolish enough to believe there is “no God.” Dabbling in sin, choosing our will over the revealed will of God has a price and that is a hardened, foolish heart.

An example of this process is revealed as we see God harden Pharaoh’s heart as he continues in rebellion.

The heart of man.

Hebrews 3:10.

That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said. Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.

(Matthew Henry: Sin not only provokes God, but it grieves Him. A hardened heart is the spring for other sins. One sin allowed makes way for another, and every act of sin confirms the habit.)

Psalm 95:10.

For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.

From these scriptures we can see that there is a dire need for us to guard our hearts and keep them on track.

Guard your heart.

We need to guard our hearts as that is where God puts his laws as we enter into the new covenant spoken of in the Old and New Testaments.

Jeremiah 31:33.

This is the covenant I will make declares the Lord I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.

Hebrews 10:16.

This is the covenant I will make with them after that time says the Lord, I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds.

God is not interested in a shallow lip service and flattery.

Mark 7:6. He replied Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

John 4:24.

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Guard your heart.

Proverbs 4:3.

Guard your heart with diligence for it is the wellspring of life.

We put alarms on our houses and cars and put password protection on our computers and bank accounts, but we leave our hearts and minds open to be infiltrated by envy and lust and bitterness as we expose ourselves to TV programs and magazines/ books and bad company with advice and suggestions and ideas that are contrary to God’s Word.

Guard your heart.

We must protect our conscience and remember that wilful acts of sin will damage our conscience (Hardening our heart)

1 Timothy 4:1-2.

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

1 Timothy 1:5-7 & 19.

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm........

holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

Your conscience is your navigator, ignore it and you will shipwreck your life.

Fellowship is vital to guard your heart.

Hebrews 3:13.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today”, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 10:25.

Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

God said “It is not good for man to be alone” This applies beyond marriage and the accountability that brings.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Guard your heart against worldliness.

Luke 16:10-15.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Guard your heart against worldliness.

Matthew 6:19-21.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.

Guard your heart against unbelief.

Hebrews 3:7-9 &12.

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did......

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns from the living God.

Hebrews 3:18-19.

And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

We see in. that unbelief and disobedience go hand in hand, just like faith and obedience go hand in hand in James 2.

Guard your heart against envy and selfish ambition.

James 3:13-16.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

To harbour a thought, is to give it permission to stay, we all have to deal with wrong thoughts, but we don’t have to accommodate them.

Guard your heart against pride.

Daniel 5:20-21.

But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the most high God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.

Proverbs 17:3.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

Guard your heart.

What have you got stored in your heart.

Luke 6:45.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

What are you doing to store the right things in your heart?

Psalm 119:11.

I hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Ephesians 5:19.

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord.


Matthew 12:34.

The mouth is the overflow of the heart.

James 3:10.

Is it blessing and cursing from the same mouth

A clear conscience is not a sign of innocence.

We can deceive others and even ourselves, but God knows everything there is to know about us.

Paul knew that even though he felt no conviction of conscience that did not mean he was without fault.

1 Corinthians 4:3-5.

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what

is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.

At that time each will receive their praise from God.

The heart God wants.

Deuteronomy 6:5.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Since the law is fulfilled in Christ this should be the desire you have when you have been “Born again”

Jeremiah 29:13.

And you shall seek me and you shall find me when you search for me with all your heart.

Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Because our hearts are so prone to sin and deceit, we need God to examine us and expose sin.

Psalm 139:23.

Search me oh God and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts…

The Parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:18-23.

Now here is the explanation of the story I told about the farmer sowing grain:

The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the Good News about the Kingdom and don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the seed away from their hearts.

The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But like young plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word.

The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced.

The good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God's message and produce a huge harvest -- thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted."

The Parable of the sower.

There is something very important to note about this parable and that is that there are those that God has stopped speaking to!

Hard ground. (A hard heart is a choice)

Zechariah 7:8-14.

...They made their hearts as hard as flint…..

Hebrews 3:7. Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

The Parable of the sower.

Our hearts need to be prepared to receive God’s word.

Hosea 10:12.

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

Trials and difficulties can harden our hearts.

Stony ground. (A stony heart is a choice)

The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But like young plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word.

There are many who choose their own comfort and pleasure above God’s purposes and plans. Some have even formulated doctrine to justify their own agenda of living a life free of trials and persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12.

All that would live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

John 16:33.

In this world you shall have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.

Cares and anxieties will make you unfruitful.

Thorny ground. (Thorny ground is a choice)

The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced.

Philippians 4:6-7.

Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Luke 21:34.

Be careful or your heart will be weighed down with carousing and drunkenness and the cares of this life and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.

Care about the important things, not the mundane.

Cares and anxieties will make you unfruitful.

Hebrews 6:7-12.

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.

But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case, the things that have to do with salvation.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

The Parable of the sower.

The good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God's message and produce a huge harvest thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.

James 4:8-10.

Come near to God and he will come near to you.

Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail.

Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Obeying this requires our Body, Mind, Will & Emotions


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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)