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Sermon No: 25977-God's will and our desires - Part 9b



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

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 3 September 2017

Topic Groups: CONSCIENCE, DESTINY

Sermon synopsis: The 4 types of conscience:
1) A good/clear conscience
2) A guilty conscience
3) A weak conscience (legalistic)
4) A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience

How do you know the difference between sinning against your conscience and calibrating your conscience?

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God’s will Part 9b (Conscience)

Jeremiah 17:9.

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

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 through our 5 senses

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 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.

Emotions.

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.

Conscience.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Guarding your heart is guarding your conscience.

Proverbs 4:23.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Guarding your heart is guarding your conscience.

A hardened heart is a calloused conscience and this is God’s means of communicating with us.

When we allow our hearts to harden, we shut out the voice of God.

This is what happened when Israel ignored the Lord continually and rebelled against Him, they ended up with calloused hearts, eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear.

Mark 4:23-25.

He who has ears to hear let him hear. Consider carefully what you hear, with the measure you use it will be given to you and even more. He who hears will be given more, he who does not hear even that which he has will be taken away.

Revelation 3:20.

Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.

How many times have you left Jesus standing outside and refused to open the door so that He can show you His will.

Hearing God.

The big problem is not that God that doesn’t speak, but Christians, like the Jews of old, do not listen.

Jeremiah 6:10.

To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The Word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

Zechariah 7:11-13. But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen…So the Lord Almighty was angry. When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen says the Lord Almighty.

1Samuel 15:22. Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings… as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice.

Obedience keeps the dialog going. If we refuse to do what God tells us, we risk deafening our spiritual ear.

God’s will and man’s conscience.

The definition of conscience:

Conscience is the consciousness of a Holy Super-Human Law which addresses itself to man’s conscious will, not to enforce obedience to it, but that a man might follow it freely and without compulsion.

Conscience is that knowledge or consciousness by which man knows that he is conforming to moral law.

If I burn my hand, I feel pain... (Body)

If someone insults me, I feel pain... (Soul)

If I sin against my moral being, I feel pain... (Spirit)

Pain is a good thing, it protects us.

Story: There was a paraplegic in a truck, with a hole in the floor-board, who burnt his foot on the exhaust and never realized it until he smelled the flesh burning.

Without the sensation of pain from our nerves, we would do great harm to our bodies. As our nerves serve to protect us from harming ourselves bodily, so our conscience protects our Spirit and Soul.

God’s will and man’s conscience.

Because no-one wants to feel continual pain, man is left with 3 choices with regards to his troubled conscience.

He kills or deadens his conscience.

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.”

If the conscience is “seared”—literally “cauterized”—then it has been rendered insensitive. Such a conscience does not work properly; it’s as if “spiritual scar tissue” has dulled the sense of right and wrong. Just as the hide of an animal scarred with a branding iron becomes numb to further pain, so the heart of an individual with a seared conscience is desensitized to moral pangs.

God’s will and man’s conscience.

He tries to appease his conscience with good deeds or causes.

He allows his conscience to bring him to Christ.

One of the foundation doctrines or first principles that a new convert needs to be taught is “Repentance from dead works”

Hebrews 9:13-14 (AMP)

For if the sprinkling of [ceremonially] defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a [burnt] heifer is sufficient for the cleansing of the body, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [Holy] Spirit willingly offered Himself unblemished [that is, without moral or spiritual imperfection as a sacrifice] to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the ever living God?

(NIV) Hebrews 9:14.

Cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God!

(c) Or from useless rituals

Conscience simply demands our obedience.

Nothing can take the place of obedience.

God does not look at the good works we do, or how much money we give to His cause, but solely at our obedience.

1 Samuel 15:22. To obey is better than sacrifice…

Unfortunately, many Christians do not obey, instead, they try to silence the voice of conscience with one or both of these methods.

A. Arguing with their conscience. They try convince themselves that something is all right because it seems so reasonable. They may point to what others are doing or may talk it over with another believer in order to get the other person to agree with them.

B. Doing good works. They try to ease their conscience by doing good works. Though not obeying God, they think that what they’re doing is just as good or perhaps even better than what God has told them to do.

Adam and Eve and conscience.

Genesis 3:7-8.

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 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 shame, fear, and estrangement Adam and Eve experienced was the response of their consciences to their sin against God.

David’s conscience.

David's conscience bothered him after he disrespected Saul.

1 Sam. 24:1-7.

After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, David is in the Desert of En Gedi. So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish. Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD. With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

Even the Pharisees had consciences.

John 8:3-11.

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? No one, sir, she said. Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.

1. A good/ clear conscience.

Acts 23:1. Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.

Acts 24:16. So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

2 Timothy 1:3. I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.

1 Timothy 1:19. Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.

1 Timothy 3:8-10. In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

God’s Spirit and man’s conscience.

When we are born-again, our minds need to be renewed by the Spirit of God, which means there will be times God's Spirit and our conscience are at war. Charles Stanley wrote: When you became a Christian, a change began to occur in your conscience. The basic moral code that everyone has at birth started to be overhauled. The Spirit of truth took up residency in your heart. Then, whether you were aware of it or not, He immediately set about to reprogram your conscience. Whereas before you had a general sense of right and wrong, the Holy Spirit began renewing your mind to more specific and complete truths

1 Corinthians 2:10-16. These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

God’s Spirit and man’s conscience.

1 Corinthians 2:10-16 (continued)

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?

But we have the mind of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

God’s Spirit and man’s conscience.

Our conscience will at times try to find ways to condone or excuse our actions when they are sinful, that is why our consciences must be subjected to the Spirit of God and His Word. A good way to tell the difference between conscience and Holy Spirit, is that the Spirit of God will never contradict God’s Word. Over time the Spirit of God will also renew and reshape our conscience as we wash it in the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12-13.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Man’s conscience is God’s witness

1 John 3:19-21. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.

A clear conscience is not our final Judge.

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.

Man’s conscience is God’s witness.

God’s judgment 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.

2. A guilty conscience.

Heb. 10:19-22.

Then he said, Here I am, I have come to do your will. He sets aside the first to establish the second.And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.

2. A guilty conscience.

Heb. 10:19-22 (continued)

Then he adds: Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

When we sin, we become miserable, wretched and sad. We may try drugs for our depression or run to psychiatrists and psychologists, looking for a cure for our misery, but these people cannot help us.

Only God can give us a good conscience.

2. A guilty conscience.

David ordered an unauthorized census be taken of Israel. Joab told David not to do it, but David overruled Joab.

2 Samuel 24:10.

David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

Numerous Psalms reveal David’s misery when he concealed his sin. This is the punishment meted out by conscience.

Psalm 32: 3-4.

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”

Verse 5. “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’–and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

3. A weak conscience (legalistic).

1 Corinthians 8:4-13.

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that An idol is nothing at all in the world and that There is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

3. A weak conscience.

1 Corinthians 8:4-13 (continued)

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

Acts 15:28-29.

It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Paul exercises the Keys of the Kingdom and “binds and looses”

3. A weak conscience.

Your conscience is your consciousness of what you believe is right and wrong.

In certain cases and especially when we are young and innocent it is quite a reliable instrument, so as a general rule you should follow your conscience.

But general rules have exceptions.

That voice in your head is not necessarily God’s voice.

Sometimes your conscience may be theologically incorrect. That was the case for Christians in Rome in the middle of the first century.

Some of those Christians had a weak conscience in three specific areas:

They ate only vegetables (Romans 14:2, 21,22)

They valued some days more than others (Romans 14:5a)

They abstained from wine (Romans 14:21; see also Romans 14:17)

3. A weak conscience.

They ate only vegetables. Romans 14:1-4. Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarrelling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.......

3. A weak conscience.

They valued some days more than others. Romans 14:5-6. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.

They abstained from wine and certain meat.

Romans 14:17-21. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

3. A weak conscience.

Romans 14:22 to Romans 15:2.

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.

Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.

Calibrating Your Conscience.

The terms “strong” and “weak” in Romans 15:1 imply that a strong conscience is more desirable than a weak one. Why wouldn’t you want your conscience to be as scripturally informed as possible?

Moving from weak to strong on a particular issue requires that you calibrate your conscience. Just like you may calibrate a clock or a scale that is a bit off, you may need to align your conscience with the standard of God’s Word so that it functions accurately.

So how do you know the difference between sinning against your conscience and calibrating your conscience?

You are sinning against your conscience when you believe your conscience is speaking correctly and yet you refuse to listen to it.

You are calibrating your conscience when Christ, the Lord of your conscience, teaches you through the Bible that your conscience has been incorrectly warning you about a particular matter, so you decide no longer to listen to your conscience in that one matter.

Calibrating Your Conscience.

The word “senses” in Hebrews 5:14 is literally “the organ of sense”

Hebrews 5:14.

But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.

The verse describes the need to train “The organ of sense” to discern between good and evil.

As a Christian, we have the mind of Christ, which can help train the organ of sense.

This is the conscience described throughout the New Testament…

4. A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience.

1 Tim. 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.

Titus 1:15-16.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

1 Timothy 6:5.

These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy..

4. A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience.

Titus 1:13-16.

One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons. This saying is true.

Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.

In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

4. A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience.

The Bible tells us that every man knows God from two sources:

A. God’s creation

B. Man’s conscience.

Creation is the witness outside of ourselves

Conscience is the witness within us.

Through a man’s conscience God bears witness to himself to that man from within that man. Professor John Murray says that a man’s conscience is the evidence of our indestructible moral nature and proof of the fact that God bears witness to himself in our hearts. In fact, the existence of conscience proves that there cannot be any atheists or agnostics in the world, in the true sense of the term. A person may live like there is no God, but inside he knows something about God. God will judge all men, Jews will be judged by the law given to them on Mount Sinai, the Gentiles will be judged, not by means of the law, but by the requirements of the law written in the heart of every human being.

4. A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience.

God has given every human general revelation.

Your conscience is your moral capacity that enables you to distinguish between what's right and what's wrong.

People muffle their consciences through drugs, alcohol, or other unhealthy immoral behaviour.

Rom. 1:18-25.

If we insist on pushing past the limits our conscience gives us, we will lose our ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

Rom. 1:26-28.

The Bible calls this condition a depraved mind.

4. A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience.

Rom. 1:18-28. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 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. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised

4. A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience.

Rom. 1:18-28 (continued)

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

4. A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience.

When someone violates the dictates of their conscience and does what their conscience considers wrong, they will then have a defiled, guilty conscience.

The last thing such a person wants to do is to come and have fellowship with the pastor or other Christians, they also do not want to go to God.

They don’t want to pick up the Bible or pray or go to church. This is all the result of having a defiled conscience.

If a person persists in violating the dictates of his conscience again and again, making such violations part of his lifestyle, their conscience will become seared, or cauterized, as with a hot iron, as we read in 1 Timothy 4:2.

When this happens, their conscience loses its signalling capacity and fails to function as a warning system.

4. A depraved mind or seared, corrupt conscience.

Nothing bothers people whose consciences have been seared.

If you look at them, you see that they are unaffected by anything and everything. Despite their obvious moral shortcomings, they continue to function in their jobs and society with great confidence. We see this type of behaviour exhibited all the time, especially in the lives of politicians and other public figures.

Such people appear to have no problems at all. But what they really have is a false peace, these people can touch a hot stove, in a moral sense, and nothing will happen, because their nerve endings are all burned up because of their continuous transgressions.

What happens in a society in which the leaders have seared consciences?

All of a sudden, good is considered evil and evil is good. That is where we are in this country now. Good is despised, abhorred, and detested; evil is praised and adored.

How to protect your conscience.

A sin in our life which is unknown to us does not hinder our communion with the Lord.

If we obey what we know to be the will of God and forsake what we know to be condemned by God, we can enjoy fellowship with Him.

1 John 1:7. If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

To "walk in the light" means to be obedient to the light we have. If we are obedient to the light we have, we can enjoy fellowship with God. The important thing is our attitude toward His will. If we desire to obey God, we can have perfect fellowship with Him from the very beginning of our Christian life. There may be many unknown sins in our life, but they are covered by the blood of Christ, the moment God reveals a sin in our life, we are responsible to confess and forsake it. If we permit any sin to remain after our conscience has condemned it, we will lose our fellowship with God.

How to protect your conscience.

John 3:16-21.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Opening the door to Jesus.

Turn from sin.

James 4:8.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Wash your hands you sinners. Purify your hearts you double-minded.

Pray.

Matthew7:7.

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Prayer however must be sincere and from our heart.

Isaiah 29:13.

The Lord says: These people come near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Opening the door to Jesus.

2 Peter 1:16-19

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

For he received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.

We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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)




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