Monday, April 20, 2015

A Small Study on the Conscience

Cross-cultural ministry, circumstances, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit have led me to consider and reconsider what the Bible teaches about the conscience. There is clearly a large study to be done here, but I wanted to post some brief conclusions along with some verses that I will be adding to my daily prayer list.

The Bible says that there are those with strong consciences, who correctly discern right from wrong and are free from guilt and shame. There are also those with weak consciences who feel conviction and guilt over things that are not wrong (such as eating the wrong foods). (1 Cor 8)

The Bible also speaks of those with seared and defiled consciences who can no longer feel conviction (1 Tim 4:2, Titus 1:15).

We must not violate our conscience. Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

The blood of Christ cleanses us and our conscience (Heb 9:14, 10:22).

We cultivate good, strong consciences by having a strong faith in the sacrifice Christ for a right relationship with God (no guilt, no shame) and by seeking the Word of God and the community of faith to keep us from blind spots and areas where our conscience has been hardened by experience.

Verses for my prayer list:

Acts 23:1
Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”

Father I want to live in a good conscience before you every single day. I never want to violate my conscience. Teach me wisdom and give me strength to live according to every inner conviction. Help me to only make decisions when I know my conscience is clear on the subject.

Acts 24:16
This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

2 Corinthians 1:12
For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.

1 Timothy 1:5
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

Hebrews 9:14
how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Father, I want my conscience to be cleansed. Lord there are many things that I remember that still bother my conscience, and there are many things that I have questions about. I have confessed all known sin to you, and I now I ask that you would cleanse my conscience from every dead work, that all guilt and shame would be gone and that I would walk before you in complete confidence in my service to You, in Jesus name.

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