Summary: What brings a person to the place where they willfully do what they know is wrong?

TITLE: The Conscience of man and the Word of God (4/25/99)

I. Introduction

Have you seen the Sunglasses and seminars commercial – this fellow is supposed to be attending seminars for his work, but decides to spend time in the sun. Only problem is – He falls asleep at the beach and gets really burned…all except for where he was wearing his sunglasses …He looked like a raccoon…obviously there was no way he was going to fool anyone that he had actually attended the seminars…

This commercial reminded me of some stories I have heard over the years.

Have you heard the story of the lady who went to the butcher to by chicken. The butcher placed a chicken on the scale and announced the weight. The lady said that’s a little too small do you have another. The butcher went to the cooler and realizing he did not have another chicken, brought out the same chicken, placed it on the scale, with his thumb holding the scale down just enough to make the chicken appear heavier. This time when the butcher announced the weight the lady replied “o that will be fine”, I will take them both.

Have you heard the story of the enthusiastic but somewhat unscrupulous salesman who while waiting to see a purchasing agent of an engineering firm to submit his company’s bid for a particular job Couldn’t help but notice that a competitor’s bid was on the purchasing agent’s desk. Unfortunately, the actual figure of the competitors bid was covered by a can of juice. The temptation to see the amount quoted became too much, so the salesman lifted the can. His heart sank as he watched thousands of Bb’s pour from the bottomless can and scatter across the floor.

Or have you heard the story of the four college students who couldn’t resist the temptation to skip finals to go to a concert. Later they showed up seeking to take the final, but were asked, “why they had missed” They told the teacher that their car had had a flat tire. Much to their relief, the teacher smiled and agreed to give them the test. He placed each of the students in a separate room and handed them the tests, which had only one question—“which tire was flat?"

(The Point)

In each case the individuals were tempted to do something that they knew was wrong.

Yet they did it anyway.


What brings a person to the place where they willfully do what they know is wrong?

The Title of my message today is

The Conscience of man and the Word of God

We will examine what the conscience is and how to keep it clear


II. The conscience

The word conscience appears 31 times in the New Testament

And by definition

It is a self-awareness (faculty) that judges whether or not an act one has carried out or plans to carry out is in harmony with ones moral standards

The bible tells us that

Everyone is born with a conscience with right and wrong written upon it

Jesus said

Matthew 7:11

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The implication is that everyone has some knowledge of good no matter how elementary it is how distorted it may be

Paul wrote that all people have a conscience

Romans 2:15

since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

However the Moral Sense all humanity carries within is marred by sin.

So, it does not work properly.

It is swayed and persuaded by desire, lust, temptation and pride

?????What brings a person to the place where they willfully do what they know is wrong?

*****What makes us go against our conscience – a conscience that we all have????

What made two teenage boys murder 15 of their classmates in Littleton Colorado last week

What make President Molosovich think its ok to murder all ethnic Albanians from Kosovo

Someone has said our conscience is like a sharp square peg in our hearts.

If we are confronted by a questionable situation, that square begins to turn, and it s corners cut into our hearts, warning us with an inward sensation against doing whatever confronts us.

If the conscience is ignored time after time, the corners of the square are gradually worn down, and it virtually becomes a circle.

When that circle turns within our hearts, there is no inner sensation of warning, and we are left without a conscience.

The Bible describes it in (I Timothy 4:2) as having our conscience seared as with a hot Iron.

Someone has said “he that loses his conscience has nothing left that is worth keeping”


The clarion call of God to all believers today is to pay attention to the condition of your conscience.

In that light I want to read three vs. of scripture—notice the emphasis

Hebrews 10:22 tell us

let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. [2] Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Acts 24:16

So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

III. Keep Your conscience clear

Keeping our conscience clear means that we must have spiritual strength to say No to life’s temptations.

Consider David

1 Samuel 26:1-11

Saul received a report of David’s latest hiding place and rushed there with 3,000 men. The army camped near David; that night he and Abishai, a follower, eluded the sentries and stood over their sleeping enemy.

[7] So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.

[8] Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won’t strike him twice."

[9] But David said to Abishai, "Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? [10] As surely as the Lord lives," he said, "the Lord himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. [11] But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go."

When David stood over a sleeping Saul—David found the strength to choose what he believed to be God’s will.

It was this strength which made David great, as it can make you and me.

You and I may never face the temptations that David faced

However we face spiritual challenges all the time

In a survey compiled by Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:

10. Materialism.

9. Pride.

8. Self-centeredness.

7. Laziness.

6. Anger/

5. Bitterness.

4. Sexual lust.

3. Envy.

2. Gluttony.

1. Lying.

In that same survey respondents gave two reasons why they so easily went against their conscience and fell into sin

Number 2 they were physically tired

Number 1 they had neglected their time with God

Where can we find the strength to choose what is right and keep a clear conscience

1.Keep your conscience captive to the word of God.

David did what the word of God said.

2.Let your conscience be conducted by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 9:1

I speak the truth in Christ--I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit—

3.Listen to your conscience.

4.Keep your conscience cleansed through confession of Sin and acceptance of God’s forgiveness.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

IV. Conclusion

What is the State of your conscience today?

I was thinking recently of the youth pastor in our church, He was having an affair with one of his students…

Though I had no idea what was wrong his Countenance betrayed his conscience.

Isaiah 3:9

The look on their faces testifies against them;