Summary: Does our conscience lie to us? You bet it does.
I was a guest at a wedding a couple of weeks ago at the Botanical Gardens here in town. It was a little buggy, but a very sweet and well done ceremony. At the close of the service, the pastor prayed a very touching prayer for the couple and ended his prayer saying. “we ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ – Amen.”
A little girl, about four years old, immediately turned to her daddy and exclaimed” “Daddy, that man said a naughty word” I was laughing and heart broken at the same time. What has the world come to when the only thing a child knows about the name of Jesus Christ is that it is used as an expletive.
I thought about this incident for a while. It was hard to get it out of my mind, I thought - "How have I, living my life, everyday, how have I contributed to the dishonor of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ?"
This morning Paul addresses this issue: Does my everyday life glorify Jesus Christ – and if it does not, then my everyday life dishonors Jesus Christ. That’s a powerful thought. My life is not neutral, it has an effect either way. Glory or dishonor.
Our key verse this morning clearly is verse 31. 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
We read in Psalm 29:1-2
Psa. 29:1 Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
The word glory speaks of something that is worthy of exaltation and we see from this psalm that the Lord is due this glory. Our lives should be an exaltation to the Lord. See praise is worship, which of course is directed toward God as how I live my life, those things seen in public and those things no one ever sees…..
How do we know if our life is giving glory to God? I think we need to start with our convictions. Joshua writes …
Josh. 14:7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions,
Remember last week we spoke of the over two million people who left Egypt. Only two made it into the promise land. One of those two was Joshua. Remember this was because God was displeased with the rest even though they lived in a time of God’s complete presence and favor, so many failed. But not Joshua – clearly a life worthy of study, Joshua was a man of conviction – his character pleased God.
How are convictions formed? A little bit of culture. A little of knowledge. A little bit of our personal fears. But additionally, as Christians, we have been convicted by the Holy Spirit. Well, we should be….Through the reading of Scripture and its reflection; Through coming through hard times; Through seeing the mighty blessings of God upon us; Through hearing the Spirit speak to us in the depths of our soul.
Some might say by our convictions come from our conscience, which I think is true to a point, but there we need to be very careful. We saw earlier in this series Paul telling us. Our conscience lies to us. f I am basing my convictions on my conscience, I may be living an outright lie...That’s frightening.
When I was in college, I worked with a man, Richard, who had a dream about being a film maker. He pursued it at every chance, taking every opportunity to get experience by working on a movie set, including working on many sets of pornographic films in San Francisco. His conscience told him that this was perfectly acceptable. This influenced his convictions in life. But his conscience lied to him. And ours will lie to us as well. Our conscience is not reliable, but the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures are. They give us convictions of holiness, but convictions in themselves are not holiness. Convictions can lead to a holy life, but holding a conviction is not holiness in itself.
Convictions help us living an appropriate and God glorifying life.
1. Truth telling – honesty
2. self control
3. humility – living a life against personal pride
4. gossip inappropriate talk
5. Sexual purity
6. pure thought life
7. strong work ethic
9. credit and financial practice}
10. Astrology – occult practice
Our Scripture this morning speaks of conviction formation. 1Cor. 10:23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.