Summary: So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. - Acts 24:16 Christian life is in many ways a life of rest and putting burdens back towards God. But there are things we are encouraged in Scriptures to do and put effort towards. One ..
So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. - Acts 24:16
Christian life is in many ways a life of rest and putting burdens back towards God. But there are things we are encouraged in Scriptures to do and put effort towards. One of these things that Paul the Apostle over and over encouraged was believers in the Lord to be diligent to keep a clean conscience in all that they did. Having a clear conscience means that as much as we are aware we have confessed sin and turned from practices and attitudes that the Lord has shown us are wrong. To strive for this the Apostle teaches us is good. Have you strived at all to clear you heart of questionable practices and motives? Many puritans in 17th century England would end their day with a prayer asking the Lord to show them any areas or things they did that day that they need to repent of and ask for cleansing (Psalm 139:23-24). This can be an excellent practice to do daily for us. Even though we can go in the wrong direction or do a wrong thing, we can always repent and stop and have a clean conscience before God.
The scriptures paint a terrible picture of false teachers, those who twist the scriptures and the character of God. It says of them their, "consciences have been branded as with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:2). The way of a hardened conscience is the way of ignoring gentle cautions in our heart and spirit of a wrong way, practice or attitude. When we practice Holy Communion we seek to have a clear conscience as much as possible, yet it is better to daily and even hourly be quick to deal with sins or wrong motives before the Lord. We are the ones that can judge ourselves and find mercy of the Lord to keep us in godly sincerity. This also means that we are to allow the Lord clear our conscience before himself but also with grievances and unforgiveness with other men. This follows our Lord's teaching to seek reconciliation and peace with all men as much as is possible (Matthew 5:23-24).