Summary: What is the conscience and what happens when we disregard it? This sermon answers those questions.
Obeying Your Conscience
1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
3And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
4Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
5But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
6who "will render to each one according to his deeds":
7eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
8but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath,
9tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
10but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
11For there is no partiality with God.
12For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law
13(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
14for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,
15who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
The Title today’s sermon is:
"The Conscience of man and the Word of God."
We will examine what the conscience is and how to keep it clear
Today’s story is about a building contractor named Clarence. He had finally gotten his chance to secure a contract for a big construction project. He was going in to meet with the president of a corporation that had plans to build a new shopping center. As Clarence was ushered into the office of the president, an assistant brought him coffee and left. The conversation with the president was cordial and Clarence knew he was giving his best presentation ever.
The discussion was interrupted when the assistant tapped on the door, re-entered the office and spoke briefly with the president. He stood up and said, "I apologize, but I have to tend to an important matter. I’ll just be a minute or two." He followed the assistant out of the room.
We will return to the story of Clarence in a moment!
Point #1. We all have a conscience.
15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
The word "conscience" appears 31 times in the New Testament.
What is the definition of "conscience"?
It is a self-awareness 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.
As we grow up...
we learn the things that are right...and those that are wrong.
These "rights" and "wrongs" are written on our conscience.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:11
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Jesus says everyone has some knowledge of what is good.
However the conscience gets 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?
What made 2 teenage boys murder 15 of their classmates
in Littleton Colorado?
What made Hitler and the Nazis think its o.k.
to murder all those Jews during World War II?
The conscience is like a square peg in our hearts.
If we are facing a questionable situation,
that square peg begins to turn, and its corners cut into our hearts,
warning us with a 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,