Summary: • This evening I want to take a few weeks and look at the conscience of man. • I want to try to answer and address a few questions. o When you’re tempted to do the wrong thing, do you listen to your conscience or do you just ignore it and keep going?
• This evening I want to take a few weeks and look at the conscience of man.
• I want to try to answer and address a few questions.
o When you’re tempted to do the wrong thing, do you listen to your conscience or do you just ignore it and keep going?
o How can people commit horrible crimes if they have a conscience?
o What is our conscience, according to the Word of God?
• Let us start to examine this tonight.
(NKJV) 1 Timothy 118 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,
1) God has given every person a conscience.
a) Shout…God has given me a conscience to know good and evil.
b) Biblical examples:
i) Adam and Eve knew they had sinned.
(NKJV) Genesis 3 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
ii) David’s conscience bothered him after he disrespected Saul.
(NKJV) 1 Samuel 24 5 Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.
iii) Joseph’s brothers felt bad after they mistreated him.
c) Biblical principles:
i) God has given every human general revelation: everyone knows right from wrong and that He exists.
(NKJV) Romans 1 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
ii) If we insist on pushing past the limits our conscience gives us, we will lose our ability to distinguish between right and wrong.
(NKJV) Romans 1 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
(1) The Bible calls this condition a seared conscience.
iii) God sets limits on human sin because He loves His creation.
iv) God has written His law on the hearts of even those who don’t know His official law.
(NKJV) Romans 2 14 for 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, 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)
2) What’s the difference between the Holy Spirit and the conscience?
a) Every person has a conscience, which is a monitor, distinguishing between right and wrong.
b) The Holy Spirit only inhabits believers.
c) The Holy Spirit helps us interpret the signals the conscience sends us.
d) The Holy Spirit reminds us of Scriptural principles.
e) The Holy Spirit draws us away from things that don’t fit who we are as believers.
f) The clear-conscience test: When you lay down at night, ask God to show you what He sees in your life. If He doesn’t bring any sin to mind, you have a clear conscience.
3) How is the conscience programmed?