What is a Conscience?

Hello there beautiful people. LeaFiore Tracy here once again with Take me to Eternity. Where I talk a whole lot about the word of God. Today I’m gonna talk about conscience. What is it? How do we form it? Can it be altered? What does God say?

First the definition of conscience is

CONSCIENCE, n. [L., to know, to be privy to.]

1. Internal or self-knowledge, or judgment of right and wrong; or the faculty, power or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns them. Conscience is called by some writers the moral sense, and considered as an original faculty of our nature. Others question the propriety of considering conscience as a distinct faculty or principle. They consider it rather as the general principle of moral approbation or disapprobation, applied to one’s own conduct and affections; alleging that our notions of right and wrong are not to be deduced from a single principle or faculty, but from various powers of the understanding and will.

The conscience is the part of the human psyche that induces mental anguish and feelings of guilt when we go against it and feelings of well being and pleasure when we hold to the value systems we hold. It’s our Moral compass. It shapes our standard of right and wrong. 

Our Conscience came from God. he is the maker of all things and the only one who has the right to decide what we should or shouldn’t do. He knows how we work and what is good and right for us. The longer I am a believer and following him the longer I can see it in my own life. The more I submit to him and what he says is right and wrong the more peace I have and the less anxiety. 

There is more of course but this is the part that pertains to what we are gonna be discussing today though I have also written a podcast if you want to hear more.  I read a book called Conscience recently and it was eye opening on the depth our conscience has. How many functions it has and how it helps us in so many ways. There is a reason we ought to pay attention to it and shape it by the word of God. 

The Conscience can be in sync with God’s moral demands. Or we can warp it so that it doesn’t work properly. The Bible says the conscience…….

It can excuse or accuse us———Romans 2:15

It bears witness ———— —Romans 2:14-15

It can Testify ———————2 Corinthians 1:12–Romans 9:1

It can condemn —————1 John 3:20

It can be weak—————-1 Corinthians 8:12—1 Corinthians 8:7

It can be influenced———1 Corinthians 8:12

It can be wounded————1 Corinthians 8:12

It can be encouraged to sin———-1 Corinthians 10

It can be defiled—————Titus 1:15—-1 Corinthians 8:7

It can be seared—————1 Timothy 4:1-2

It can be evil——————-Hebrews 10:22

It can be good——-Hebrews 13:18—-Acts 23:1—1 Timothy 1:5—1 Timothy 1:19

It can be clean———Hebrews 10:22

And it can be clear————Acts 24:16–1 Timothy 3:9—2 Timothy 1:3

It can be cleansed—-Hebrews 9:14—1 John 1:9 

These are all things the conscience can be. We can have a healthy conscience that works properly or we can have a warped conscience that need to be addressed. It is there to be a warning system for us to help us choose what is right and good or know what is wrong and we shouldn’t partake in. We should however line our conscience up with what the Bible says. Sometimes we will have an over sensitive conscience or “weak” conscience in which case we are only called to not judge others for their freedom so long as it doesn’t go against the Bible. We are also told to listen to it. These are all things that we ought to really think about in our walks with the Lord. Those with a weak conscience tend to condemn more than God does. To get stuck on things and find wrong in places that is not actually wrong. We can influence others to sin when we advocate sin. So we need to be aware where our conscience or a brother or sisters is weak.

A weak conscience can make you stricter but it cannot excuse sin. It can make things that are ok not ok but it can’t take something wrong and say its right.

Our conscience is a witness and shows our thoughts. We can be excused or accused by it. If the law is written on our hearts that is one way we are without excuse as to doing wrong.

I have to say that our conscience can be altered by those around us with authority. We can sear our conscience though we have God’s law written on our heart and know the truth we can choose to repeatedly deny the truth and do as we want in the end effectively creating a “scar tissue” over it. Making it not sensitive to our feeling the wrongness of it.

When we choose to do what we know is wrong over and over eventually we won’t feel how wrong it really is. We will effectively make it easier to sin. The bible says that God eventually gives us over to our sin and I think in part it is us willingly sinning and him allowing it to not affect us so deeply because that is our choice. He allows us to choose who we will obey and serve. We do however have consequences for not obeying. Part of that is searing our conscience and then dealing with what comes from the said repeated sin.

This verse is perfect I think because it shows how it is a hardening of our own hearts that happens and effectively forms a callous. It is us giving yourself over to sin. As Christians we are not sinless but we ought to war against it and make an effort to not do what we know to be wrong. We do struggle with sin nonetheless. But that is just it, we struggle with it. We constantly fight it so that it cannot take root and live there. We bring it to God and ask for help in dealing with our sin at the same time as we are actively working to not sin.

This isn’t an excuse to sin. This is us knowing our sin nature and wanting different because we know we are meant for different. God says something is wrong therefore wether we feel it or not it is wrong.

Our Conscience is a beautiful tool. A guidance system that we ought to obey if we want to be right with God. Our conscience can be wrong but we need to train it by the word of God with prayer. Sometimes God has to strip us of our wrong thinking layer by layer to give us the freedom that we ought to have in Christ. We can both be too strict and not strict enough in our conscience all in the same person. Following Man made rules and not God’s.

We need to make sure as we deal with brothers and sisters in Christ that we are not putting a yolk on them that is not of God. insisting they follow our conscience and not God’s. when we correct or rebuke we do so in love and from what the bible says not what we believe. Our feelings, our conscience and our opinions don’t matter in this instance.

We ourselves by our sin and lack of listening to our conscience can damage it and make it work incorrectly. Part of fellowship is to build each other up but also rebuke our fellow believers lovingly, when they are going against God’s moral law. It is accountability. Now I know that sounds confusing to say that we need to be careful how we deal with fellow believers because their conscience can speak differently than ours. That there are things that are ok for them but not for us and we need to make sure to take that into account when we speak to them. Then the next sentence is to make sure that we rebuke those brothers and sisters who aren’t following God’s moral standards. That is the thing it is God’s standards not ours. Just like any judgment should be by God’s standards and not ours. We need to make sure that we are living how God says to please him and not telling others they shouldn’t be doing something that we are doing ourselves. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than others.

Now all of this is not for salvation. We are saved by the grace of God through faith in him alone. It is by the blood of Jesus that we are saved not anything that we do. When we are saved we want to please the Lord though and in wanting to please him we want to live in the manner he made us to live in. It is doing or working because we love him not because we want anything or think we are going to earn anything.

God set standards for our way of living so that we can live rightly by him and also live peaceably with other humans. We are to follow what he says to be true and right and form our conscience around his standards, not ours or the worlds. We don’t do this to be saved as we know salvation is Christ’s work not ours. We do this so that we can live the way God intended us to live. To love the way he intends us to love and to be the people he calls us to be. When we call out others we need to be sure that we are doing so according to God’s specified word. I know that I am not the standard and my standards are way off par with God’s. That is another reason we should be rooted in the word. So our standard is the same as God’s. We also need to take into account did God say or is this a human law? We can think a ton of things are wrong that God never actually said were wrong or put our own spin on things but we need to make sure that God actually clearly spoke against it if we are to rebuke it. 

We can have a cleansed conscience and we can have an evil conscience. It depends on who you choose to live for. The only thing that can cleanse our conscience is being cleansed by the blood of Jesus. As believers we struggle with sin and the more mature in your faith that you get the more your conscience tells you what God says is right and wrong. If we are truly being led by the spirit we are ever growing in not only the understanding of what is right and wrong but also God’s grace. We live lives knowing that we fall short but hopefully we also know that God knew that ahead of time and provides our way anyways.

The bible says that God shows his love for us that while we were still sinners Christ Died for us. He knows he is the only way for us to be right with him and he says that if we confess our sins he will be faithful and just to forgive us. How can he be faithful and just and also forgive? Only by the blood of Jesus. That is the beautiful wonderful news. That is how we are cleansed in conscience. Through Jesus dying for our sins. When we repent and trust him to be our Lord he puts his righteousness on us and banishes our sin as far as the east is from the west. He looks at us and doesn’t see the wretched sinner; he sees the pure undefiled righteousness of Jesus. That is what soothes our conscience. What cleanses it. That is what gives us peace and hope. That is what washes away our guilt and shame. We have to believe him and trust that we are truly forgiven though. We can rest knowing that all we need to do is follow Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and listen to our conscience as it guides us. Be in God’s word so we can be washed by it daily. Seeking to find God’s truth and how we ought to live.

In order to have full assurance we need to be solid in what we believe. My mom says do you really believe that what you believe is really real? That is a great place to start because it makes you think. It might make you dig in to find out if you do or it can put your heart at rest knowing that you know who saved you and how and why. That it has nothing to do with you and that you have been cleansed. Sometimes we have to be reminded that we have been forgiven because since we are not perfect our conscience can accuse us of things we have already been forgiven for we just haven’t forgiven ourselves for it yet.

Sometimes when we are convicted by our conscience it helps us to see that the judgment we are using for someone else is way stricter than the one we use for ourselves. We are called to use fair weights when judging and are told that we will be judged the same way that we judge others. We need to remember our fallen sinfulness and not just think we are clean and others are dirty. You don’t know what they have been forgiven for already.

There are many facets to our conscience and I am sure so many aspects that I haven’t fully looked at yet. If you would like to hear more on the Conscience check out my podcast!

You can also find it on podcasting platforms like Spotify, anchor, apple podcasts and others.

Hope this was helpful

Love y’all.

LeaFiore

By Take me to Eternity

I am a God fearing mother of two. A wife to a wonderful husband. A crafter of junk. A baker. And anything the LORD puts in my path.

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