SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
A CONSCIENCE WITHOUT OFFENSE
(Acts 24:16)…I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
Conscience. That sense of right or wrong when an action is performed. Inside us is a moral consciousness that is God-given so we may always do the right thing and not have to be nagged with a guilty feeling. We’ve all felt it from our first lie to modern day. Our conscience will accuse us or excuse us. It’s a gift and makes for a soft pillow to sleep on at night.
Paul put it this way: (Rom 2:14-15) 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). Well said Paul! Man is morally responsible because of his capacity of choice. A conscience is like a judge and it’s better to pay this lower court judge now than to have to answer to God’s higher court when each of us stands before Him.
The Bible speaks of three types of conscience:
A GOOD CONSCIENCE: (1 Tim 1:19) having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck. Paul was guided by this internal moral compass and it did him well as he strove to be righteous before God and men.
A BAD CONSCIENCE: (1 Sam 24:5) Now it happened afterward that David's heart troubled him because he had cut Saul's robe. The Holy Spirit works with our conscience so we may always do those things that please God. (Rom 9:1) I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit.
A SEARED CONSCIENCE: (1 Tim 4:1 2) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron. Seared to means to brand or to cauterize. A person may deny their conscience repeatedly to the point of not being able to listen to it anymore.
A man consulted a psychiatrist. He complained, "I've been misbehaving, Doc, and my conscience is troubling me." The doctor asked, "And you want something that will strengthen your willpower?" The fellow replied, "Well, no, I was thinking of something that would weaken my conscience."
A good conscience is a continual Christmas. (Benjamin Franklin)