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3-15-2017 A Guided Conscience

Why study the Bible? It should be to correctly educate our “conscience.” Paul wrote: “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, 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)” (Romans 2:14-15 NKJV). “Conscience” is our awareness of right and wrong, but it is our guide only when we learn from God’s Word what is right or wrong! People who are not a Christian may do many things right because they have their consciences educated by God’s Word. It would be good if their consciences guided them to what Jesus said must be done to be saved: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#bible-study, #conscience, #right-and-wrong

Lordship of Christ and conscience: great links

conscience

This article, by an evangelical professor in Australia, deserves a more careful reading than it’s been given, but at first glance, it appears to be stimulating and accurate: Kyrios Christos: The Lordship of Jesus Christ Today. I’m interested in hearing your reactions. Is there anything amiss in it that you can see? Continue reading

#conscience, #links, #lordship-of-christ

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(#186) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:11-12-Use Your Radar

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 27:11-12: “My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, That I may answer him who reproaches me. A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.”

Radar (an acronym for radio detection and ranging first used in 1941) is an application of radio waves that extends human “sight” far beyond the range of the normal eye. It has use in trains, planes, automobiles, weather forecasting, cooking, space exploration, et. al. It has come to be associated with “an awareness, sensitivity, or foreboding of things to come.”

According to the Bible, humans have access to moral “radar” that should be very helpful:

1) The God Who Sees All. “The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works” (Psalm 33:13-15); “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3); and even in the New Testament: “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20). Whatever God commands, advises, or explains about the future result of human behavior should alert each of us to “watch out” for what is ahead.

2) Our Consciences. Everyone has been given by God an inner “radar” to sense whether a thought or action is right or wrong. This is not, by itself, a moral standard, for we can ignorantly violate God’s standard of righteousness while we have a “good conscience” (example, Saul of Tarsus killing Christians, Acts 9:1, with a “good conscience,” Acts 23:1); a conscience can become “evil” (Hebrews 10:22); or even “seared” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). When educated by studying God’s Word, however, a conscience can project ahead to sense whether a thought or action should be followed, for “the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). A “good conscience” lets us know we have done God’s Will even though others say we haven’t (1 Peter 3:16), and it won’t let us claim to be saved before we are baptized (1 Peter 3:21). Our Bible-oriented conscience should alert each of us to “watch out” for what is ahead.

3) Our Prudence (or good judgment). Christians must use their good judgment (be prudent) by heeding the warning signs (God’s Word, consciences, experiences): “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). Regarding His Second Coming and destruction of the world, Jesus has said: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13). There is NO “radar” for the exact “day nor the hour,” but the moral “radar” sweep should show us to be constantly prepared: “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6).

“The simple” will “pass on and be punished.” Which are you? Use your “radar.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #bible-study, #conscience, #god, #judgment, #moral, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudence, #radar, #wisdom

Some good advice for keeping a conscience in good working order

The ole’ conscience – it can be ignored, but if our conscience is talking we need to listen, but just because it’s not saying something doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be!

We need to listen to our conscience when it talks because…

  • …it makes a good pillow. Proverbs 3:21-24 says, “My son, let them not depart from your eyes—Keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.” Not too many people toss and turn at night about the right thing they did, oh, but the wrong we have committed speaks for itself in this case.
  • …if it/we know we’re wrong then what does that say about the way God views it. While speaking about righteousness, sin and guilt, Paul said in Romans 2:15 even the gentiles who lived outside of the law knew this: “[the “lawless” gentiles] 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)“. Concerning the witness of the conscience, in his book “My Daily Walk With God” (p. 124), Charles B. Hodge, Jr. said the, “Conscience reflects man’s attitude towards God and makes him aware of God’s attitude towards him.” Spot on!
  • …if we ignore it for too long it will quit talking! That’s dangerous territory. A seared conscience is a conscience that has no feeling; it has no conviction for truth or for what’s right. The guilt of the crime remains, but the guilt will not be sensed, but it will still be judged as wrong regardless – hence the need to listen before our conscience falls on deaf ears (2 Timothy 4:1-3).

Our conscience is there to help take care of us and we should take care of it, but when we fail to heed it then only God can take of our conscience by grace through the work of Jesus. And that’s one voice that we can’t afford to ignore (Hebrews 12:25).

There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” (1 Peter 3:21)

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:12-14)

#christian-living, #conscience, #guilt, #relief

Thieves With A Conscience by Brett Pertillo

A group of thieves broke into a building and stole computers and equipment.  What they didn’t know at the time was they were stealing from a non-profit organization that helps victims of sexual assault.  Once they discovered this, they felt bad for what they had done.  The following night, they brought back everything they stole in a shopping cart and even included a hand written apology note which said (grammatical mistakes included), “We had no idea what we were takeing.  Here your stuff back we hope that you guys can continue to make a differenence in peoples live.  God bless” (ABC Local).

First of all, it’s ironic that the same people who were sinning called for God’s blessings.  Aside from this, one wonders what was going through these thieves’ minds.  Did they think returning the items made everything OK?  Even though these robbers made a good decision in returning the stolen items, they were the ones who committed the felony in the first place.  Sometimes people misunderstand what true repentance is.  These thieves likely thought they were making things right and repenting of what they had done, even if they didn’t put it in so many words.  However, it’s clear this was not an action of repentance, but just a rare blip on the conscience meter.

What does true repentance really look like?  First, true repentance is a 180-degree turn (Acts 3:19).  A person who is walking towards sin completely changes direction, putting his back to sin, and begins walking towards God.  Second, true repentance is found in the person who is sickened by their actions and is committed to changing his ways (2 Corinthians 7:10).  After sinning with Bathsheba, David wrote a psalm that perfectly displays this point (Psalm 51).

It’s fairly easy to feel and act “sorry” for the things we have done.  Sometimes we will even go so far as to try and smooth things over with those we have wronged.  However, let’s keep in mind that true repentance is about a sincere 180-degree change, feeling guilty, and being committed and determined not to repeat past mistakes.  May we have the courage to repent and turn our backs to sin when the need arises.

from BP’s Fuel For Thought – Brett Petrillo – Bear Valley church of Christ – Denver, CO

#brett-petrillo, #conscience, #conviction, #description-of-repentance, #god, #guilt, #repentance, #sermon-illustrations, #sin, #theft

Giving Voice to an Angry Conscience

One of the most dangerous things to do is to give voice to a sin that someone has not been able to conquer. Specifically, they know that they have done wrong and they are fighting a war with their conscience and we speak up, inadvertently becoming their enemy.

I once wrote:

Men will do whatever they can to be at peace with themselves. The war raging in their minds to have their own way is palpable. It may conflict with societal norms, their core beliefs, or their upbringing. When this conflict occurs, the mind will wrestle and either cease from violating their beliefs or attempt to beat them into submission.

Silencing a guilty conscience is an arduous task filled with pain and confusion. We arm ourselves with rationalizations and denials and wade into battle. When we find victory, we can be at peace with our actions and continue on our selfish path. When we lose or find stalemate, our emotions become frayed and fierce.

Paul writes of people having their “own conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2). If someone is fighting a losing battle in this regard, their frustration and self-loathing will be manifested against us, simply because we are there. In fact, it often has nothing to do with us whatsoever. We have to be mature enough emotionally to see the displaced anger and not take it personally (John 15:18-19).

 

 

#anger, #conscience

Something I Heard That Made Me Stop

After our Bible class last evening, I heard one of our elders state during the invitation, “There are no Sunday only Christians – we must be Christians every day of the week.” It’s very true. Some members come to church on Sunday morning, offer their worship to God, live like the devil the rest of the week, and then come to worship the next Sunday to appease their conscience. True Christianity doesn’t work that way. It’s either all or nothing (Matthew 6:24).

#bible, #christian, #conscience, #devil, #elder, #invitation, #worship