The conscience is powered by knowledge. In this passage, the only difference between the two people iswhat they know. Speaking of the conscience, Paul calls the uninformed conscience weak. That is, if wewant a strong conscience, we need a strong knowledge base to run it off of.A strong conscience looks like this:Acts 15:1
nd certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye becircumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas,and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
Ellen White has this to say about this situation:
Paul had dedicated himself and all his powers to the service of God.
e had received the truths of thegospel direct from heaven, and throughout his ministry he maintained a vital connection with heavenly agencies.
e had been taught by God regarding the binding of unnecessary burdens upon the GentileChristians; thus when the Judaizing believers introduced into the
ntioch church the question of circumcision, Paul knew the mind of the Spirit of God concerning such teaching and took a firm and unyielding position which brought to the churches freedom from Jewish rites and ceremonies.
(Acts of the Apostles, p. 200)Pauls well-trained conscience knew the mind of the Spirit of God concerning such teaching. He didnot need the Holy Spirit to tell him that the teaching was wrong. He knew it because of his knowledge.When false teaching came in, and when everyone else was paralyzed in ignorance, Pauls strongconscience, fortified with correct ideas, allowed him to immediately and vehemently oppose the error.The result was that he and Barnabas almost single-handedly saved the early church from this heresy.So how do we gain a strong conscience?
im that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations
. Rom. 14:5
One manesteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
The word doubtful can be read as not fully understood. Paul condemns debates about topics thatthe speakers are not fully informed about. That is, they are debating about subjects that they haventresearched or fully understood yet. We do this more often than we admit. It is hard to discuss the 1260days when youre unsure where exactly it is shown in the Bible or what its characteristics are. But manydo.What is Pauls counsel to people debating about subjects they know little about? Let every man be fullypersuaded in his own mind. The person should go from not fully understanding (doubtful) to fullypersuaded (knowledgable). That is, the person should do their own research on the issue.A little known fact about antifreeze for cars is that it tastes sweet. A person who knows nothing aboutthe dangers of antifreeze and who tastes it may think that it is good to eat. They may ask for it as a