Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Fortifying the Conscience

Fortifying the Conscience

|Views: 4|Likes:
Published by Jensen Ruud
What is the conscience? How does it help us? And how can it become stronger? The Bible answers these questions. This is a study on that answer.
What is the conscience? How does it help us? And how can it become stronger? The Bible answers these questions. This is a study on that answer.

More info:

Published by: Jensen Ruud on Dec 31, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Fortifying the Conscience
The purpose of this writing is to examine the conscience as explained in the Bible. We want to knowwhat it is and its effect on our life. If we understand how the conscience works, we can make it strongerand more useful to us. It is a powerful tool that God has given to us. We want it to be strong.
What is the conscience?
1Cor. 10:29
Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another mans conscience? 
1Cor. 10:30
For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which Igive thanks? 
 There are three points here that teach us about the conscience itself. The first point is that theconscience judges. It is the part of us that tells us if something is good and worthwhile, or if something isharmful and wrong.The second point is that everyone has an individual conscience. The text tells us that someone has adifferent conscience than Paul does. This is why Paul is having trouble with them. Their conscience isdifferent than Pauls, and therefore reacts differently to situations. It judges differently, and thisdifference in judgment causes friction.A third point is that the conscience can be wrong. Verse 30 shows Pauls right question about why he isbeing judged. Gods grace gives one standard, but a mans conscience gives a different one. That is, ourconscience can cause us to speak evil of a person who is doing good.These two verses disprove one theory about the conscience: the conscience is not the Holy Spirit. TheHoly Spirit does not change from one person to the next, and the Holy Spirit is fully in harmony withGods word. In contrast, a persons conscience can differ from another persons, and a personsconscience can lead differently than what God has revealed. While the Holy Spirit can guide us, God hasgiven us a separate internal mechanism that can err if not properly trained.With this in mind, how do we train our conscience properly?
 1Cor. 8:7
owbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol untothis hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
Imagine that two people go to eat some food at a Chinese restaurant. They are both served the sameplate of rice, noodles, and vegetables. They both enjoy the meal. After enjoying the meal, the restaurantowner informs each of them that part of the reason the food tastes so good is that he consecrated toBuddha before serving it to them.One person, fearing evil spirits and/or possession, becomes ill at the thought of what his meal is aboutto do to him. The other person knows scripture. Romans 14:14 and 1 Corinthians 8:4 come to mind, andthe man is content. He thanks his host, pays with a tip, and leaves.
 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.
Acts 15:2
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)Pauls 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, Pauls 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?
Rom. 14:1
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 haventresearched or fully understood yet. We do this more often than we admit. It is hard to discuss the 1260days when youre unsure where exactly it is shown in the Bible or what its characteristics are. But manydo.What is Pauls 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
snack. They may argue with someone who disagrees. As soon as they find out that it causes comas anddeath, however, the arguments will stop. Their conscience, empowered with the knowledge thatantifreeze is deadly, will warn them against ingesting it. The conscience has gone from weak tostrong.Put simply, if you want a strong conscience, do your homework! Hearing that something is right orwrong is not enough. The strong conscience is the one with worthwhile evidence supporting its position.
 1Pet. 3:16
aving a good  conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may beashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
 On any subject, a wealth of information exists. Much of it is contradictory. In this text, a person is facedwith two opposing sources of information. The first source is Christ and the believers. They are tellinghim that what he is doing is correct. The second source is the people speaking against him. They tell himand others that his actions are wrong.Correct knowledge creates a strong conscience. Since not all knowledge is correct, we need to filter oursources of information. In this instance, Peter tells the person who is facing persecution to ignore thepersecutors as a source. Instead, he tells him to judge only by what Christ has said.It would be a mistake for us to allow the persecutors information to affect our conscience. What theysay isnt worth using. They are wrong. Keeping this in mind when witnessing for Christ deflects theshame that comes with witnessing. We feel shameful when we witness because their reaction impliesthat we did something wrong. But their reaction is an untrustworthy source of information. Theconscience fortified with Christs command to witness to others can safely ignore these opposing ideas.
 So we can ignore other people when it directly contradicts Gods word. By doing so, our consciencestrengthens. But what about when we ourselves directly contradict Gods word?Heb. 9:13
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean,sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb. 9:14
ow much more shall the blood of Christ, who throughthe eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to servethe living God? 
 The phrase, dead works, appears in Hebrews 6:1. In that passage, the author of Hebrews connectsdead works with repentance. And immediately after, the author points out the need for faith, orfaithful works (see Hebrews 11 on this point). That is, the dead works are not legalistic works. They areour sins. The author directs us to abandon the wrong works and to perform the right ones.In this passage, the phrase dead works shows up again. But this time, the conscience needs to bepurged of them. How does this happen? By Christs blood.See if this scenario sounds familiar. A past sin haunts your thoughts. When you pray, it comes to mind.You feel your unworthiness and your prayer stops. When you try to do Gods work, it comes to mind.

Activity (2)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
Jason R. Pierre liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->