* Job’s conscience was clear
In the midst of all the accusations, Job was able to declare that his conscience was clear. Only God’s forgiveness and the determination to live right before God can bring a clear conscience. How important Job’s record became as he was being accused. Like Job, we can’t claim sinless lives, but we can claim forgiven lives. When we confess our sins to God, he forgives us. Then we can live with clear consciences (1 John 1:91). (NLT)
Job 27:6 – I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live.
* Absence of a guilty conscience doesn’t mean you’re doing right
While the storm raged, Jonah was sound asleep below deck. Even as he ran from God, Jonah’s actions apparently didn’t bother his conscience. But the absence of guilt isn’t always a barometer of whether we are doing right. Because we can deny reality, we cannot measure obedience by our feelings. Instead, we must compare what we do with God’s standards for living. (NLT)
Jonah 1:4-5 – But as the ship was sailing along, suddenly the Lord flung a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to send them to the bottom. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. And all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold.
* Pilate ignored his conscience
For a leader who was supposed to administer justice, Pilate proved to be more concerned about political expediency than about doing what was right. He had several opportunities to make the right decision. His conscience told him Jesus was innocent; Roman law said an innocent man should not be put to death; and his wife had a nightmare. Pilate had no good excuse to condemn Jesus, but he was afraid of the crowd. (NLT)
Matthew 27:19 – Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone, because I had a terrible nightmare about him last night.”
* Follow your conscience when the Scriptures are silent
We try to steer clear of actions forbidden by Scripture, of course, but sometimes Scripture is silent. Then we should follow our consciences. “If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning” means that to go against a conviction will leave a person with a guilty or uneasy conscience. When God shows us that something is wrong for us, we should avoid it. But we should not look down on other Christians who exercise their freedom in those areas. (NLT)
Romans 14:23 – But if people have doubts about whether they should eat something, they shouldn’t eat it. They would be condemned for not acting in faith before God. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.
* Avoid harming conscience of weaker brother
Paul addressed these words to believers who weren’t bothered by eating meat that had been offered to idols. Although idols were phony, and the pagan ritual of sacrificing to them was meaningless, eating such meat offended some Christians with sensitive consciences. Paul said, therefore, that mature believers should avoid eating meat offered to idols if it would violate the conscience of weak Christian. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 8:4-9 – So now, what about it? Should we eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God and no other. According to some people, there are many so-called gods and many lords, both in heaven and on earth. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.
However, not all Christians realize this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t miss out on anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble.
* How can you keep your conscience clear?
Treasure your faith in Christ more than anything else and do what you know is right. Each time you deliberately ignore your conscience, you are hardening your heart. Over a period of time your capacity to tell right from wrong will diminish. As you walk with God, he will speak to you through your conscience, letting you know the difference between right and wrong. Be sure to act on those inner tugs so that you do what is right—then your conscience will remain clear. (NLT)
1 Timothy 1:19 – Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
1 Confession is supposed to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It should ease our consciences and lighten our cards. But some Christians do not understand how it works. They feel so guilty that they confess the same sins over and over; then they wonder if they night have forgotten something. Other Christians believe that God forgives them when they confess, but if they died with unconfessed sins, they would be forever lost. These Christians do not understand that God want to forgive us. He allowed his beloved Son to die just so he could offer us pardon. When we come to Christ, he forgives all the sins we have committed or will ever commit. We don’t need to confess the sins of the past all over again, and we don’t need to fear that God will reject us if we don’t keep our slate perfectly clean. Of course we should continue to confess our sins, but not because failure to do so will make us lose our salvation. Our relationship with Christ is secure. Instead, we should confess so that we can enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with him.
True confession also involves a commitment not to continue in sin. We wouldn’t be genuinely confessing our sins to God if we planned to commit them again and just wanted temporary forgiveness. We should also pray for strength to defeat temptation the next time we face it. (NLT)
1 John 1:9 – But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
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