[2] Conscience meaning – can we trust it?

a) Is our conscience right?

Is it wrong to ignore your conscience?

Pencil drawing of a man's false smile.

Paul tells us that Israel was the only nation to have God’s Law.
But the other nations instinctively know the requirements of that law because these requirements are written on everyone’s hearts, and their consciences bear witness to that fact:

They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.”

Romans 2:15

God is right in all that He does.
So He put an awareness of Himself in everyone, and He puts some knowledge of His Laws in each one of them too.
(But that does not mean our conscience is always right – see further down.)
But there is enough knowledge there to leave people without an excuse. If they choose to turn away from God they are guilty!
Therefore He is just and right to judge mankind for ignoring Him, and for disobeying Him.
We will all stand before Him one day and that is a sure fact.

The only safe place to be on that Day, is in Christ Jesus.
Secure in Him, and trusting in Him for our eternal protection and joy.  Are you safe in the Lord Jesus Christ?

b) Conscience meaning: our conscience is not always right.

Why is that?
It is because our conscience is polluted and twisted by our sinful nature.
Paul writing about unbelievers to Titus states that:

their minds and consciences are corrupted.”

Titus 1:15

We can so easily spoil and stain our conscience.

We can HARDEN or paralyse our conscience.
We can feed on wrong values, then our values become weaker.
There are so many different ‘values’ bombarding us through books and magazines, films, TV programmes, and obviously, the people we spend time with.
All these things can either strengthen or harden our conscience. Paul says:

Bad company corrupts good morals.”

1 Corinthians 15:33

We can still socialise, but when we are meeting with others who do not have a godly standard we should be able to know where our boundaries are.
If we start to accept and agree with any lower standards we might as well have sat under the ministry of a false teacher.

Paul talks about false teachers:

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been SEARED as with a hot iron.

1 Timothy 4:2

They have hardened and paralysed their conscience to make it virtually ineffective.
Do we abuse and harden our conscience, or do we nurture it?

c) Conscience meaning: when we turn to God, our conscience is WASHED clean.

It is washed to get rid of the false notions and ideas.

We then have a duty to TRAIN our conscience.
We do that by studying God’s Word to make it good, and trustworthy.

Straw Bear Festival with their strange costumes.
Straw Bear Festival with their strange costumes. By Peter Reason licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

If we don’t study the Bible, our conscience will be weak, and not able to do a proper job.
Paul says that the weak conscience is put along side a lack of spiritual knowledge.

But not everyone possesses this KNOWLEDGE… since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.”

1 Corinthians 8:7

Let’s make our consciences strong, active, and fully able to do it’s job properly, by studying the Bible, and understanding how the Lord sees things.
If our conscience hasn’t been trained by applying God’s standards, we could find ourselves having a clear conscience, and yet in reality we could be guilty. Paul says:

My conscience is clear, but that does NOT make me innocent.”

1 Corinthians 4:4

We need to get God’s Word into our hearts, so that our conscience then gives us the true picture.
It needs to be saying the SAME as the Word of God.

The Bible is a plumb line.
Whatever comes near to this plumb line will reveal whether it is in line with what God requires, or whether it is off line.
All our actions and motives are put next to the plumb line, and from that, there will either be peace, or a feeling of being guilty.

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2 responses to “[2] Conscience meaning – can we trust it?”

  1. Hi
    Dreams are OK, (obviously they can be from God or just from our own minds) but we mustn’t be carried away by them, because they need to be checked by what the Bible teaches us,
    hope that helps
    from Peter

  2. I heard that as Christians we are not meant to have dreams, but in a dream I did feel like someone was talking to me trying to tell me a message. I felt weird when I woke up .I do know that in the bible that some people had dreams or visions. God was telling them they’re part of his plan. Please help me. I told my friends and they said its a good thing and that I should be positive about it.

    What do you think about it?
    need advice