Thursday, May 19, 2016

"A Clear and Cleansed Conscience"

"A Clear and Cleansed Conscience"

     A clear conscience is of more value than all the material wealth one could ever amass.

    "Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men" (Acts 24:16).

    How does one achieve this internal "void of offence" condition of heart and mind?  The first answer is obvious.  "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?" (Genesis 4:7).  The optimum path to a clear conscience involves righteous attitude and action.  We do the right thing for the right reason.  Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ seek this first and best option regarding the maintenance of a heart at peace, trusting the Lord Jesus Christ to lead and enable us to love God and others.

   A problem exists, however, regarding this first means  of maintaining a clear conscience.  We do not always do that which is right toward God or people.  Nor do we always maintain proper attitudes and motives.  Thus, our conscience becomes stained by sin and convicted by the Holy Spirit, who will not let us rest easy when we harbor intruders contrary to the character of the Christ who dwells in us by His Spirit.  In such times, we remember the Biblical remedy and purification offered by our blessed Lord:

    "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14).

    In times of unbelief and disobedience, a clear conscience returns when we place our confidence in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus for our sins.  As we trust in God's promises regarding the shed blood of His Son, He purifies our hearts and restores us to unhindered fellowship with Himself (and also leads us to make restitution to people when necessary).  This is God's desire for us, and it must be our determination to receive the gracious mercy that enables us to arise and walk in peace.  We do Him nor ourselves no favors by wallowing in our sins, that is, by failing to avail ourselves of forgiveness and cleansing through repentant confession and receptive faith.  We take sin seriously, for all the reasons Scripture declares.  But we take God's grace and mercy no less seriously, again, for all the reasons Scripture declares.  Our Heavenly Father offers to us a clear conscience by enabling us to do His will, and a cleansed conscious when we fail to do so.  This is peace, the peace of the heart more valuable than gold, silver, precious stones, land, or anything the world could offer us.

"If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(I John 1:7-9)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True".
(Revelation 19:11)


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