The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Friends, the current series regarding confession of sin is centered on the meaning of the word "confession" in the New Testament, namely, "to say the same thing." We are considering what God says about our sins, and how we join Him in His grace, mercy, and truth in order to adequately confess our sins.)
"Confession of Sin"
Part 6 - "A Clear Conscience"
"The Prince of peace would have us to walk in peace. This requires a clear conscience, always best known by faith and faithfulness. In times of sin, however, a clear conscience can be restored when we look to Calvary."
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).
"And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men" (Acts 24:16).
Scripture teaches two ways whereby we seek to join the Apostle Paul in maintaining a clear and cleansed conscience. We might refer to these as the optimum of obedience, and the contingency of confession
The first and best way involves obedience to God's will. "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?" (Genesis 4:7). Born again believers primarily seek to maintain a clear conscience by doing what our Lord would have us to do as He enables us to fulfill His will. "God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (II Corinthians 9:8). Obedience, empowered by God's grace through the Holy Spirit, constitutes the best way of maintaining a clear conscience.
We face a challenge, however, in this present life. We do not always obey our Lord. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). When sin occurs, a problem with our conscience arises. Indeed, one cannot possess the indwelling Holy Spirit without experiencing His faithful working to let us know when things have gone awry in our walk with God. We grieve Him through unbelief and disobedience, and as a pastor friend often says, "If the Holy Spirit is grieved, we will be grieved also!" (Ephesians 4:30). Sin stains our conscience. It does not jeopardize our relationship with God, nor does it alter the assurance of eternal life in the Lord Jesus. However, our internal experience of God's peace suffers, leading to bearing fruits of the flesh rather than the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This raises the question: on those occasions when we do not fulfill "the first way" of experiencing a clear conscience by obedience, is there another means whereby we can be restored to realized peace with our Heavenly Father?
There is. The Spirit of God and the Word of God arise to direct our needy hearts to the Christ of God whereby we experience the second way to walk with a clear conscience.
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience" (Hebrews 10:22).
Seated at God's right hand is One who shed His precious blood on the cross of Calvary to make available forgiveness of sin to all, along with necessary purging of the conscience. Recall that 1 John 1:9 promises both forgiveness and cleansing. Our Heavenly Father would not have us live in the sense of alienation caused by unconfessed sin. He would rather point us to the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus for our sins, and the cleansing restoration that ensues when we trust that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20). We must share our Heavenly Father's merciful view that Christ's atoning work on our behalf transcends our sins by an infinite measure. Thereby, we confess, or say the same thing about sin that God says, namely, that what the Lord Jesus did at Calvary is of far greater power to restore than sin's alienating effects. Yes, our Father would tell us that the blood of Christ is greater by far than any sin. We must say the same thing, experiencing a sprinkled and cleansed conscience thereby.
The Prince of peace would have us to walk in peace. This requires a clear conscience, always best known by faith and faithfulness. In times of sin, however, a clear conscience can be restored when we look to Calvary. There, the One who bore our sins and was made to be sin for us suffered and died to make possible forgiveness and cleansing. The former assures us of eternal pardon. The latter provides effectual peace as we confess our sins. No more important gift of God's grace exists in empowering us to walk with Him than a clear conscience. The optimum of obedience and the contingency of confession offer us this path of grace upon which believers can walk in the tranquility that leads to triumph.
"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).
"His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins."
Monday: Part 7 - Conclusion - The Second Sin
Weekly Memory Verse
"Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee."