August 2021, Vol. 40, No. 8

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Can Our Conscience Be Our Guide?

posted on August 7, 2021

[316 words]

“Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Romans 2:15).

You may have been told, “Let your conscience be your guide.” The conscience sits in judgment of man’s actions. According to Romans 2:15 the conscience accuses us or excuses us, “…their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another:” In order for our conscience to function properly it must be educated properly. Notice these examples where on account of wrong or a misinformed conscience, individuals proceeded without any feeling of guilt.

The Apostle Paul did “many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9), yet believed he had “lived in all good conscience before God” (Acts 23:1). He did so in ignorance and unbelief. His conscience was uninformed.

Those at Ephesus, who had gone “past feeling” and practiced lasciviousness, uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:19). These individuals had disregarded their conscience.

Those that departed from the faith described in 1 Timothy 4. Paul described their conscience as being “seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:2). Their conscience had become injured and calloused as they crossed the line between right and wrong so frequently, so as to render it useless to accuse or excuse their actions.

The woman described in Proverbs 30:20. “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” This is an example of a useless conscience.

In order for our conscience to be properly functioning it must be properly fed. It can only be properly fed (i.e. educated) by a constant diet of God’s Word. The conscience can be our guide, but only as it is guided by our only guide, God’s Word.

Michael Foresha (edited)
Nettleton church of Christ
Jonesboro, AR

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