Our conscience is an inner, God-given awareness that confirms to our mind the rightness or wrongness of our actions.
If we have a good godly conscience it confirms that we have done what is right with God and that we have not offended God or defied His will.
However, before becoming a Christian one still has a conscience…but not all have a good and godly conscience to direct their way in doing what is right.
Let me mention Paul/Saul in the Bible. Before he became a Christian and had an experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus…Paul persecuted Christians with a clear conscience. He thought he was doing God’s will when he was going 100% against it. What Paul did was not acceptable to God ever. So even though Paul had a “clear conscience in what he believed…he was wrong.” His so-called clear conscience in killing Christians was wrong, but at that time in his life (before meeting the Lord) he felt he was doing the right thing. He thought he was pleasing God in destroying people because they did not believe as he was taught.
There is no excuse for those who claim to sere Christ but rationalize ungodly behavior. God’s word teaches that by relying on God’s grace, we can serve Him and consistently overcome sin with a clear conscience.
So now Paul is headed out to destroy Christians He is on His way to Damascus and has a letter with him giving him permission to persecute Christians. However, that does not mean that it was right in doing so. On his way to Damascus a bright light shown from heaven…a very bright light. Jesus talked to Paul, “”Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Remember Paul is Saul. Saul asked “who are you Lord?” And Jesus replied, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.” Those with Paul/Saul saw the light but didn’t understand the voice of the one who was speaking to Paul/Saul. Paul said, “What shall I do, Lord?” Jesus said to Paul, “Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.” Paul could not see so he had to be led into Damascus. More to the story, if you want to know, you can read in the book of Acts.
Each of us has a day to meet the Lord. Paul met Jesus though on a road where Paul was going to persecute Christians. Paul felt he had a clear conscience in doing so because that was what he was taught and believed…even though it was wrong. God appeared to Paul at a critical time and that encouraged Paul, and Paul was given another identity where he knew what he had been doing was wrong.
Each of us has a road we go down. Even if our road might look the same there are always differences on our road. We must make choices, and our conscience plays a major role in this. We will walk our road until “our” very end and prayerfully we will be on the road to heaven.
A clean and clear conscience involves an inner assurance and freedom in the spirit that comes when we know that our thoughts, our actions, and our life are doing the things of God and not doing the things of self or of mankind.
If, or when, a good conscience becomes insensitive or corrupted as Paul’s was…even though he thought till then he was doing right…his life was in serious danger as to missing heaven, and in the process, he was hurting and killing many people.
A conscience that is not a godly conscience does not see life as God wants them to see it. They think nothing of questionable behaviors, and will become unresponsive to God’s inner guidance. A person who resists and rejects a good conscience will end up in full rebellion against God, and that will eventually destroy them.
People’s spiritual conscience should be greatly important to each of us that walks with God. Everyone has a conscience, but not have a godly conscience to do right. In thinking about that how would a serial killer’s conscience work? Even though not everyone has a godly conscience our actions are still our own responsibility. We will be judged one day according to our walk with God and having a good and godly conscience is paramount.
But also know that even or conscience walking with God can be fallible because we live in a sinful world and we are tested and tried all the time. We must stay focused on Jesus and doing what is right.
Think about this: “It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled”. 1 Cor 8:7. That is just an example. Also, because the human conscience has been marred by sin people seek other ways to worship God that God does not and will not accept. They have built temples, shrines, and worship idols and people in an attempt to please God, yet there efforts do not glorify God.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” (Romans 1:21-23
The human conscience tells us what is right and what is wrong. Yet does it for the vile and evil person that is going about doing all kinds of evil and things that are against God’s ways?
The Bible says that it (conscience) testifies to God’s existence. Both Jews and Gentiles have the testimony of their conscience as to the fact that there is a God. However, by itself, the conscience is an insufficient guide. The conscience tells us that God exists but it does not tell us who that God is. Because it does not tell us who God is…people make a lot of bad choices by the things their conscience tells them is right or wrong.
The conscious is also a fallible witness because it has been corrupted by sin. Once a person comes to Jesus Christ as their Savior their conscience can function as it was originally created. Do you want a good conscience that not only knows what is right and wrong in the sight of God? Then stay focused on Jesus, learn more of Him each and every day, and pray so that you won’t go astray and get off track. We have one life on this earth and we need to be about our heavenly Father’s business. The more we learn of Jesus the more we will know what is right and what is wrong. Listen, of course, to your conscience, but make sure you know it is from God and what is truly right with Him. If it is not right no matter what the world or people tell you is right…don’t do it!