A person who lives by their conscience instinctively lives by an Everlasting Covenant with God their Creator.1Genesis 3:16-19, 9:1-7, 16; Matthew 25:31-40, Isaiah 24:5,6 – which we also refer to as the “Second Covenant”, the First being Genesis 1:28-30 – Before the “Fall” All men are born with a good conscience. As we grow up, we are responsible to make the right choices with the good conscience we were born with. A person makes choices based upon what fills the heart. Whatever fills the heart overflows into their actions and deeds.2Matthew 15:18,19 The heart is connected to the “will” of a person. What motivates someone in making decisions is revealed in their will. The heart is the deciding factor in their life, in much the same way as a judge decides his verdict once evidence is presented. The only problem is that we often betray our better judgement and end up acting as an unjust judge. Each time we compromise, our conscience records the guilt.
Many could not care less about tending the good they know in their conscience. As a result they commit deeds that express the rejection of it. They will not go unpunished for doing what they knew was wrong. Every man and woman is responsible for the judgements they make – good or bad. If it were not for conscience, man would have no accountability. That fact of accountability demands reckoning in judgement. The conscience calls for justice – that the records be cleared.
The conscience urges you to do right or make amends if you do wrong. It gives you a feeling of either innocence or guilt, depending on the choice you make. Certainly sin affects the conscience, but someone with a functioning conscience hates sin and does what he can to rectify the hurt he causes.
Suppressing The Conscience
Our conscience is naturally sensitive. Though it has authority to direct a person’s life it can also be easily silenced by them.3Romans 1:21 The conscience has no power to force anyone to obey it. It only declares what is true and what is false, what is good and what is evil. The choice is left up to us. Where do we stand? On this basis of free choice, the Creator is able to make a righteous judgement upon all of mankind. If we desire to fullfil the evil within us, rather than choose the good we know to be true, we condemn ourselves in judgement. We end up violating (silencing) our conscience and suppressing the truth within us.4Romans 1:18-19 If this happens, it is our own fault, not God’s. We “defile” (make dirty) our conscience by choosing the evil we know is wrong over doing the good we know is right.5Titus 1:15; James 4:17 If we continue to suppress the truth within us, we become hard internally and are eventually “given over” to doing what is evil.6Romans 1:21,24,26,28; Ephesians 4:19 Persisting in doing what is evil “sears” (brands, makes callous) our consciences.71 Timothy 4:2
Of course the world has tried to make the human conscience “old-fashioned.” As we live on in the world, actively taking on the spirit of the world, our conscience gets more and more persuaded to give in to the trends of society. As we go time and time against our better judgement, it results in greater and greater guilt. We descend to a lower standard of human life. We go from being A-grade to “D-graded.” We end up exchanging the higher truth we had in our conscience for a lie.
Some have descended to their lower nature to do what is evil and unfit for humans to do. These people are “given over” to a depraved mind. They were not born this way, but chose to “give up” the struggle of obeying their conscience. They did not see it worthwhile any longer to maintain any agreement with their conscience.8Romans 1:28 They have “become” something other than what they were originally created to be. They chose to give themselves over, regardless of all the warnings of their conscience, to degrading passions and lusts. They receive in their own personalities the due recompense of their evil.9Romans 1:26, 28 God is just, He restrained them as much as possible through the help of their conscience, but they persisted in doing what they “knew” was evil. The inner voice of conscience ends up being destroyed (for evil knows no limits or boundaries.) Once you pass through one boundary it is always easier to pass through another and then another and another until….you lose your fear of God altogether – thus, your fear of punishment.102 Peter 2:10
Only when the “candle” goes out11Proverbs 24:20; Romans 1:24-32 do people plunge themselves to such irreparable depths of sin and degradation – the point of no return.
Only when the candle goes out is there complete darkness and one “becomes” base – worthless and devoid of any good. In this state, the conscience becomes dysfunctional (non-working). One no longer acknowledges or senses the fact or even the feeling of guilt. Instead, its silence is implied as support of evil. It defends you when you do wrong and accuses you when you do right.12Isaiah 5:20; Titus 1:15 This is an “evil” (perverse, twisted, dysfunctional) conscience. Though guilt is a fact and not a feeling, only those still connected to conscience can sense the grief and anguish of their sin.
Despite the fact that most have descended to their lower nature, many can still feel and acknowledge the guilt of their conscience. They have not yet rejected conscience totally, but are living on the edge, testing the boundaries. They can still be rescued before they are sealed in their eternal destiny. It all depends on whether they can still hear enough to respond to that inner voice of conscience and obey its commands.
Living By A Good Conscience
A “good” conscience is a functional, not dysfunctional one. “Good” does not mean “perfect,” but it maintains a healthy ability to function properly. It is not “out of order,” but remains “in order,” with the accuracy of setting clear standards. There is a life-long struggle ahead for anyone who desires to live by a good conscience. Those who persevere in doing what is “good” will suffer in this life. They are willing to pay the price for it. They regard the rewards of a good conscience of greater worth than any of the indulgences their lower nature would compel them to explore. They have been trained to discern good from evil – right from wrong – and take hope in the reward of a better life after death.13Job 14:14; Romans 2:7; Jeremiah 17:10 They fear God and believe He is a rewarder of those who give thanks and acknowledge Him. These are the righteous people of the earth. They consistently choose to do what is right and fair. The fruit of their life is obvious. They do not easily succumb to cheap and worthless deeds of self-debasement. They have integrity and are discerning, never fearing to stand up for what they know is right and good. That is why people who truly live by the covenant of conscience are not easily deceived by “The Lie” and the hypocrisy of man-made religion…
Scriptural References and Other Footnotes
|↑1||Genesis 3:16-19, 9:1-7, 16; Matthew 25:31-40, Isaiah 24:5,6 – which we also refer to as the “Second Covenant”, the First being Genesis 1:28-30 – Before the “Fall”|
|↑5||Titus 1:15; James 4:17|
|↑6||Romans 1:21,24,26,28; Ephesians 4:19|
|↑7||1 Timothy 4:2|
|↑9||Romans 1:26, 28|
|↑10||2 Peter 2:10|
|↑11||Proverbs 24:20; Romans 1:24-32|
|↑12||Isaiah 5:20; Titus 1:15|
|↑13||Job 14:14; Romans 2:7; Jeremiah 17:10|