5. Deacon’s Office
1Timothy 3:9, Paul writes that the Deacon should hold “the mystery of the Faith (body of truth) in a Pure Conscience.” So, Conscience is connected to the Body of Truth (Faith). Deacon’s moral orthodoxy is seen in the descriptive “a Pure (Clean) Conscience.” Deacon is the man/woman who is grounded in God’s Word (the Bible), which is basis of his/her behaviour; so, that he/she has a Pure Conscience. To hold the mystery of the Faith (“Body of Truth”), in a Pure Conscience is to live in the light of God’s Word (the Bible) that illuminates his/her Conscience; and he/she does not feel condemned (1John 3:21). Deacon is a man/woman who combines Pure Conscience with a firm hold on the Truth of God’s Word (the Bible).
6. Handling God’s Word
2Corinthians 4:1-2 “Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not. But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” God’s People are not the Quitters (2Corinthians 4:1); they have nothing to hide; either in their Personal lives: “not walking in craftiness” or in the Ministry of God’s Word: “nor handling the word of God deceitfully.” Everything is opened and honest; there is no deception or distortion of God’s Word (the Bible); the resultant life is described:
- Means – “By the manifestation of the truth.”
- Method – “Commending ourselves to every man’s Conscience.”
- Measure – “In the sight of God.”
The Person who teaches/preaches presents God’s Word (the Bible) directly and faithfully; thus, commends God’s Word (the Bible) to the Hearers’ Conscience, in God’s sight. By this the Person teaches/preaches wins, the day, and over the false teacher.
2Corinthians 5:11 “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences” – Out of the respect and exalting Awe of God and not for financial gain, His (God’s) People persuades others to the truth of God’s Word (the Bible); God’s People’s success is gauged in the Conscience of those they ministered.
8. Strengthens Fellowship
Conscience also strengthens the Christian Fellowship. Romans chapters 14 & 15 and 1Corinthians chapters 8, 9 & 10 teaches that some People have Strong Conscience; while some people have Weak Conscience. Those with the Strong Conscience often create problems in the Fellowship. Some in the Roman Assemblies has Weak Conscience, and they would not eat meat. Some in the Corinthian Church has a Strong Conscience; they not only eat meat, but they also eat it at the temples and participated in feasts. Paul writes to those People and explained what it meant to have Weak Conscience and what it meant to have Strong Conscience.
The Person with Strong Conscience does not have the privilege of doing things that would cause the brother to stumble. The Person with the Strong Conscience can exercise his privileges and the freedoms that he has in God’s Word (the Bible), but he must not cause others to stumble. The Person with Strong Conscience must help the Person with Weak Conscience to grow in the Lord Jesus.
9. Encourages Witnessing
Good Conscience encourages Witnessing as it gives the Person courage to face problems and difficulties. He sees opportunities to demonstrate God’s Love – 1Peter 2:19 “For this is thanks worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.” Anybody can endure suffering when he has done wrong – that does not take much grace. But when the Person has done everything right and suffers for it; that is something else.
What takes the Person through that suffering? A Good Conscience; when his Conscience is right between him and God, it makes little difference what people say about him or do to him, as God’s Word states – 1Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear, having a good conscience, that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good manner of life (behaviour) in Christ” A Good Conscience encourages the Person to Witness.
10. Helps Prayer
Good Conscience helps the Person in his prayer: 1John 3:19-22 “And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart (conscience) condemns us, God is greater than our heart (conscience), and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart (conscience) condemns us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” When the Person prays, and his Conscience convicts him; he needs to get it straightened out before God; because it is a wonderful feeling to be able to pray in the Will of God and not be accused by Conscience. The Psalmist said: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18). Conscience helps the Person in his praying, because a Conscience void of offense toward God and others help him to pray more effectively (Matthew 5:23-24).
11. Enhances Citizenship
Conscience encourages the Person to be a Good Citizen as shown in Romans chapter 13:1-7. When the Person received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal Saviour, it not only produces a life of transformation but also a life of subjection to authority. Romans 13:1-2 states: “Obedience to the State is an ordinance of God;” the opening words: “Let every person subject himself to the governing authorities,” defines the obligation of the Christian. And the reason why he has this obligation: “There is no human authority except by God and those who exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1b); both the Officeholder and the Office; God’s Word (the Bible) stresses that the Government and its Administrators are from God; to resist Governmental Authority is to resist the Ordinance of God; those who resist will receive condemnation.
Christians should picture the Governmental Authority in the rightful exercise of their prerogatives. Since Governmental in the proper function brings terror to the evil Worker: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” (Romans 13:3a) – not to the good – the man who Fear (respect) Governmental Authority, constantly practices good work: “Wilt thou, then, not be afraid of the power (authority)?” (Romans 13:3b).The Person who acts thus will receive Praise from the Authority: “Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same” (Romans 13:3c). Governmental Authority is the Helper and God’s Agent: “For he is the minister of God to thee for good” (Romans 13:4a).
The Person who does wrong ought to fear: “But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid” (Romans 13:4b). Governmental Authority does not carry out punishment without a cause. Here it is clear that God has ordained punishment to be used by the Authority to prevent anarchy and the tyranny of evil in human society: “For he beareth not the sword (punishment) in vain” (Romans 13:4c). The reason is against reinforced, Governmental Authority is God’s Agent; an Avenger that brings God wrath upon the Evildoer: “For he is the minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4d). Romans 13: 5-7 – Two Reasons for obedience to Governmental Authority, with results:
- God’s Wrath administered by the Governmental Authority will fall upon those who disobey: “Wherefore, ye must needs to be subject, not only for wrath” (Romans 13:5a).
- The Christian’s Conscience declares that he must obey the Ordinances of God through submission to the Governmental Authority: “But also for Conscience sake” (Romans 13:5b).
Submission to Governmental Authority is one of these Ordinances involve the paying of one’s taxes, paying customs duties, showing respect to those entitled to respect, showing honour to those entitled honour, etc., etc. These are obligations of Christians to the Governmental Authority: “For, for this cause pay ye tribute also; for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render, therefore, to all their due: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour” (Romans 13:6-7).
12. The Consequence
The Person cannot afford to fool around with, or toy with his Conscience, because Conscience is God’s Gift to him. Conscience can be used to Guide the Person Conduct, strengthen his Service for God, strengthen in him in his Christian Fellowship, encourage his witnessing, helps him in his praying, enhance his Citizenship. That is why Charles Wesley wrote in that hymn: “I want a principle within/of watchful, godly fear.” – That Principle is Conscience!
Stay Tuned….. To be continued…..