Tag: Romans

Seven Characters of Conscience (Romans 2:14-15) (Part 2)

The Statement

It is important to know how Conscience is pictured in God’s Word. If the Person understands what Conscience is and how it functions, it will change his life. God’s Word reveals in Romans 2:14-15 the Seven Characters of Conscience:

1. Born With

Conscience is born in every Human Being since the Creation of Adam. Adam’s Conscience was inoperative until Adam sinned – Adam, when questioned by God (Genesis 3:11), excuses himself and accuses God and his wife (Eve) for the Fall – Genesis 3:12 “Then the man (Adam) said, ‘the woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” The woman (Eve), when questioned by God (Genesis 3:13a), excuses herself and accuses the Serpent – Genesis 3:13b “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.

2. Bears Witness

Romans 2:15a “Their conscience also bearing witness.” Conscience is the inner faculty that indicates to the Person whether his action is right or wrong, based on the “standard” within his heart. The phrase “bearing witness” is in the present tense, indicates that Conscience is active all the times:

  • Conscience is not the Law but it bears witness of the Law.
  • Conscience is not the “moral standard” but it bears witness to whatever “moral standard” the Person has in him – Conscience functions is based on “moral standard” that the Person holds! The highest “moral standard” is God’s Word, to the Christians.

Oswald Chambers gives a good definition of Conscience: “The Conscience is that innate faculty in a man’s spirit that attaches itself to the highest that the man knows.”

3. Accuses or Excuses

Romans 2:15b “And their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.” Conscience accuses or excuses. Conscience is that inner faculty given by God that indicates to the Person whether his actions, motives, thoughts, behaviour, or attitudes are right or wrong; based on the “moral standard” within his heart. Conscience guides him aright if he has the right “moral standard.” Everyone has experienced this. If he does something wrong, his Conscience will bother him. Something down inside keeps reminding him that he should not have done that; this is the “Work” of Conscience. However, if the Person abuses his Conscience, repeatedly; his Conscience begins to be less effective in guiding him: 

  • When David cut off part of King Saul’s skirt, while King Saul was asleep, David’s heart smote him (1Samuel 4:1-6). David knew that what he has done to King Saul was wrong, because he (Saul) is the King of Israel. David’s Conscience bothered him.
  • Proverbs 28:1 says: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth.” That’s Conscience at work.
  • We read that Herod, when he heard about the miracles Jesus is doing, though that John the Baptist has come back to life; his Conscience bothers him: “John, whom I have beheaded; he is raised from the dead” (Mark 6:16).

Stay tune…..to be continued.

The Overview of Conscience (Romans 2:14-15) (Part 1)

The Statement

Every human being on earth is born with a conscience – “something within the heart of every person approves when he does right and accuses when he does wrong; and that something is conscience” – Romans 2:14-15 “For when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them.”  No person can get rid of or escape from his conscience. A person can cause his conscience to malfunction (breakdown) when he:

  • Argues with his conscience
  • Defiles his conscience
  • Hardens his conscience

Charles Wesley wrote these words to express a truth concerning conscience: “I want a principle within/of watchful, godly fear.”

Immanuel Kant a German philosopher wrote: “Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe…….the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.

American Indian – An American Indian who was a Christian said: “In my heart there is an arrowhead with three points to it. If I do wrong, the arrowhead turns, and it cuts me. It I do wrong too much, I wear out the points and it does not hurt me quite so much. “But when the pain is gone, watch out!”

The word “conscience” is used 32 times in the New Testament (KJV).  It is used 21 times by the Apostle Paul in the Epistles. If a born-again Christian is going to be successful in his walk, he must understand what conscience is and how it functions.

The Definition

The word conscience in our English Language comes from two Latin words: “com” = “with or together,” “scio” = “I know.” From the Latin, our English word conscience means “to know with” or “to know together.” “To know with ourselves and to know within ourselves.”  Conscience is that inner knowledge that helps us to know ourselves

  • Greek – The Greek word used in the New Testament is “suneidesis” (“sun” = with; “oida” = to know). “To know;” “knowing of oneself” – the moral sense of what is right and wrong in-built in a human being.  In the New Testament, the word “conscience” is not a strange word. It is used by the Greek in their everyday conversations. It meant “the pain that you feel when you do wrong.” 
  • Oxford Dictionary – Moral sense of right and wrong; consciousness of moral quality of one’s actions or motives.
  • Webster’s Dictionary – Consciousness of the moral right and wrong of one’s own acts or motives.
  • ScripturalRomans 2:14-15 “For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, having not the law, are a law unto themselves. Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.”

The Description

Romans 2:14-15 “For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, having not the law, are a law unto themselves. Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.”

  • Conscience is man’s moral intuition, his moral self in the act of passing judgment upon his own state, emotions, and thoughts, and upon his own words and actions, whether there be viewed as past, present, or future.
  • Conscience is man’s moral self-echoing his cognitive (reasoning) self. It both approves or condemns (Romans 2:14-15).
  • Conscience is man’s inner voice repeating God’s voice, his own judgement endorsing God’s judgement, his own spirit bearing witness with God’s Spirit.
  • Conscience is the response of man’s moral consciousness to the Divine Revelation concerning himself, his attitudes, his words and actions.

The Gentiles are not given the Law; the Law is given to the Jews. But the Gentiles have the work of the Law written in their hearts. Paul does not say that the Gentiles have the Law written in their hearts.  When a person received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit begins to write God’s Law (Word) in his heart; the right and wrong is defined from God’s Word, God’s Principles and conscience. Whereas, an unbeliever knows the right or wrong as his conscience bears witness (Romans 2:15).  It is important to know how conscience is pictured in God’s Word. If the person understands what conscience is and how it functions, it will change his life. God’s Word reveals in Romans 2:14-15 the Seven Characteristics of conscience:

Stay tune…..to be continued.