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.