Faithlife Sermons

Conscience

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This sermon was inspired and informed by:

Conscience: what it is, how to train it, and loving those that differ” By Andrew D. Naselli & J. D. Crowley; 2016, Crossway. - Aprox 120pgs
2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV
12 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.
2

Illustration

Issues of conscience…maybe
Physical Person
piercings, tattoos, exercise, facial hair, head hair
Church
music, translation, youth, children, carpet, liturgy
Modesty
beach, formal, casual
Entertainment
tv, movies, plays, comedy
Medical
prescriptions, treatments, procedures, end of life care
Traditions
Christmas, Easter, Halloween
Stewardship
offerings, global warming, fare trade coffee
Harry Potter
Public / Private / Christian / Home Schooling
Makeup
Dessert
Levels of concern
First Level - Central to Christianity as a whole
Second Level - Reasonable boundaries / denominations
Third Level - Disputable matters [matters of conscience]

What is it?

Capacity

Independant

Reflective

Personal

Definitive

Gift

Can be good

Damaged

Definition pg 42-43
The Conscience is your consciousness of what you believe is right and wrong at any given point in time.
Can Be / Can Do?
Can Be
Positive
Good [, ; , ; ; ; ; , ]
Cleansed , ; , ; ; ; , ; ; ; ,
Cleansed [, ; ]
Negative
weak []
wounded []
defiled []
emboldened []
seared []
evil []
Can Do
Guide
Monitor
Witness
Judge

How to train it?

Damaged?

Reasons Conscience Changes
Further hardening though sin...
enlightenment, inclusion, acceptance
Conforming to ...
people, tradition, culture
Strengthened by God...
Holy Spirt, Holy Word, Prayer, etc.

The Remedy

Salvation = Renewal / Remade [] []
Bad = bad
Clean = clean
Insensitive
sanctification process...
1 John 1:9 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8–10 ESV
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
despair
1 John 2:1–2 ESV
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
“There is a Fountain” pg 50
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains!
Remedy & Process?

1] Confession

Calibration
1 John 2:1–2 ESV
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 Jhn 2.1-2
1 John 1:9 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 2:1–2 ESV
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

2] Calibration

Martin Luther Quote pg 56
“Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”
Oversensitive
Calibration = immensely important… [jail, torture, death]
Calibration = immensely important… [jail, torture, death]
no ones conscience perfectly matches God’s will!!
how reliable is your conscience?
generally speaking you should follow your conscience
gennerally…?
for the Christian this is most often true
Hebrews 10:22 ESV
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Romans 2:15 ESV
15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them
Romans 14:22–23 ESV
22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

How to calibrate conscience [a]

Education with Truth
how reliable is your conscience? or…
Is my conscience theologically correct?
John Mac Arthur Quote pg 67
“A regular diet of scripture will strengthen a weak conscience or restrain an overactive one. Conversely, error, human wisdom, and wrong moral influences filling the mind will corrupt or cripple the conscience… The conscience functions like a skylight, not a lightbulb.”
Truth in the Bible
Truth outside the Bible
examples…
Over Time
= Peter / Food / Gentiles

How to calibrate conscience [b]

addition
subtraction

Sinning vs Calibration

You are sinning when you believe your conscience to be rightly informed and calibrated on this issue yet you refuse to listen to it.
you are calibrating when God through His Spirit and Word teaches you that your conscience has been incorrectly warning you on this particular issue so you decide to no longer listen to your conscience on this one matter.
early stages feels like sin… = Peter

2 Biblical Principals of Conscience

God is the Only Lord of conscience
Obey your conscience

Loving those that differ.

[]

Welcome those who disagree. []
The free should not boast. []
The strict should not judge. []
Convince yourself! []
may not always be right...
Assume the best of your brother & sister. [] = MYOC
Are you fully persuaded it is right?
Done unto the Lord?
Not a stumbling block?
Brings peace?
Edify my brother?
Profitable?
Enslaving?
Bring glory to God?
Let God be the judge. []
Don’t allow your freedom to cause stumbling. []
Keep the main thing the main thing. []
Do not flaunt your freedoms nor subject your strictness. []
Live by your conscience! []
Follow Jesus, place others first. []
Glorify God by welcoming others like Jesus. []

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Closing Prayer

Taken from pg 116-117 of the above mentioned book...
Father, we are a finite and sinful people, and for a complex of reasons that you know far better than we do, we disagree with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on all sorts of disputable matters.
Would you please give us grace to welcome those who disagree with us on various disputable issues?
Would you please give us grace to not look down on those who are stricter then we are?
Would you please give us grace to not be judgmental toward those who exercise more freedom than we do?
Would you please give us grace to be fully convinced of our positions in our own consciences?
Would you please give us grace to practice our freedoms and restrictions for your glory and to assume that other believers are doing the same?
Would you please give us grace to keep disputable matters in perspective, knowing that we will some day stand before your judgement seat?
Would you please give us grace to not let our freedom destroy the faith of a professing Christian who is weaker on a particular disputable matter?
Would you please give us grace to build each other up in righteousness, peace, and joy?
Would you please give us grace to not flaunt our freedom or expect others to be as strict as we are?
Would you please give us grace to live according to our consciences and experience your blessing?
Would you please give us grace to follow the example of Christ, who put others first?
Would you please give us grace to bring you glory by welcoming one another as Christ welcomed us?
LORD, we are weak and selfish. We need so much endurance and encouragement to live with our brothers and sisters in this way of peace. You are the God of endurance and encouragement. Please grant us to live in such harmony with one another and in accord with Christ Jesus that together we may with one voice glorify you, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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