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Monday, April 8, 2024

Your Conscience


Adam and Eve lived in innocence in the Garden of Eden. It was heaven on earth. It was God’s perfect creation. But once they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, their perfect life abruptly ended. The temptation the serpent offered them was to get them to focus on themselves instead of on their relationship with their Creator. He told them if they ate of the tree, they wouldn’t die. They would be like God knowing good and evil. After they ate the forbidden fruit, they suddenly became aware of their nakedness. Their consciences condemned them.


A conscience is “the part of you that judges how moral your own actions are and makes you feel guilty about bad things that you have done or things you feel responsible for” (Cambridge Dictionary). 


Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, their consciences brought them shame and the fear of God’s punishment. God never created us to live in sin, shame, and the fear of His punishment. God never created us to be rejected by Him. He created us for fellowship with Him. Before Adam and Eve sinned, there was no need for a conscience, but with their sin, it became a necessity. 


The conscience is the part of us that excuses or accuses us (Romans 2:15). A conscience is necessary for someone who is lost to become aware of their sin and need for forgiveness. Maybe this is why the Lord had the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden. He wanted to give us a free choice to love and serve Him. Otherwise, we would only love and serve Him because we had to and not because we wanted to. God wants us to choose to have a relationship with Him. 


God always knew we would rebel against Him.


“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).


God had a plan for us from the beginning. He knew we would sin and Jesus would become the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Before God even created us, He had designed the perfect payment for our sins to restore us to a relationship with Him. When God’s perfect time had come, God sent His Son to redeem us (Galatians 4:4). And Jesus willingly fulfilled God’s plan for our redemption. 


“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14)?


The blood of Jesus cleanses our consciences from dead works—those acts of sin that produce death. This verse might also be applied to our own efforts to do good so God will accept us. If we put our trust in our good works to make us right with God then those works can be dead works. 


Notice that it is our consciences that have to be cleansed from these dead works. The conscience either makes excuses for us or accuses us. This speaks of the guilt our consciences produce when we’ve done wrong or the self-righteousness our consciences produce when we’ve done right. We need to be cleansed and purged from both of these purposes of the conscience (Hebrews 10:22). Our total trust has to be in what Jesus has done for us and not what we have done for Him. 


We are new creatures in Christ in our born-again spirits. Our sins are crucified with Christ. They are removed from us as far as the east is from the west. But when our minds and hearts aren’t renewed by the truths of our new identity in Christ, we don’t know the truths He has purchased for us with His precious blood. We aren’t transformed by the knowledge of the new person He has made us (Romans 12:2). When we don’t have knowledge of the new life the Holy Spirit has birthed in us, we have difficulty yielding to our teacher, the Holy Spirit. We have trouble walking in the Spirit and we end up fulfilling the lust of our flesh (Galatians 15:16).


Having a mind that is not renewed by the truths of our salvation hinders us from having an intimate relationship with God. Our conscience will try to condemn us. Conviction is of the Holy Spirit and can lead to repentance and life. Condemnation is from our conscience or the enemy and leads to death. We have to be renewed by God’s truth of our righteousness in Christ to rid our consciences of dead works so we can serve the living God. Then we can draw near in full assurance of our faith in Jesus, “having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).


The blood of Jesus cleanses you thoroughly and restores you completely.  When you don’t believe the truths of your right standing with God Jesus has given you, your conscience and the enemy will condemn you. You will be tempted like Adam and Eve to focus on yourself instead of your relationship with God. 


God had told Adam and Eve if they ate of the tree they would surely die. When they did eat it, they purchased eternal death for us. But when Jesus fulfilled God’s plan of redemption, He restored us to our relationship with God and purchased eternal life for us.


The relationship with God that sin destroyed in the Garden was restored in Jesus’ perfect love.


Believe in the truths of your salvation. You are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. You are new in Christ. The old has passed away. Learn the new person you are in your born-again spirit. The Holy Spirit will renew your mind (Ephesians 4:23). God is greater than your heart and knows all things. If your heart doesn’t condemn you, you have confidence in God (1 John 3: 20-21).


You have a relationship with your Creator. Assure your heart of your right standing with Him (1 John 3:19). You are made new in the image of your Creator. Put on your new man created in true righteousness and holiness. Continually be renewed in the knowledge of who you are in Christ (Ephesians 4:23-24, Colossians 3:10), and draw near to Him in full assurance of faith.







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