John 8:9 (KJV) And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
NOTE: Before you read this post let me add that I am not advocating your conscience can be ignored. Having a clear conscience has a lot to do with right living. Nothing can take the place of that. If you know you're doing wrong then stop it! Although I do believe there are many sincere people doing there best to walk with God that this blog will help. Your conscience is the information or knowledge center from within you. It not only gathers information from life experiences but also takes that information and deciphers it based on the knowledge you've obtained of right and wrong in your life time and declares it back unto you. One pastor referred to conscience as the "ding-dong bell" from within that either permits or forbids all your actions whether mental or physical.
There is no way to by-pass your conscience! It can be ignored but even then it takes on a default mode and operates within the confounds you give it. To be short, conscience is a intricate part of our every day lives and something we as believers need training on. Anyone who tells you to ignore it doesn't understand the scriptures.
One thing that should be said more is that the conscience is never to take the place of the Holy Spirit. Some teach conscience to such an extreme that it has caused the body of Christ to ignore clear directives from the word of God not understanding the difference between the two. This is when it's not only bad but a hazardous teaching.
Let me explain. Imagine the christian husband who has committed adultery and become unfaithful to his wife. After having confessed the sin and admitting his fault to his wife she frankly forgives him of all the wrong he has done. But the husband cannot forgive himself...even after receiving the forgiveness from his wife and understanding his right as a believer being forgiven by the Lord. Without realizing it, because of his ignorance of the word of God, concerning forgiveness and it being his covenant right, he continues to walk around like a condemned man unable to perform at the level he should as a good husband. His guilt and condemnation destroy him day after day from the inside out because he can't forgive himself of the wrong he has done. What is his problem?
This man's problem is his conscience and doesn't realize he has allowed his own conscience to override the Holy Spirit and become his God. For a lack of knowledge, because his conscience hasn't yet released him, he is still walking around in his own prison of guilt and shame. Now, not only is it destroying his marriage - the very thing he so desperately wants to save - but his entire life. It effects his profession, his parenting, his social life and all. His view of life becomes completely clouded under the guilt and condemnation of his past.
His conscience is suffocating the life out of him.
Life alone is enough to suffocate your conscience to the point of death. In our day, if you're not pro-active about your faith it's probable to say you'll continually struggle.
Just by virtue of the fact that you're alive is enough for me to know your conscience is bombarded daily with the cares of this life, offenses, lusts, fears, worries and the list goes on. It's really not something you even have to try, or even look for. Without proper training your conscience will drown under fear, failure and condemnation not knowing the truth about Jesus finished work on the cross.
We need training of Jesus Finished Work on the Cross as pertaining to our conscience.
Most believers don't even realize that we can put faith in the word of God concerning our conscience. Just the same as you put faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior you can put faith in a purged/clear conscience through His blood.
Your conscience is the part of your heart and mind that dictates to you whether you're a prisoner or freeman. It controls your worldview to such a degree that even your actions can be predetermined by it. The dictates of our conscience control the very outlook we have of our lives. It's so important that Jesus dealt with it on the cross and included it in His will for us as believers.
Where's the default button!
Like a computer program default button I've often coveted the default button of my mind and conscience. As a child, and even a young teen, things seemed a lot simpler. It wasn't until I came into my mid-teens that I even knew I had a conscience you might say. The older I got the more polluted my conscience grew. To such a degree that it became a major player in me stepping away from God at a young age.
I didn't realize my conscience was not God. As a youth I remember even after I'd pray and ask for forgiveness my conscience would still not allow me to move into the freedom I'd been given in Christ. This affected my entire life and temporarily changed to course of it for the worse. Had it not been for the Grace of God interrupting my course I'd be lost today. This scripture outlines that:
"being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest".
The older you get the more junk crowds your conscience.
Many think it's the other way around and that when you get older you get wiser and freer by virtue of aging. Most elder folk don't like to admit this but have said its absolutely true. The older you get, and the longer you live, the more junk you have to deal with from all the mess of life.
As a believer you have covenant right to a clear conscience by the blood of Jesus. In the book of Hebrews it says our conscience has been purged by the blood of Jesus. But, that's not automatic. You have to apply faith to the Word and believe it to be so.
"let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience..."
It wouldn't hurt to began a study on the blood of Jesus and to gain a better understanding the word covenant and what it means to have His blood spilled out for you. His blood isn't common blood. You must put faith in the blood of Jesus knowing what His blood has done for you. The older you get the more knowledge you need of the blood of Jesus to keep a purified, clear conscience. God Bless you today