In the New Testament the words “heart” and “conscience” are one and the same in meaning. The heart is the apparent location of the conscience, the place where God communicates to an individual, and the center of spiritual life. It is the seat of our intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
The conscience is an extraordinary gift that shows us the grace, mercy, and power of God to reach in beyond what anyone else (including us) can see, and speak to our hearts. It must be educated and trained to recognize what is good. As our “witness within”, the conscience perceives our personality and whether or not we are living according to what it has been taught.
Every human being is given a conscience designed specifically by God to bring us into perfection. It is not that we become perfect, but our relationship with the Lord can be perfect if we live according to the conscience He has built within us.
One of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts; and their conscience uses that to bring forth what they need to know. (Hebrews 8:8-12) Wise Christians are careful not to engage in actions that conflict with their conscience. They listen to their conscience, whether they like it or not, and they allow it to judge them according to the Word of God.
Continually stifling a conscience renders it inoperative. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1Timothy 4:1&2) The witness that lives within us and tells us what is true and what is error can become so seared that it has no real application to us – so seared that we cannot believe the truth when it is right in front of us.
Without a conscience based on the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no peace within. Can you say that you are in good conscience before God this day? If not, repent and allow your conscience to speak to you. Accept it as a witness of what the Scriptures tell you and what the Holy Spirit brings to your heart and mind.
Pastor Odom’s message can be heard each Sunday on Radio KAML, AM 990, at 8:30 a.m. Choate Baptist Church meets for Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., Worship at 11 a.m., and Sunday and Wednesday Evening Services at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there!