The conscience - compass of the soul.


Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.
(1 Timothy 1.19)


The conscience is a vital but fragile spiritual faculty easily mistreated or misguided.
How extremely dangerous it is to violate the conscience wilfully and carelessly!
It is like a spiritual Satnav - and needs careful nurture and protection - how evil its malfunction.

Yet how carelessly neglected the central importance of conscience is.
Its active watchfulness is a crucial sign of spiritual health and mistreatment of the conscience lies at the root of much psychiatric and spiritual ill.

I shall always be grateful for the illumination I received on this most important subject in the faithful ministry of the Word of my dear former pastor, Peter Masters.  CS

Various disorders of the conscience:

An angry conscience
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts,
their conscience also bearing witness,
and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;
Rom. 2.15

And the way of peace have they not known: Rom. 3.17

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. Isa. 57. 21-22

  "Neither greatness of authority, nor wealth of riches, nor extensive power,
nor physical might, nor a sumptuous table,
nor elegant clothes, nor anything else a man may possess can give joy and peace of soul;
this comes only from spiritual well-being and a good conscience."
John Chrysostom
(A pity the great preacher had little conscience about his malicious slanders against the Jews,
perhaps the result of his concessions to iconolatry.)

A striking but by no means exceptional illustration of the enormous psychological power of the conscience.

Overcharged and ill focussed on matters of little real importance

'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith:
these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.'
Mt 23:23 

But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 1Co 8:12 

(Often as a result of the overtaxing of conscience by wearying it with minutiae as above)
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. 1 Tim. 4.2

Defiled and deadened
Unto the pure all things are pure:
but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure;
but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1.15

But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 1Ti 5:6 

Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. Eph 4:19 

Dangerously out of synchronisation with God's will
Yes, the time cometh, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service! Joh 16:2

And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury,
because it is the price of blood.  Mt 27:6
(Many other examples could be multiplied of this phenomenon, which is exceedingly common amongst those afflicted with
blind, self righteous religious zeal.
The Scribes were so focussed on maintaining ritual purity they neglected the enormity of their guilt in murdering Messiah - what about us?)

Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment:
and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall,
lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. John 18.28


  Will  this be the state of your soul? - may God forbid!
Writeoff 1writeoff 2writeoff 3

A good test of healthy preaching
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness,
nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  2 Cor. 4.1-2

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim. 4.3-4
Vigorous and healthy spirituality

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart,
and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 1Ti 1:5 

Essential to accurate spiritual perception
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 1Ti 3:9 

How can an angry conscience be properly and legitimately brought to peace with God?
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb 10:22 

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God,
purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb 9:14 

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1.8-10

Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. Luke 7.50b


Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 4. 23
Satnav working?