Is there a universal sense of right and wrong in everyone - even those who have never ever heard of a God or Jesus Christ?
Psychologists, philosophers, and Christian teachers have grappled with the conscience in one way or another for eons it seems. We all were born with a conscience, and it becomes active a very young age. It is part of God’s creation in us. It was created in mankind when God created Adam and Eve. They were created with a pure and undefiled conscience. They had a freedom of conscience that no one has experienced since their disobedience in the garden.
Since that time, problems multiplied when humans, without a mutual human environment, function independently, and then are placed in an environment that includes many other humans. Do all have a “sixth” sense of right and wrong? They ask “what is right and wrong”? Who defines right and wrong? In the Garden, no definition was given. It was manifested the instant Eve bit the forbidden fruit. It can be easy to ease the mind of guilt feelings by dismissing guilt feelings as being irrelevant, or insignificant in any given situation. Consciousness of something right or wrong is universal in the human race.
Doing the right is the problem. And the guilt acquired from doing so. Through the devil's influence using the fallen nature in mankind, the world is preconditioned to make the choice of the wrong most of the time. The whole issue gets very complicated for those outside of Jesus Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can empower one to choose the right in God's sight consistently. Every human has been endowed with what we call a “conscience”. In almost every moment of the day, the conscience is active, either approving or disapproving thoughts and actions.
The Apostle Paul had to deal with questions concerning the conscience when preaching to those outside of knowing the law, including the Decalogue, and other requirements and taught by the Jewish establishment and others. In working with these and others, he explains much of the problem in this way:
“When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them on that day when, as my gospel proclaims, God will judge the secrets [all the hidden thoughts and concealed sins] of men through Christ Jesus.” - Romans 2:14-16
God’s Law strengthens the innate consciousness of right and wrong. The good news - the glorious good news!…is that upon repentance of breaking the written law of God, all who believe - Jew and Gentile, regardless of their prior understanding of the Law, receive the Holy Spirit who fulfills the law and guides and motivates the mind, and enables one to keep the Law according to and in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit then enables one to keep and fulfill God’s righteousness apart from the letter of the law. In the mean time, the shed blood of Jesus Christ blots out and washes away the guilt we have from breaking the Law!
Now, when our conscience convicts us, we confess our awareness of our wrong, and Jesus’ sacrifice blots out all our transgression.
We are free from our transgression, our guilty conscience, and are forgiven! Even though we may transgress again,
the blood of Jesus is applied, and we are freed from guilt - forever! We are delivered from the guilt produced by the Law forever. Now we are empowered to grow in righteousness, and even if we should unintentionally break the Law, Jesus sacrifice blots out our quilt. We can never be condemned again. Jesus ever lives to intercede for us! Therefore, we draw ever closer to Him, for He cares for us eternally. When our conscience accuses us, ask Jesus to forgive.
It is done! You are free from sin and guilt - and eternal death! All because Jesus has come...and is coming again!
"For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus, has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do [that is, overcome sin and remove its penalty, its power] being weakened by the flesh [man’s nature without the Holy Spirit], God did: He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful man as an offering for sin. And He condemned sin in the flesh [subdued it and overcame it in the person of His own Son].” - Romans 8:1-3
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