'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Choices Of Conscience
Life is full of choices. We are pressed from every side it seems, by choices - choices about almost anything we can imagine.
The freedom enjoyed by many in the free world is labeled as freedom because freedom allows choices. Some of those freedoms are restricted by law; others are open ended. that is the freedom is only limited by the number of choices available. But there is one freedom that God gives us that is important for all Christians to understand - the freedom of conscience.
Every human has been given by God a simple inner mechanism of a thing we call conscience. Depending on many circumstances, some are more acute than others. Some seem to have almost no conscience - at least a moral conscience. Many have a consciousness of failure to obtain what they want, or of an offense by someone. (Romans 2:14-15)
This freedom is influenced by many factors in a person's life. The nature of the environment in which we were born, grew up, taught by circumstances, teaching of parents, friend, enemies, and a countless other occurrences in life. When one is converted and becomes a believer in Jesus Christ, the conscience begins to be directly influenced by the truth of the Bible, and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit begins to work with us as Christians according to His infinite understanding of who we are at any given moment as to conscience.
Jesus through the Holy Spirit knows the deep workings of our being, which includes the state of our conscience at any given moment, when confronted with any circumstance, event, or thought. Many things in our life are prejudged by our conscience, depending upon the circumstances of our age, upbringing, education, and other peoples opinions about our opinions.
It is very important to God - and for our peace of mind - that we continually live and believe in such a manner that produce a clear and clearer conscience. Our conscience tells our minds and feelings how it is functioning - whether it approves, disapproves, or has doubts about an activity, or even a thought. The Apostle Paul gave counsel concerning matters of conscience when making choices to be sure to be convinced in our own minds. (Romans 14:1-5)
As we can see, there are many factors in all our lives called choices that act as tests of our conscience. These tests measure our growth spiritually, as we develop more and more the mind of Christ in all things.
There are many factors that impact our conscience. These impacts cannot be avoided, because our conscience is part of who we are every moment of our existence. The conscience will determine, or at least influence almost everything we do, say, and think. Therefore, the conscience in many ways influences or determines our actions, our words, and our thoughts; which in turn influences our beliefs and convictions concerning what we allow as part of our living every day.
These tests of our conscience revolve around some of the common things of life. To name a few, the conscience is engaged in influencing our feelings and opinions regarding things such as: foods, movies, TV, alcohol, work, money, hail style, clothing, words, culture, etc. How we act and react to others concerning these things, and many others too numerous to list, can reflect our spiritual state at a given moment. The things that seem questionable for some and not to others are lovingly given by God as tests of our developing Christian conscience.
The good news is that our conscience can be educated out of the darkness and confusion of feelings and opinions. This is never accomplished by just our will, determination, or even correct education. We hear sometimes about "educating" our conscience. This can only be done by the Holy Spirit through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Apostle Paul refers to this process as putting on the "new man". This new man is slowly being formed in the Christian until he has a clear conscience, and becomes a new creation by the Holy Spirit's molding from inside the believer. The conscience of the "old man" is slowly enveloped and cleansed by the new man in Jesus Christ. (Colossians 3:10)
He begins to have a new heart, a new mind - and a new, clearer conscience through the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can clear the conscience of man. It will wash and clean the conscience of wrong concepts, beliefs, doubts, opinions, sensitivities, habits, and actions, He becomes a new creation in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
As time goes by, the Holy Spirit cleanses wrong responses.Your conscience is now being cleansed and cleared, and made new by the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Christ.
Surrender your conscience to Him. Let Him create a new one in you, with progressively less doubt and guilt. He will educate your conscience and guide you in making more and more right choices, with less and less doubt, and more peace and freedom in Christ.
"Therefore if any person is [engrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!" - 2 Corinthians 5:17.
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