A CONSCIENCE WITHOUT OFFENSE
1. The conscience is misunderstood, abused, neglected & disregarded by
many (cf. Jiminy Cricket, "let your conscience be your guide!").
2. Conscience can be: Evil (Heb. 10:22); dead (Heb. 9:14); defiled (Tit. 1:15); seared (1
Tim. 4:2); weak (1 Cor. 8:7); good (Acts 23:1); cleansed (Heb. 9:14); pure (2 Tim. 1:3);
without offense (Acts 24:16).
3. Acts 24:16 - Paul exercised (strive) to always have a clean conscience before God &
4. Exercise ourselves to have a clean conscience: Have a correct knowledge of what it is,
how to cleanse it, train it & protect it.
I. WHAT IS THE CONSCIENCE?
A. It is the Faculty of Mind by Which We Assess Right & Wrong.
1. It is a monitor of the way we live - Acts 23:1.
2. It does not establish God's approval - cf. 1 Tim. 1:12.
B. The Function of Conscience: It Either Commends or Condemns Us (our conduct) to
Ourselves - Rom. 2:15.
1. May cause guilt & shame when we sin - cf. Gen. 42:21; Jno. 8:9.
2. May warn us when we contemplate wrongdoing - cf. 1 Cor. 8:7.
3. May approves us when we do what we believe to be right (Acts 26:9).
C. Conscience Functions on the Basis of Knowledge - Rom. 2:15.
1. It "bears witness" that a person has a knowledge of sin
(the "work of the law", Rom. 3:20) - cf. Rom. 9:1; 2 Cor. 1:12.
2. Therefore, the knowledge upon which it rests & by which it
functions must be accurate, or its reading will also be skewed!
3. Reliable only to the degree it agrees with the truth of God's word
(cf. Saul of Tarsus).
II. CLEANSING THE CONSCIENCE
A. It is Possible through the Blood of Christ - Heb. 9:9, 14.
B. By an Obedient Faith, Being Baptized to be Saved - Heb. 10:22; 1 Pet. 3:21.
III. TRAINING THE CONSCIENCE
--With knowledge of God's word - Phil. 1:9-11.
a. Learn & live the commands of God - 1 Tim. 1:5.
b. Grow in faith - 1 Tim. 1:19 (2 Cor. 5:7).
c. Serve God in love from a pure conscience - 2 Tim. 1:3.
IV. PROTECTING THE CONSCIENCE
A. What Defiles the Conscience?
1. Doubt - Rom. 14:23.
a. Be fully assured - Rom. 14:5.
b. Do not violate it! - 1 Cor. 8:7, 10, 12.
2. Apathy - Jas. 4:17.
a. Do what you know is right!
b. Even to the point of suffering - 1 Pet. 2:19; 3:16.
3. False doctrine - 1 Tim. 4:1-2.
-Protection: Pure doctrine - 1 Tim. 4:3 (truth); 3:9.
4. Willful sin - Rom. 13:5.
a. Be humble before God & man - 2 Cor. 1:12.
b. Desire to live honorably - Heb. 13:18.
1. A good conscience operates in "full assurance of faith" - Heb.
2. Your conscience is a valuable mechanism, when properly educated & trained, to help
you avoid sin & do what is right.
3. Train it with the word of God; protect it by not violating it; serve God with a pure
conscience (2 Tim. 1:3) - You will have a conscience that is without offense toward God
& man! (Acts 24:16)