Weekly Devotional 4-22-18 Conscience
What is the conscience? Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines the conscience as “the sense or consciousness of moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s conduct, intensions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.” Where does the conscience come from? Some may answer that it is inbred into us, that it comes from our father and mother. This answer has credibility. The conscience is seminally passed from father to son or daughter, but this still does not give the origin of conscience. Where then did it originate? Was it not endowed to man at his creation? The Bible declares that “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7 KJB). Certainly the breath of life was nitrogen and oxygen (air) which is the necessary compound to sustain life. But, it was more than that. It was a spiritual impartation, man was endowed with a spirit. A spirit that gave man the ability to recognize, hear, and communicate with God, and the ability to receive instruction from Him. God also granted man a will by which he might obey or disobey God’s communication. In that granting God warned Adam (our federal head) that disobeying Him would bring a consequence of spiritual separation.
When in compliance with God’s communication, Adam sensed compatibility with God. However, when in disobedience, he immediately sensed a disconnect or a separation. It was Adam ‘s spirit that connected him with his Creator. This is true of all his offspring. When we obey God’s commands, we sense connection with Him. When we are walking in disobedience, we sense a disconnect with Him, a separation from Him. Is not then man’s spirit his conscience? Yes. Consider for instance what Paul wrote of those who knew about God but refused to be obedient to Him. “18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:18-32 NKJB). Verse 32 emphatically states that the spirit, the conscience of those to whom Paul wrote, were con-victed of their wrongdoing, their sin. This was certainly true of those Jesus had in mind when in conversation with the Jewish Pharisee Nicodemus, He said, “19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:19-20 NKJB).
Man’s spirit, a.k.a. man’s conscience, was given so that man would have recognition of God, have communication with Him, and be responsible to Him. Man is without excuse. Each person is given a spirit, a conscience. There are no so called atheists. Every person has the witness within themselves that God is, and each has a responsibility before Him.