but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
As our study on the human conscience comes to an end. I would like us to take a few moments to review our study and look at a text from Proverbs 28:1…. “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov 28:1)
1) The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1 – KJV)
1) The lawless, fleeth when no man pursueth, but, the righteous, like a lion, are confident. (Proverbs 28:1 – EBR)
What a grand way to end our study of the human conscience, we will now take a few moments to study our theme verse. A verse that is a great summary to our entire series…
Here, we see the work of the conscience in the life one who has been unfaithful to the Lord and following a path of sin….
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth:”
“Those who have broken the commands of the Lord will run to a hiding place when no man is hunting or persecuting them.” Why will this take place? Why is one a fugitive when one man is attempting to catch and harm him? He does this because of the powerful testimony of the conscience at work in his life.
We have all experienced guilt in our lives. It is a very powerful emotion that changes the way we perceive everything around us…. a perfect example of the power of guilt is found in Leviticus 26:27-37. Here, the Lord is speaking to those who have willfully rebelled against His desires for the nation of Israel. They had chosen to replace the worship of Jehovah with the worship of false idols. Look at how He responds to their sinfulness…
27) And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
Due to their willful rebellion against the Lord and the testimony of their conscience…
28) Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins…
The Lord would intervene in two ways:
First, He would take away many of the blessings that they no longer appreciated…
29) And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
30) And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
31) And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
32) And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
33) And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
34) Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye [be] in your enemies’ land; [even] then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
35) As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
Secondly, He would placed in their hearts a spirit of fear and paranoia, through the continuing testimony of their conscience….
36) And upon them that are left [alive] of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
37) And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
“but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
In comparison, those who are diligent in following the promptings of their conscience, possess an inner spiritual confidence and strength that is founded upon their close relationship with their Lord. We have that principle shown to us in 1 John 3:19-22 ….
19) And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
By knowing that we have applied the truth of God to our lives, we can have confidence that we are one of His people.
20) For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
If our human fallen fleshly conscience is telling us that we have sin in our lives, how many more sins are seen by the Holy God who knows all things? If our conscience is telling us we have sin in our life, we can rest assured our sin does not stop there. There are probably many other sins we commit that are known by God but unknown to us at our current level of spiritual maturity.
21) Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.
22) And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
The blessing of having a clear conscience before God involves:
1. knowing we have a close relationship with Him, we are saved and putting Him first in our lives.
2. knowing that the same God that saved us, is the same God that promises to be with us, lead us, protect us and accompany us throughout our walk on earth. We can no with certainty He will bless us for our faithfulness to Him.
3. knowing that as we pray in His will, He will grant our requests as He works out what is best for our lives.
All of this becomes a reality to us as we see His gracious intervention exhibited in our lives through a changed life of obedience to Him. When we see obedience in our lives, we are also viewing His grace at work in our lives. Our lives of obedience is a great source of confidence that we are truly saved and in a close walk with Him.
Proverb 28:1 is a case study of the results of going against the urgings of our conscience and committing willful, rebellious sin in the life….
1. The Lord takes away material blessings
2. The Lord takes away spiritual blessings of confidence, bravery and reliance upon Him
3. The Lord allows them to become a defeated and powerless people that was bringing shame to the cause of their Lord.
And in comparison the results of following our conscience and living lives of service that glorify and honor Him…
1. We know the Lord will meet our every need as our loving heavenly Father.
2. We know the Lord will bless us spiritually granting us confidence, bravery and reliance upon Him.
3. We know the Lord will enable us to be powerful, victorious servants, glorifying Him in all areas of our lives.
After reading these texts, helping us to understand the benefits of following our conscience, and seeing the harmful results of ignoring the conscience’s testimony in our lives, how can we not strive to follow our conscience every day? In doing so, we will be glorifying our Lord and living a blessed life of close communion with Him.
In our study of the human conscience we have seen:
Lesson One and Lesson Four
1.That the conscience is the gracious gift given by God that is a guide for our lives. The guiding of the conscience is based upon the perceived truth that we have within us. This emphasizes to us the importance of having a well-rounded knowledge of Scripture which can form the foundation of the working of our conscience.
2. The conviction of the conscience and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, although similar and related are, in actually, two separate types of conviction from the Lord.
We saw that conscience conviction without the Holy Spirit’s workings results in: sorrow without Godly intervention and eternal spiritual death. Compare this to the conscience that is used as a tool by the Holy Spirit to convict and convince results in: sorrow that results in turning from the sin to service to God; sorrow that is a gift of God’s grace; sorrow that results in repentance and salvation; sorrow for sin that is permanent; and sorrow that results in Godliness as a top priority of life.
3. The conscience of man was active within men during the times of the Old Testament and times of the New Testament as well.
4. The conscience works in many and varied ways but all its workings are aimed towards bringing us into alignment with the will of God for our lives.
5. For the truth of God’s Word to affect our lifestyle, the truth must be received in our mind and conscience and then applied to our will.
6. The ministries of the conscience can be pictured by a messenger, an eye, and a rod. It is through its three ministries that we can come to understand our true spiritual condition and the spiritual needs of our lives
7. The conscience helps us in seven ways to better serve Christ… It guides our conduct; It strengthens us for service; it enhances our fellowship; it encourages our witnessing; it aids our prayerlife; it teaches us to be Godly citizens; it builds our character.
Lesson Eight through Eleven
8. There are four types of consciences described in the Bible: Good, Strong, Weak, and Evil.
9. We looked at the many differing characteristics, marks and keys to properly deal with each type in our life.
10. We are to strive to obtain a good and strong conscience; while constantly on guard against allowing our conscience to become weak, or evil.
11. One of the main keys to developing the desired type of conscience lies in our hearing, believing, and applying the truths of God’s Word to our life. Also, the need to heed the urgings of the conscience and to live our lives according to it’s leadership is an important factor as well.
12. We saw the importance of submitting to the God-given authorities that are over us. These included (family, church and government)
13. We saw several examples of those who chose to follow the Lord’s will for their lives and in doing so, they rebelled against sinful desires of the government that was over them.
14. Finally, in the rare event we must disobey the government to make Christ our first priority we must: be sure we have a consistent Godly testimony; disobey only based upon CLEAR Biblical teachings; always be exhibiting love and concern for others during our disobedience; disobey with the goal to be a witness of the glory of God; behave as Christ would behave.
By God’s grace let us all be aware of the importance and condition of our consciences. In doing so, let us all strive to maintain a good and strong conscience that will a constant companion as we live our lives for Christ.
For a free copy of this series in book form pdf version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/conscience.pdf
For a free copy of this series in book form docx version: please go to: https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/conscienceprotected.docx
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com