The concept of CONSCIENCE (mentioned 30 times in the New Testament) is critical to our discussion. Conscience is not an internal organ or section of the brain. Rather, it is the ability to perceive right and wrong, to be aware of moral correctness. In the Christian particularly it is the faculty to discriminate between what is holy and what is not, to sense the holy Spirit’s urgings. That ability can be strong or weak. The scriptures repeatedly say the conscience can be “good” and “pure”, or, on the other hand, it can be “seared”, “defiled” and “evil”.
God has provided for every believer to have a good conscience with which to evaluate their own lifestyle and discern unholy things and avoid them. It is good when our conscience feels wounded or offended because it is bearing witness to something impure or immoral in us. Conversely, a seared conscience feels little or no conviction and so a person justifies lying, hypocrisy and immorality, thinking that these things are normal and tolerable.
To use terms we have recently discussed, conscience could be described as our ability to receive conviction from the Holy Spirit.
Could I suggest a simple prayer as we approach our church fast?
Father, quicken my conscience afresh so my heart can easily be pricked by Your Holy Spirit. Purge it by the blood of Christ as I renounce all the hidden things of dishonesty. For I fear a seared conscience which could hinder me from pleasing You with my lifestyle. In Jesus’ name, amen.