Friday, March 27, 2015

Consciences of the Unsaved

Chuckle: Thomas Edison's Mother: "Of course I'm proud that you invented the electric light bulb. Now turn it off and go to bed!"
Quote: "Trust that man in nothing who has not a conscience in everything." --Laurence Sterne
    "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God" (Hebrews 9:14 NIV).
We often observe criminal activity and the offender shows no pangs of conscience or remorse. We marvel at such out of control lives and the obvious total disregard for the welfare of others. One truth is patently clear -- unless a person's conscience is adequately trained and sensitized, it is useless as a moral guide for human conduct. Our consciences will be trained in the secular morality of the world or by the morality of God's Word and the Holy Spirit.
Before we become Christians, our consciences are trained by the definitions of right and wrong that we have been taught in the home, school, and other life-shaping venues. Unfortunately, all too many children grow up in homes where parents have no moral compass. These children will, in turn, contribute to a society with no moral absolutes -- seemingly without conscience. This is the "if it feels good, do it" generation. Right and wrong become relative terms and their definitions depend upon the situation at the time. The conscience of a non-Christian is missing the key factor for a conscience that will lead to conduct that pleases God and glorifies him through one's relationships with others. The unsaved conscience has no concept of what it means to live one's life with the sole purpose of pleasing God.
You may say, "But, Jerry, I know a lot of people who are not Christians who live good clean moral lives -- how do you explain that?" You're right. I have also made such observations, and we should be thankful for such people. Some non-Christian homes produce children who live moral lives -- up to the point of pleasing God. They make a huge difference in alleviating human suffering and their kindnesses are extremely beneficial to our society. However, none of what they do will lead to their eternal salvation or gain them any status in the eyes of God. Without Christ, they are still lost and without hope. . . .
You see, when our consciences are being shaped and ruled by the Holy Spirit, we not only will do good deeds and live a morally upright life, but our very motives for our actions will also be controlled by the Spirit. When we live by a Spirit-controlled conscience, we please and honor God. "The Lord's searchlight penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive" (Proverbs 20:27 NIV).
In our Hebrews passage, we see that only the blood of Christ can cleanse and purify our consciences so we no longer make wrong decisions that can lead to our spiritual death. Such decisions include choosing the wrong way to salvation -- i.e., depending on a good moral life to earn God's favor and ensure us a place in heaven.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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