Last week we talked a little bit about what our conscience is and how it works. All of us have one, and God has given them to us to help us develop and grow in our Christian life. The Holy Spirit works with our conscience to shape us and mold us into the image of His Son.
Tonight, we want to consider the characteristics of a good conscience.
I. A Good Conscience is Effective.
A. It will keep us on course Spiritually.
1. Note: 1Timothy 1:1-6
2. Paul warned Timothy to stick to the doctrines of the Word of God.
3. They help us develop a good conscience, which will keep us on course.
4. Note the phrase in v6, "some having swerved have turned aside".
5. If we do not stay on course, we won’t achieve the purposes God has for us.
B. It will help us to have victory.
1. Note: 1Timothy 1:18-19
2. First you go off course, then you shipwreck!
3. Those who have faith and a good conscience can fight the battle and win the victory.
C. It will help keep us honest.
1. Note: Hebrews 13:18
2. The idea here is not just that we will live a truthful life, but rather a life that is beautiful.
D. It will keep us witnessing.
1. Note: 1Peter 3:14-17
2. The folks that Peter was writing to were having much difficulty living in this hostile world.
3. But Peter encouraged them to turn this difficult obstacles into opportunities to witness.
4. With a good conscience they could witness to those who were persecuting them.
II. A Good Conscience is Enlightened.
A. A good conscience is taught by the Word of God and guided by the Word of God.
1. Conscience is like a window that lets light into a room.
2. The more light that enters, the better we can see areas that need to be cleaned up or changed.
3. The more knowledge we have about God, the better our conscience will work.
B. Note: 1 Co. 8:7-10
1. In this passage we see how that knowledge and conscience works together.
2. The consciences of some people do not bother them because they do not have the knowledge that should enlighten their consciences.
3. The consciences of others are darkened with superstition and ignorance.
III. A Good Conscience is Exercised.
A. Note: Acts 24:16
1. Each of our physical senses can be exercised to an amazing degree of proficiency.
2. People can be taught to hear better or hear clearer.
3. Others have an exceptional sense of touch, taste, or smell.
4. It is equally important that we exercise our spiritual senses, which includes our consciences.
B. Note: Hebrews 5:13-14
1. "Unskillful" means without experience.
2. Our consciences, like our muscles, need to be exercised to maintain healthy level of function.
Do we have a "good conscience"? Is it effective, enlightened, and exercised? We do not live by custom or tradition, but by the truth of the Word of God. The only way for us to grow in maturity as Christians is for us to maintain a good conscience.