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God made all of His creation to give. He made the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, the earth, the plants to give. He also designed His supreme creation, man, to give. But fallen man is the most reluctant giver in all of God's creation.
Everything Scripture teaches about sin and redemption assumes the literal truth of the first three chapters of Genesis. If we wobble to any degree on the truth of this passage, we undermine the very foundations of our faith.
Your conscience is like the nerve endings in your fingertips. Its sensitivity to external stimuli can be damaged by the buildup of calluses or even wounded so badly as to be virtually impervious to any feeling. Paul also wrote of the dangers of a calloused conscience, a wounded conscience, and a seared conscience.
The conscience...is not infallible. Nor is it a source of revelation about right and wrong. Its role is not to teach you moral and ethical ideals, but to hold you accountable to the highest standards of right and wrong you know.
The conscience is a built-in warning system that signals us when something we have done is wrong. The conscience is to our souls what pain sensors are to our bodies: it inflicts distress, in the form of guilt, whenever we violate what our hearts tell us is right.
Our sensitivity to personal guilt is a fundamental trait of our humanness that distinguishes us from animals. To try to suppress the conscience is in effect to diminish one's own humanity.
It's essential to understand...that the conscience doesn't act independently. It can only act upon a belief system. It is not a belief system. The conscience is not the law of God. It is not the voice of God. It is not moral law. It is simply a mechanism.
Everybody who is created comes into the world with a sense of right and wrong. That is the law written in the hearts. In addition to that, God has put the conscience and the conscience is a warning device that sounds off when we violate that law, or affirms us when we obey it. The conscience is not that law; it is merely the warning device.
Conscience is to the soul what pain is to the body. We would like to avoid pain as much as possible, but at the same time we recognize that pain is a gift from God. If you didn't have pain, you would destroy yourself. Pain is critical to physical preservation. And so the conscience is critical to spiritual preservation.
Both tradition and truth inform the conscience, so the standards it holds you to are not necessarily biblical ones. The conscience can be needlessly condemning in areas where there is no biblical issue. In fact, it can try to hold you to the very thing the Lord is trying to release you from!
Both the mind and the conscience can become so defiled that they cease making distinctions between what is pure and what is impure.
The conscience either indicts you, accuses you, or it exonerates you and defends you.
The Christian life is not adding Jesus to one's own way of life but renouncing that personal way of life for His and being willing to pay whatever cost that may require.
Mind Your Own Business
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