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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Unconscionable

Seared Conscience, 1 Timothy 4:2; Ephesians 4:19
Conscience is our God-given defense against sin and destruction.

Even before we're believers, there's a faint conscience in our souls (Romans 2:14-15).

After we become believers, God restores our conscience as we read His Word and grow in our understanding of His commands and desires (Romans 12:2).

We can have a weak conscience for several reasons:
1. We've not born-again (1 Corinthians 2:14).
2. We've never grown in our knowledge of God (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
3. We've repeatedly ignored our conscience (1 Timothy 4:2; Ephesians 4:19). 

The first two have straightforward solutions: turn to Jesus and study the Bible regularly. The third has no easy answer. It's complex and difficult.

Once the conscience is "seared," the person no longer "hears" God's warnings and redefines moral values to fit their lifestyle. When sin is brought to their attention, they excuse it or get angry with the one who warns them.

Dear friends, let's guard against this terrible condition. Let's listen carefully to our conscience.

Bible Study

The Bible has a feast of things to say about our conscience. Read the following passages and ask God what He wants you to learn from each one.

Titus 2:11-12: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age...

Galatians 5:16-17: So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 

Ephesians 4:22-24: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  

1 Timothy 1:5: The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Timothy 4:1-2: The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

1 Timothy 1:18-20: Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

Because so many in our churches have seared consciences, the "Judge Not!" passage has become a popular rebuke. But the Bible commands us to confront other  Christians to save them from destruction. See Matthew 18:15; Luke 17:3; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19.
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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