January 8, 2013
READ: Titus 1:10-16
Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted (v.15).
According to a 2008 character survey of nearly 30,000 secondary school students, 64 percent of them said they had cheated on a test in the past year, 30 percent had stolen from a shop, 42 percent said they would lie to save money and 83 percent said they had lied to their parents about something significant. One of the more interesting findings of the survey was that 93 percent of the students surveyed said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character. These students seem to have a clear case of what the Bible calls a “corrupted” conscience (Titus 1:15).
What does the Bible say are indicators of a corrupted conscience? When people continually entertain thoughts of evil or practice deeds of evil, they have defiled their conscience (Genesis 6:5; Titus 1:15-16). Secondly, when they to listen to moral and wise advice, but are bent on listening to and following the delusional counsellor of their wicked hearts, they sear their conscience (Exodus 7:14, 8:15; Jeremiah 17:9). Thirdly, wherever there is little or no shame over sin and moral failure, that person has corrupted his or her conscience (Jeremiah 6:15). Willful pretense, lies and an impenitent heart are the poisons that wither the beauty of a conscience that has been cleansed by Christ (Acts 5:2; Romans 2:5; 1 Timothy 4:2). Never wholly reliable, our conscience can only be purified by God (Psalm 51:10). He does so through the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:14).
As followers of Jesus, our individual consciences can become more sensitive to right and wrong as we grow in spiritual knowledge and obedience. This includes allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us when we’re wrong and approve us when we’re right. It also means confessing and repenting of sin immediately (1 John 1:9).
According to 1 Peter 3:13-17, how do we maintain a clean and clear conscience in a hostile society?
Why are spiritual knowledge and godly obedience so important in maintaining a clean conscience? Spend time confessing sins that the Holy Spirit has convicted you of recently.