Keeping a Clear Conscience


Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 1,2; Acts 24

Today’s Key Passage – Acts 24:1-16

 

The high priest Ananias and some of the elders went to Caesarea to bring their charges against Paul to Governor Felix.  Specifically, they were claiming three charges against Paul – that he was a troublemaker who incited riots, that he was one of the leaders of an unauthorized religious sect, and that he tried to desecrate the temple.  When Paul was given a chance to defend himself before Felix, he did so and plainly stated that the charges against him were false.  Paul stated that he strives, “always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”

What does it mean to keep a clear conscience before God and man and why is it important?  We can start with taking a look at keeping a clear conscience before God.  We do this by following His ways and living the way He wants us to live.  We keep our conscience clear before God by staying away from sin and unrighteousness.  Obviously we are not perfect, so when we do sin we immediately confess that sin to Him and ask for forgiveness.  In addition, we repent (or turn away from) that sin and turn to God.  Ultimately, we keep our conscience clear through our faith in Jesus Christ.  Through His actions and through His mercy and grace we can live in right relationship to God and keep our conscience clear before him.

What about keeping our conscience clear before man?  We do this by treating others the way we should treat them.  We do this by not lying, deceiving, or cheating others and by showing them the love of Christ.  We keep our conscience clear before man not by our own efforts, but by the actions of Christ who lives within us and gives us the power to treat others better than ourselves.  Without His help, we would constantly fail in this area and we would never be able to keep our consciences clear before man, but He gives us the power to do just that.

So why is all of this important?  Why should we strive to keep our conscience clear before God and man?  Because guilt is a tool that the enemy uses against us.  When we do not keep our conscience clear we feel guilty, and often that guilt stops us in our tracks and keeps us from fulfilling our mission for God.  How many times do relationships fail (either relationships with God or with others) because of guilt?  When people feel guilty, they tend to want to run away from the relationship causing it to crumble.  Guilt can be a powerful thing, and we must fight it at every turn, and the most complete way to avoid guilt is to keep our conscience clear before God and man.  Fortunately for us, Jesus provided us a perfect model to do this in Matthew 22:37-40 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” When we keep these two commandments, we will keep our consciences clear and never have to worry about guilt getting in our way.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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Posted on February 17, 2014, in 05 - Acts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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