“... let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
— Hebrews 10:22 (NRSV)
The true Christian experience is one of having put away the guilt of condemnation for past deeds. For present deeds where we fall short we have repentance. Repentance is a completely adequate transaction before God in emending the missing of the mark.
Still, as transformed individuals, having been cleansed of many forms of vile unrighteousness—and the power in Christ, manifest in the Spirit, does this, once for all time, as we constantly obey God’s leading—a fervent commitment to the truth, disregarding any sensual cost—we have powers above most sins that previously plagued us. This is so long as we continue to hold this ‘true heart’ reality in the full assurance of faith.
One of the central keys to living the Christ-powered life is a well-bounded freedom from an evil conscience. In humility, the servant of God knows from whence their cleansing came. And they never forget!
To Christ they owe everything. Yet with grace, life is a gift!
Conscience – for One Reason & for One Role Only
Oh the powers of death and life that are irrefutable... powers to condemn us in guilt and powers to lift us out of the boggy mire of condemnation.
The conscience is key to both these.
The world uses the conscience either to flout it and the purposes of God, or to be condemned by it. Either we are nonchalantly free of the conscience or we are prisoners to it. The Christian has the middle ground. Only in the middle ground is there righteousness from God and wisdom for every good way—through humility enough to repent.
The Christian deciphers the conscience well. They have nurtured their conscience through the sponsorship of the Spirit. They know full well that the conscience is the vehicle propelling them toward repentance. The conscience impels them toward justice—especially/mostly for the other—as it pertains to their relational world.
The conscience is for one reason and for one role only.
The conscience quickens us to righteousness, justice, and fairness—in the tradition of early Proverbs wisdom (chapters 1 and 2). Having alerted us to the right sense, we are disposed so as to act in faithfulness to the conscience; in repentance—by simply turning back to God.
We can approach God in full consciousness of faith when we have dealt with what our consciences have reported to us. And we live neither death: of living free of the conscience or being onerously bound by it.
The conscience is the tool of God through which the Spirit operates.
The victory in Christ enables us to live the guilt-free life. The conscience plays a big part. When our consciences are connected to God, and there is freedom and vivacity in our repentance, our true hearts, delivered in faith, are testament that our consciences have been cleansed.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.