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What is a…
conscience

This is a God-given faculty of the human mind, an inborn sense of right and wrong, by which we judge the morality of human conduct.

All humans have a conscience.

…written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them… —Romans 2:15 NASB

Like all our other faculties, the conscience has been perverted by the Fall (Romans 2:15).

Examples…

[Paul before his regeneration:] So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them.

And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities. —Acts 269:11 NASB

They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. —John 16:2 NASB

One’s conscience can be “defiled” or “seared.”

…to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. —Titus 1:15 NASB

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared… —1 Timothy 4:1-2 NASB

A “conscience void of offense” is to be sought and cultivated (Acts 24:16; Romans 9:1; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Timothy 1:5, 19; 1 Peter 3:21).

ALSO SEE:

  • What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer
  • What is the FALL OF MAN? Answer
  • How can I know what is RIGHT from WRONG? Answer
  • How can I DECIDE whether a particular activity is wrong? Answer
  • Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer
  • What is GOODNESS? Answer
  • What is RIGHTEOUSNESS? Answer
  • What does God expect of me? Answer
Article Version: October 5, 2017