Controlling Your Conscience
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Delivered By
Bob Petersen
Delivered On
February 7, 2016

We’ve been told to follow our conscience.

  • Our conscience has the ability to let the voice of the accuser in and push us away from God.
    • We've thought that was the voice of conviction

Conscience (Dictionary) The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one's conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong

Not all condemnation is based off of us sinning or going against scripture

  • Some is based off of not following the law or man-made rules
    • Rules like, God wants us to be nice, God hates the sinner, God hates anything new, God hates anything old, cussing, etc. and approaches people very pharisaical to hold people to the law.
      • This kind of stuff hits our conscience and we believe that it’s the Lord speaking to us.

Some are condemned because they sinned and have been taught law and not grace.

We stop coming to God because we’re condemned

  • 1 John 3:21 NAS Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God

And then after they’ve withdrawn from God because their heart being condemned they live on rules

  • 1 Timothy 4:1-3 NAS 1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

Two groups will wrongly be controlled by conscience:

  1. Young that don’t know God’s ways
  2. Those raised under pharisaical church

Weak minds often succumb to this type of condemnation


Romans 14:1-3 NLT 1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2 For instance, one person believes it's all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.

  • Romans 14:1 NAS Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his *opinions.
  • Romans 14:1 NKJV Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over *doubtful things.
    • * (Greek): to reckon thoroughly
      • The Greek shows that weakness is caused by not being convinced in what to believe

Our conscience lies to us and condemns us. 

  • Peter falls back to the law because of his conscience.

Galatians 2:11-16 NLT 11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. 12 When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn't eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. 13 As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter's hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, "Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? 15 "You and I are Jews by birth, not 'sinners' like the Gentiles. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.

Our freedom can cause other’s to be overcome even when they aren’t sinful.

1 Corinthians 10:23-30 NAS 23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. 25 Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience' sake; 26 FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS. 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience' sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, "This is meat sacrificed to idols," do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience' sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man's; for why is my freedom judged by another's conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?

1 Corinthians 8:7-13 NAS 7 However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. 9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

This scripture perplexed me because it made me responsible for another’s weakness.

  • Their weakness is because of their religious rules.
  • Here is what I got in prayer:
    • Jeremiah 31:29-30 NKJV 29 In those days they shall say no more: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.' 30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

This is why we need to know exactly what God’s word says.

Here are examples of beliefs that cause weakness:

  • “Dress to give God your best”
  • “God is angry with me with I sin”
  • “If you love someone it’s ok to have sex”
  • “You need to act like a Christian”
  • “You can’t just sin and then use grace”

Paul, being a Pharisee, had belief problems that opened him up to demonic attack.

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NAS 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

After coming under the voice of the accuser we generate religious rules that have a disciplinary whip of fear.

Hebrews 9:13-14 NAS For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Also, our unloving, fleshly actions will cause your conscience to beat on you.

Titus 1:15 NAS To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.