The Conscience

What REALLY Separates a Human from all other Animals?

1 Timothy 1:5, 19

DATE: 19 Aug, 2001                                                                                                                                                                    PLACE: BBC Mallow


I.         Introduction (1Tim 1:5,19; John 8:9)


A.      You know when you have “arrived” and are spiritually mature – when you have a “pure heart,… and a good conscience”

B.       Notice that some people do NOT value their conscience, but have put it aside, and without fail, have “made shipwreck!” That’s the end result!

C.       Define “conscience”


1.        IT is what separates us from animals

2.        Not the fact that we know we are alive – self-awareness

3.        But that we know “instinctively” what is right and wrong

4.        It is the moral centre of our being – sometimes called our “heart”


D.      The conscience is one of those things that psychiatrists and doctors have been studying for a long, long time. God wrote the Bible to tell us all about this thing inside us that says, “No, no, no!” We do well to learn the basics about our conscience, because it is what we must use to get saved (Rom 10:9,10), “for with the HEART (the conscience) man believeth unto righteousness!”


II.       Message - The Conscience (1 Timothy 1:5, 19)


A.      An Unregenerate Conscience – What’s it Like?


1.        It has the Law of God written in it (Rom 2:14,15)

2.        It is ruined/defiled though (Tit 1:15) – no innocence – only lots and lots of guilt that just keeps building up and building up!

3.        It is Seared over time (1Tim 4:2) burned-out like a well used clutch

4.        It is BLIND/NUMB to the work of the Holy Spirit


a.        Yes, it knows it is being pricked, convicted, pushed, prodded

b.       But it never knows that it is the work of the gentle Holy Spirit out of love for the sinner!


5.        It is the only thing that most people have (Jn 8:9; Rom 2:15) – without it, there would be no way for ANYBODY to respond to the preaching of the Gospel!

6.        Is in need of CONVERSION – REGENERATION – not just patching-up!


B.       The Process of Conversion Begins with the Conscience (Gen 6)


1.        You have to know that you have a need on the inside – usually takes a crisis of a need on the outside to make that apparent

2.        Only happens with surrender – no help allowed!

3.        Works by faith, when following God’s instructions EXACTLY


a.        Come AS a sinner by faith, and stand before GOD

b.       Accept the BLOOD of Christ as payment in your place

c.        Apply the blood to your conscience (Heb 9:8-10,14; 10:2-10,22) – this is the part people miss


1)       They want God to just “take-over” and leave them better

2)       The Gospel must be BELIEVED with the conscience (Isa 1:18)


4.        When religions mess with God’s instructions, or with the Gospel itself, they are actually messing with people’s MINDS (Gal 1:6-9; 3:1)


C.       What is a Regenerated Conscience Like?


1.        It is PURE (Heb 13:18; 1Pet 3:16,21) – Blessed eternal salvation – it washes not only the record in heaven clear, but also my own conscience


a.        No Jew EVER had this feeling!

b.       No Christian can survive without knowing its truth and reality!


2.        Is worried about other people’s consciences – their feelings (1Cor 10:28-32; Rom 14:21; Philp 2:1-5)

3.        Is constantly fueling the joy of the Christian (2Cor 1:12; 1Jn 3:21)

4.        Seeks to not be affected by any troubles (1Pet 2:18,19; 3:16)

5.        Is fixated/locked-onto the risen Christ (Heb 12:2a) because of His victory

6.        Is our only reason that we do anything for Christ


a.        Whatever we do, we must do it from the heart


1)       Giving (2Cor 9:7)

2)       Everything (Col 3:23)


b.       No forced actions – otherwise, no blessing/reward (1Tim 1:5)


D.      What Do Christians Have to Worry About? Protecting It!


1.        The conscience remember, is connected with your heart

2.        It must be protected, or it will be trampled on, and ruined by the world

3.        How to protect your conscience


a.        Keep its contents simple (Rom 16:17-19), and TENDER (2Kgs 22:19; Heb 4:7; 3:13,15)

b.       Fortify it – with the truths of the Word of God!

c.        Constantly, keep it clean


1)       Praying, and being sensitive to wrongdoing, and repenting

2)       Pleading the blood instantly when under attack, and under temptation, and after yielding to sin!


d.       Be careful – don’t get over-your head (Mt 11:28,29; Ps 131:1)


1)       Know your limits

2)       Yet always push your limits

3)       And yet again, know where to retreat to, when you have broken your limits!


4.        Otherwise, we will be like Hymanaeus (1Tim 1:19)


SONG: Search Me Oh God