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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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SECRET SINS

Thomas Brooks:

You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. (Psalm 90:8 ESV)

Thomas BrooksGod is privy to your most secret sins! His eye is as much upon secret sins, as it is upon open sins. God has an eye upon our inmost evils. He sees all that is done in the dark. As we are never out of the reach of God’s hand, so we are never from under the view of God’s eye.

Oh! what dreadful atheism is bound up in that man’s heart, who is more afraid of the eye of his father, his neighbor, his child — than he is of the eye and presence of the eternal God! Those who wallow in secret sins, act as if there were:

  • no God to behold them,
  • nor conscience to accuse them,
  • nor judgment-day to arraign them,
  • nor justice to condemn them,
  • nor Hell to torment them!

All men’s secret sins are printed in Heaven, and God will at last read them aloud in the ears of all the world! Though they may escape the eyes of men — yet they shall never escape the judgment of God!

For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14 ESV)

CONSCIENCE

ConscienceAnd looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” (Acts 23:1 ESV)

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. (Hebrews 13:18 ESV)

According to Dictionary.com, “conscience” is “the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.”

For the Christian, our God-given conscience is an inner awareness that bears witness to the Biblical values we embrace when deciding what is right or wrong. The conscience serves as a witness to what we already know about right and wrong. Our conscience, to work properly, must always be informed by what God has said.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to form our conscience as best we can with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is an important part of our progressive sanctification. When you become a Christian, your sense of conscience is heightened. This is because it is being informed both by Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit.  This is a lifelong process. We experience guilt when we have a well-formed sense of conscience. Continue reading

The Conscience is not Infallible

William GuthrieWilliam Guthrie:

Conscience, as an expression of the law or will and mind of God, is not now to be implicitly depended on. It is not infallible. What was true of its office in Eden has been deranged and shattered by the fall. It now lies, as I have seen a sundial in the neglected garden of an old desolate ruin, thrown from its pedestal, prostrate on the ground, and covered by tall rank weeds…Conscience has often lent its sanction to the grossest errors, and prompted the greatest crimes. Did not Saul of tarsus, for instance, drag men and women to prison; compel them to blaspheme; and stain his hands in saintly blood, while conscience approved the deed – he believed that he was doing God’s service… Read the Book of Martyrs, read the sufferings of our own forefathers; and under the cowl of a shaven monk, or the trappings of a haughty churchman, you shall see conscience persecuting the saints of God, and dragging even tender women and children to the bloody scaffold or the burning stake.

With eyes swimming in tears, or flashing fire, we close the painful record, to apply to conscience the words addressed to Liberty by the French heroine. When passing its statue, she rose in the cart that bore her to the guillotine, and throwing up her arms, exclaimed, “O Liberty, what crimes have been done in thy name!”

And what crimes in thine conscience. So far as doctrines and duties are concerned, not conscience, but the revealed Word of God, is our only sure and safe directory.

Reason and Conscience

Jeremy TaylorJeremy Taylor:

He that speaks against his own reason speaks against his own conscience, and therefore it is certain that no man serves God with a good conscience who serves him against his reason.

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