A Good Conscience
A pure heart and good conscience are evident when one walks closely with God. Live out these truths, listen to the Holy Spirit and always ask God to forgive you immediately when you fall out of line.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you.
My heart is filled with joy and peace and love. I’ve been talking to our heavenly Father about you and about me, and asking that what is said during these few moments may honor and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. He’s Lord of all, and may also be specially of help to you. The miracle of the ministry is that God takes the presentation of His eternal Word and tailor makes it, tailor fits it, custom fits it to your need, as you listen in, as you meditate on it, so that one hundred people may read the same passage and each one may find the blessed, indwelling Holy Spirit saying something different to him or her, based on the individual’s need. God ministers to hearts that way. That’s what I’ve been praying, that God may do. We try to put a handle on God’s Truth so that you can get hold of it for yourself.
Well, we’re beginning in 1 Timothy, and we’re walking around right now in verse 5. The purpose, the objective of God’s commandment is love. “A new commandment give I unto you, that you love one another,” said our Lord. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us. “He that loveth not know it’s not God for God is love.” You find wherever you look in the New Testament, you find this is the new norm of Christian living. God wants to fill your life with love. See, that’s just the opposite of what is present in the unsaved heart.
“We ourselves also,” says Paul in Titus 3, “We are also sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving different lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hate-filled and hating one another, but after the kindness and love of God, our Savior toward man appeared not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us.” “Hate-filled and hating one another…” Only one of the things you see everywhere in the world as you observe the behavior and the motivation of godless people, is that there is so much hatred there. Real hatred is the atmosphere, mind you, in which they live. That’s what makes a Christian life so very different, because the closer you get to the Lord Jesus, the more love there’s going to be in your life. Love even for your critics and for your enemies. God’s objective is to fill your life with love, and the way to do that – this then comes to what we were talking about the last time we got together – is a pure heart. Make sure there’s nothing between you and God to hinder the flow of that Divine love through the channels of your heart and life. “Nothing between my soul and the Savior, none of this world’s delusive gleam. I renounced all earthly favor, Jesus is mine let nothing between.”
There is your first job. If you’ve not taken care of that today, maybe you’d better spend a little time with your Lord, getting things straightened out with Him. Love out of a pure heart. How willing He is to forgive and to cleanse. I always go back to 1 John 1:9, “If we confess.” That means just agree with God, the word “confess.” There is a Greek word “homologeo,” which means “say the same thing.” Just agree with God about it. He already knows the score about you. He won’t make any discoveries by the time you say “Amen.” Just agree with what He’s been telling you by His Spirit convicting you. If we agree with God about it, confess our sins, He is faithful. Never will let you down, never say, “I’m too busy,” never say, “You’ve come too often.” He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us. It’s not just to say, “Well, I’ll let you off this time,” and then you go and do the same thing. He cleanses the heart so that you’re clean. Pure heart. The page has been cleansed. Instead of all the blots and smudges on the page of life, there it is clean again. Wonderful truth, isn’t it?
Now, what’s the structure that, that provides this love? First of all, pure heart. Second, good conscience. Now, everyone has a conscience, but some people have a dead conscience, it’s never been quickened by the Spirit of God, and so they are limited to the mores of the culture in which they live. Some precious mother, tossing her babe into the river to be eaten by the alligators, crocodiles, and yonder in another continent, does so with whatever conscience she has. That’s what she thinks ought to be done because that’s been the culture in which she lives. We stand aghast and horrified, and say, “Oh, how terrible!” To her it’s not that terrible. Well, that’s a dead conscience. A person who has never been quickened by the Spirit of God has a dead conscience, and so you’re limited then to the mores and the customs and the prohibitions of the culture in which you’ve been brought up. That’s how your conscience is working, and then of course, there are people who have a seared conscience; that is you. You’ve been quickened and you know what’s right, but by deliberate disobedience so often, you have become accustomed to disobedience and your conscience has become numb.
This is true in the taking, for instance, of let’s say, a medication. You take a pain pill because you are suffering from a given pain, and then you think, well, it wears off, I better have another one. And so then you take another one, but then the effect wears off a little sooner, and you take another one. Pretty soon, if you aren’t under supervision, you’ll be taking too many of those pills, that medication. Why? Because it takes more of the medication at any given time to produce the desired effect.
Now, the same thing is true up in the obverse sense of your conscience. More and more and more disobedience results in less and less and less awareness on the part of your conscience. Well, the person who has been to Calvary has a conscience that is cleansed. “How much more shall the Blood of Christ cleanse your consciences from dead works, for you to serve the living and true God?” “Herein do I exercise myself,” said Paul, “to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men.” He worked at it, a good conscience.
Now, how do you go about this? Well, back to the verse I just quoted. Paul said, “I work at it. I work at it.” “Herein do I exercise myself.” You don’t drift into godliness, you don’t drift into holiness, and you don’t drift into having a conscience that is void of offense. You’ve got to work at it. That is to say, every decision, every action you submit, number one, to the revealed Will of God and His Word, the Bible – the inerrant, infallible Word of God, the Bible – and second, to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking within you. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer and it is his job to bring to remembrance what Jesus said: “All things whatsoever I have said unto you.” So you are, you’re referring your decision to the Truth you know from the Bible, and you, and you depend upon your motivation, upon the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within you, as a believer. You see how that works?
But it’s not something that you can be careless about. Very easy to drift into carelessness. Paul, I say Paul, I think Paul probably wrote the book of Hebrews, but they taught me in seminary to say “the writer to the Hebrews.” You know that, that preserves your integrity as a scholar. Well, whoever wrote it said, “Therefore will he give the more earnest heed the things which you have heard, lest at any time we drift away from them.” King James says let them slip – means drift away from – drift away from your moorings, drift away from the truth, drift away from the, the navigation marks that help keep you on course, so far as your conscience is concerned.
Alright, what have we said so far? You want a good conscience? Number one, refer your actions and, and decisions, and feelings to what you know is in the written Word of God, the Bible. Second, listen to the voice of the Spirit of God who will, who will lead and guide you, and as He speaks in the wordless language of the soul, dwelling within you to reveal the Will of God to your heart and mind. Third, when you’re aware of the fact that you’ve gotten out of line, don’t waste any time coming to the throne of grace. Come immediately, the minute that you know you’re out of line. You had an unworthy thought, a careless word, a selfish deed, a lustful look – whatever it may be – the minute you know that you’re out of line, right then, rush to the throne of grace and ask God to forgive. That’s the best thing I know.
Oh, all of us are human. I know I am, I am no less human than the rest of you, I guess, and so often I say, “Father forgive me, cleanse me.” Why? Well, because you’re aware of having gotten out of line at that very moment. Some careless word. I have a quick tongue which I inherited, I think, from my mother, from what they tell me. She was witty and, and had that special humor and, and a quick tongue. Her daily prayer, my father told me, was from the Psalms: “Lord set a watch before the door of my lips, keep the door of my mouth.”
Well anyhow, a careless, quick word that might be out of line, or a thought or a decision or a desire or a feeling of some sort, that’s not really honoring to God. Oh, to come to the throne of grace, and say, “Dear Lord, Jesus died for that, I want to confess it. Please cleanse and forgive me,” and then to go on, delighted with the knowledge that God has put it behind Him and forgotten it, and that your heart is cleansed. Oh, hallelujah, that’s great!
Do you know anything about that? This is a procedure that will keep you on top of life. You won’t be a victim and when people ask you, “How are you?” You won’t be able to say, “Well under the circumstances.” You don’t have to be “under the circumstances.” This is a procedure that will keep you on top. What is it? The minute you’re aware of anything that is out of the Will of God, anything unworthy of the perfect Will of God, anything selfish, anything disobedient, anything carnal, anything worldly that has voluntarily entered your lifespan – right that moment, that instant, don’t wait – rush into the presence of the Father and ask for forgiveness, because Jesus died for that as well. Oh, He’s faithful and He’s just. He’s faithful – that means never fail you. He’s just – that means He will deal with you honestly about the matter, but He will forgive because Jesus paid for it at Calvary.
Good conscience. Well, I’ve told you how to do it. Now, it’s up to you to follow through with action. Submit your decisions, desires, and feelings to what you know is the Will of God in the Bible; God’s infallible Word, the Bible. Second, listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit as He whispers to you in the wordless language of the soul, and reveals to you God’s Will, and brings to you in remembrance the things that Christ has taught you. Third, when you’re aware of being out of line, rush to the Father, to the mercy seat, the throne of grace. “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” That’s for you and for me.
Dear Father today, give us love that’s real and a conscience that’s pure, in Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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