Series: Doers of the Word
Message – Koinonia VI: The Conscience of Man
Conscience of Man
Today we are going to begin to look at 1 John 2, but only enough to get our feet wet and challenge us towards the kind of walk which would feel comfortable and at home there.
Let’s read 1Jn 2:1-6,
“(1) My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ the righteous One.
(2) He…Himself IS the propitiation for our sins,
and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world. “
Now this word propitiation is not in common usage even among Christians so it could use a little explaining.
Because the fall of man corrupted the nature of man – nothing man can do or produce could ever remove the stain or guilt of sin, since everything he touches become contaminated by means of his touch.
Now the God HATES rebellion against truth and defiance against the image and likeness of the Godhead. He cannot tolerate it, if He did He would be condoning it which would make God a liar. This is NOT to be understood as God hating man – we know for a fact that God SO LOVED the world. (example of Shane)
The fact that God saw this as something which needed fixing is proof of His love.
The answer to this is where we get our word propitiation and the only answer was to have a man born without sin, Who would not sin and who therefore could remove the stain of sin AS A HUMAN for all humans once and for all.
The only reason trust is even necessary is because without a willing surrender to the provision, one is still in rebellion. Ultimately rebellion and defiance cannot be cured it must be surrendered and Christ’s sacrifice not only makes the work of the Holy SPirit available to man, but also enable the heart of man to respond IF THEY WILL. (conscience)
So God’s righteousness and justice were both addressed and satisfied at the cross…Isaiah tells us as much.
So when we see Jesus revealed in 1Jn. 2:1 as “THE RIGHTEOUS ONE” we NOW know why John Pointed this out just before mentioning Christ not only as our Advocate but our propitiation as well. For without being the propitiation He could not be an Advocate,
Christ Himself, became our means of becoming acceptable to and before God by redeeming man FROM sin itself.
So it could be summarized by saying that Jesus is not only the sacrificial lamb, but the priest who offered the lamb as well. This is why the scriptures are very clear that He offered Himself as a sacrifice once and for all.
Which brings us back to the conscience…
John presents this as the reason and the logical basis for our heart – loyalty to God in NOT sinning. Even though we know we will sin from time to time, our lives are lived from the thought of “if one of us should sin” – NOT “when each of us DO sin”.
So John logically flows NOT into statements of religious duty, but he reasons from a position of intimacy – which is WHY God inspired JOHN of all men to write this letter and why we are looking at the conscience of man.
Look at the words he uses after calling us to the mark of Jesus’ sacrifice…starting in verse 3
(3) This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands.
(4) The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” without keeping His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (5) But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him: (6) the one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.”
The Greek reads more like this –
“Living in the habit of loyalty to His words and leading is how we come to a knowledge gained by experience that we are living in intimacy with Him. The one who claims to have come to know Him intimately by experience, but is not loyal to His Words and leading is wicked and is false in his proclamation of intimacy with God. On the other hand, the one who loyalty to God’s Words and ways are a habit of life, in this one God’s love is truly mature. The honest one who says it will live it and THAT is how we distinguish whether or not we are truly in Him.”
As best I can tell, this is NOT saying that if someone has patterns in their life which break and disrupt loyalty to God they do not know Him. Rather that the one who claims to live a life of loyalty to God but doesn’t, is clearly in darkness and is lying about his character and state.
The words, “This is how we know” does not mean, without this you are lost, but rather it is the only way you could know for sure. Religion and fear can cause men to live outwardly good lives, but they cannot make the heart fall in love with God so as to produce loyalty from within.
THAT requires a good, clear and righteous conscience. So today we are going to look at Koinonia and the Conscience.
The word translated as conscience comes from a word that means to be privy or aware of and to consider.
And this word in part comes from the word used for the Jewish council of elders – the word “council” meaning to come together for counsel.
So, the conscience of man is to be one’s own witness.
They both is in isn’t astounding to me how so many in the body of Christ are moving away from the notion of salvation being at least impart based in law. Not done while but Law. Legal terms are used consistently throughout the Bible and especially under the New Covenant with Paul in regards to man and salvation in this world witness is no different. When man is judged it is not just based upon what God says from the outside but also what the inner witness of a man’s own heart… His conscience says about him from the inside. It is the witness of our hearts.
Now it can get tricky because a person’s conscience can become callus or defiled,but we will address that later.
For now let’s just say that the conscience is an inwardly abiding awareness which bears witness to one’s own conduct in regard to morals and righteousness.
In particular it is a knowing of oneself. It is that faculty of the immortal soul which distinguishes between right and wrong and prompts one to choose the former and avoid the latter.
Turn to Rom 9:1, and will look at the passage the God dropped him my heart is I was driving and work the other day…
“I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,”
Let’s look at a few examples to clarify the meaning…
“(12) For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (13) (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; (14) for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, (15) who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) (16) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. (17) Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, (18) and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, (19) and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, (20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. (21) You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? (22) You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (23) You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?”
2Cor. 1:12, (Their conscience was their testimony)
“(12) For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.”
1Tim. 1:18-20, (A good conscience will steer your heart towards good.)
“(18)This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, (19) having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, (20) of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”
It is the basis for our intimacy
“(22) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
I can become corrupted or callus
“(1) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, (2) speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”
We will pick up here next week…Blessings!
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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