Conscience Desires Comfort, The Holy Spirit Inspires
In his book Of the Mortification of Sin in Believer, John Owen wrote that “in every moral action it is always either inclining to evil, or hindering from that which is good, or disframing the spirit from communion with God.” The human conscience is invariably drawn to fleshly desires and comforts. In James 1:14, we are told that “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” Thus, the conscience is closely related to the works of man which are directly opposed to the goodness of God.
The human conscience accepts its secondary influence when in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Paul in Romans 9:1, proclaimed that, “I am speaking the truth in Christ, - I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit.” Thus, the conscience of the believer acknowledges the power and superiority of the Holy Spirit its arrival following salvation.
The conscience is not immune to disease. Paul warned in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 that “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
If the Holy Spirit is superior to the human conscience, how can the conscience of the believer be seared? In 1 Thessalonians 5:16, we are told to always be in a spirit of prayer and rejoicing. No matter the circumstances, the believer gives thanks for “the will of the God in Christ Jesus for you.” Further, we are told, “do not quench the Spirit.” To quench the Holy Spirit is to deny its influence.
The human conscience is judged subjectively and can be easily manipulated by “feelings” or found acceptable by the laws of a community or nation. The Holy Spirit is a separate and distinct entity in the life of the believer.
The movement of the Holy Spirit is not determined by societal norms, customs, or familial acceptance. He does not change by circumstance or societal winds of change. Often the human conscience is comforted by the fact an action or decision is supported by the laws of the land. The Holy Spirit can influence the conscious, but not vice versa, because of His independent superiority.
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