The Restored Conscience

Would you be free 
from the burden of sin?
  There’s power in the blood,
 power in the blood!
Would you o’er evil a victory win? 
 There’s wonderful power in the blood!
by Lewis E Jones, 1899

   How many of us who have been raised ‘in the faith’ recall this victorious old hymn of the church?

                                         It is so good to know the joy of sins  forgiven!
To know that our names are truly written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!
To know that because the blood of Jesus has been applied to our hearts,
we have a sure home in heaven!

But sadly, there are too many situations where we realize with  our minds what the Word says about the power in the blood of Jesus, but something still feels amiss.   We still feel weighted down with guilt and condemnation.   We still are troubled in our souls that maybe it did not quite “take”; but then, we resist all those negative thoughts, and muster up strength, and declare our position in Christ as the Redeemed of the Lord, and soldier on!

The Lord has been quickening to my  understanding the need to grasp His finished work on behalf of the conscience.  

From the soul  flows  a steady stream of works intent on always correcting a defiled conscience, a wounded conscience, a seared conscience.   Works are not bad.  The Bible encourages good works.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

But DEAD works, are considered very undesirable in the life of a Christian.  God’s Word even tells us that repentance from dead works is part of our foundation:

6 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Hebrews 6:1

 What are “dead works”? Dead works are things we do to impress God with our own goodness or religiousity that we believe might help our salvation along.  They are usually religious things such as some form of penance, or excessive Bible reading, or perfect church attendance.  They can also be works of service done with the wrong motive.       For instance, if you go serve meals at a homeless shelter so you can win  God’s heart to the point that He is so happy with you, He will let you into heaven, you have totally wasted your time, and all that effort was futile.  This is because the only thing that impresses God when it comes to our salvation is the blood of Jesus!  

However, if you went and fed people  at a homeless shelter because the Lord bathed you in compassion for hungry people, then it certainly is NOT a “dead work”.  It is an act of service  to Him, and will have its due reward!   In our day, there are many who are critical of anyone who steps up to the plate to do “good works”, and an accusatory spirit is in the atmosphere to label that one as religious, Pharisaical, or legalistic.  Don’t let it stop you from doing good works!  Don’t confuse GOOD works with DEAD works!

And are things like Bible reading, and good church attendance dead works in and of themselves???  Absolutely NOT!  They are only “dead works” if they are done believing they save us.  These things are part of the lifestyle of someone who is ALREADY saved; someone who has already experienced the regeneration of the Holy Spirit in their lives.    For all those who go to church and pray and read their Bibles who have never taken the step of personally acknowledging Jesus Christ as their Saviour through confession and repentance, for those ones, is “dead works”.   The one good thing is that there is always hopes that some of these “dead works” will eventually lead them to a very living God.  

When our consciences are grieved by wrongful behavior, when conviction comes to our hearts, there is often a sense that we need to DO SOMETHING in order to restore peace to our conscience.  Even after we have repented of the sin or wrong doing, and been genuinely sorry for it, we often  still have this sense of needing to correct our conscience because until there is freedom from the FEELINGS of guilt and condemnation,  let’s face it... there is no true liberty at all.

The desire to correct our conscience causes us to enter into DEAD WORKS, and there is only ONE answer to the dilemma of a conscience that is not at rest within our own beings, or in the presence of the Lord:

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  Hebrews 9:13-14.

The same precious and powerful  blood of Jesus that has been applied to our hearts, and washed away our sins must be what we also apply to “purge our consciences from dead works”.  

The very struggle we engage in to appease the conscience keeps us tied up in knots, and in spiritual turmoil because it’s a feat way too big for us to figure out.   We simply are powerless to fix a conscience that has been broken by patterns of disobedience and defiancy.

Does applying the blood of Jesus to our consciences and trusting Him indicate that every and any work in the restoration of the conscience apart from the blood of Jesus is futile, and should be considered a “dead work”???

YES, if you believe it’s contributing to the healing of your conscience!  Only the blood of Jesus heals and restores your conscience!  When you come to a place where you recognize this, the weight of the world will roll OFF of your shoulders!  You’ll find you get to start your life on a whole new playing field.  God is not holding the past against you, and He is not holding your disobedience to your conscience against you.  

Not even good therapy from a well-regarded psychologist,  or counselling sessions with the most powerful and anointed preacher in the world can restore a defiled conscience, except they lead you to this truth of the Word of God:    Only the blood of Jesus!  Only the blood of Jesus! Only the blood of Jesus!

If your conscience is troubling you, or you know that you’ve had a history of rebelling against that still small voice of your conscience, and you want to make it right, get before the Lord, and ask Him to apply His blood to your conscience.  Lay your hands on your head, and pray for yourself, and lay your hands on your heart and pray for yourself:

Heavenly Father, in Jesus Name, I have come to recognize that I have defiled my conscience by disobedience or transgression in my life.   My conscience is very weak, and I am afraid of it becoming even seared, if I don’t have my conscience restored.  Lord, please sprinkle my conscience with the blood of Jesus.  Please, by Your shed blood, cause all these feelings of unrest and guilt to leave my soul!  And from this day forward, Lord Jesus, I ask You to put within me a resolve that comes through YOUR strength,  and GREATER GRACE  to obey my conscience, for I know it is a gift you have given me to keep me on the right road!  I thank You, Lord Jesus, for the freedom I find in you, and the peace and joy you give to me this day!  In the Holy Name of Jesus, Amen and AMEN!

If  you have prayed that prayer from a sincere heart, you will find soon that God has done a true work  of redeeming your conscience,  and purging it from “dead works”.   How will you know?  By how very quickly you discover that a restored conscience is indeed, and in truth a very tender, and sensitive conscience!!!

Keep honoring the blood of Jesus and be a mouthpiece of victory and valor; and you will find that in the presence of confessing a testimony of His strength and grace,  excuses you could make before, you will never again be able to make, and you will not even WANT to make them!!!   And, like the peeling of an onion, you’ll be aware of the Holy Spirit peeling away layer after layer of lies that were  as the scaffolding for a life of excuses.   Excuses always peering in the window of your soul, ready to intrude the moment your conscience speaks.  

When your conscience is restored,   greater than ever, there will be a conviction to obey your conscience, to understand there is a clear delineation between what is right and wrong, what is acceptable behavior for a Christian, and what is not.  You will constantly be reminded of the “Go and sin no more” part of your own personal commission from the Lord following any moral failure, or digression into sin on your part.  

And any correction or restitution you desire to make will come from a heart of obedience, and recognition of a desire to restore your relationship with a fellow human being you have wronged, rather than to restore your relationship with God because that has already been accomplished by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus upon your conscience.  

There are doctrines afloat in the earth today that seek to diminish the power of the conscience by suggesting any adherence to your conscience does despite to the work of Grace.  This is foolish nonsense.  Grace is the best friend of your conscience.  Grace helps you to obey your conscience.  Whenever I have personally disobeyed my conscience, it’s because I did not call upon the Name of the Lord for HIS GRACE to come and help me to do what my conscience (or the voice of the Lord)  was telling me to do, or NOT to do!!!

There is another doctrine (the first cousin of the previous doctrine)  that tells you if you are doing anything at all to serve the Lord by being attentive to your conscience this is a needless work and you are not truly “at rest” in God.  Poppycock!!!  There is nothing on the planet that can bring MORE “unrest” to a person’s soul than striving against a relentless conscience.  Simply OBEY, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly peace and rest come!

This article was started with a little portion of an old hymn, and I’ll end it that way, too!!!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

 From Second Verse of
"Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus"
by Louisa M R Stead, 1882

Always in the Love of Jesus,

Clo DiPilato