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The Conscience

We are told in the book of Genesis that man was created in the image of God. Man was created perfect, also in the area of conscience.. In his conscience he had direct contact with God. Adam sinned against a direct command of God and decided for himself what was right and wrong and we see the horrible result of his decision today.  Man, although created perfect is now imperfect.  This, of course, includes the conscience which we still     have, although imperfectly. That we still have a conscience is told us in Romans 2:14 and 15. In this passage the apostle Paul informs us that the Gentiles have a conscience which is nothing else than the law of God written on their hearts.   It was a perfect God Who wrote the law and a perfect God Who gave us a conscience.   For that reason we will find that the conscience and the law are in perfect agreement, although not always obeyed by  a fallen people.

 Adam was created in true fellowship with God.  Furthermore, He lived in a perfect environment and so would have no excuse for his rebellion.  Eve was tempted first, being deceived by Satan into believing that she could make her own decisions.  After all; did she not know better than God what she liked and what was therefore good for her?  I suppose it was a little like the car thinking it knew better than the manufacturer what grade oil was best to use. After all, the axle grease was not quite so oily as the thinner stuff.  Eve then went to Adam and he too fell into rebellion.   As Paul tells us in I Timothy 2:14 Adam, unlike Eve was not deceived.   Why then did he fall?  Apparently, madly in love with Eve he decided to stay with her and (represented by Adam) the human race fell.

            From the time of the fall of Adam until the flood of Noah mankind  lived by conscience only.  There is a basic difference between conscience and law.  There is no immediate,  stated consequence for violation of conscience, but this not true of the law.

Romans 3:15: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is there is no transgression.  Romans 5:13: For until the law sin was in the  world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Why then all the death from Adam to Noah?  The people in Noah’s day died because they were the natural children of Adam. Adam was told by God that when he ate of the forbidden fruit he would die and “and so death passed upon all men”  Romans 5:12.  But “sin is not imputed when there is no law”.  Because sin was not imputed therefore the ark door  remained open 120 years and all were welcome to come in.  For today see Matthew22:10.                                      We are again at a time when we are not under the law;  Let me explain that but first back to  Adam: God certainly could expect Adam to live by a perfect conscience in a perfect environment.  He gave just one very simple rule and Adam broke this one little rule and fell, with horrible consequences.

            Now if there was no law and sin is not counted against them, then the question naturally comes up: “Why the flood’?  The flood of Noah’s day came because man had violated his conscience.  Read Genesis 6, especially verse 5 where we are told that every imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually.  Because that was insufficient, God gave to Noah a law.   It was simply that whoever shed the blood of a fellow man, the murderer’s blood would be shed by man and the reason given was that man was made in the image of God.  Galatians 3:19 explains it even further where we see that the law was added because of transgressions      

 

The Law; to the Gentile nations

Conscience was not a sufficient guide for man to live by.  The people before ttime of Noah were living by their conscience and they had a basic knowledge of right and wrong but did not live even by that which they knew. Genesis Six tells us that there were two problems especially that God was displeased with.  They were the evil thoughts and the  rampant violence with no control over either.  Through conscience one was expected to control himself but the people before the flood proved the impossibility of this. Man, wanting to be his own god could not control his own lusts and often could not protect himself from his neighbor.  If people could not control themselves, then something from outside of the individual was needed. This something was the law.  We read of this in Galatians 3:19”Wherefore then serveth the law?  It was added because of transgression”.  The first time a specific law was given was in Genesis 9:6, given to Noah as he emerged from the ark.   Here God tells Noah that if anyone sheds man’s blood by man his blood was to be shed.  God gives as his reason for this particular command that man was made in the image of God  Before, a violent or angry man could with impunity kill someone he did not like.  Now he could no longer do so. There was now a force bigger than himself which would control him.  This bigger force was the law in the hands of society.  Notice that this verse tells us that it was added.  It was added because conscience did not go far enough.  Conscience would tell me that I should not steal, but

 

Noah had three sons. They are Shem, Ham and Japheth. We find them and their families in Genesis .  As we trace both biblical and secular history we can say with some certainty that, generally speaking the sons of Shem went to Asia, the sons of Ham to Africa and the suns of Japheth toEurope. The last verse of Genesis Ten states that by these three were the nations divided in the earth.

 

The Conscience And Society

            The conscience of the individual is the major influence in society.  The culture or spiritual level of any official or political group is finally decided by the moral quality of

the individuals within. The moral quality of a nation does much to decide what the laws will be. The laws of any group of people are as a matter of course based on the  conscience of the individuals.  Almost all societies or peoples groups begin on a high moral plane and then as time goes on there is a pattern of deterioration which follows.  They begin on a high moral plane, both in thought and action.  They not only fear God but delight to do His will and carefully teach the same to their children.  The youth were taught to obey authority.

            A number of years ago Dobson, president of Focus on the Family had someone write a book in which he investigated eighty different communities, people’s groups, etc.

This author found that all started out on a high moral level and ended on a low point

where morals were laughed at  In all cases this was the last generation and they faded away.Englandwas once a truly Christian nation with high moral standards.  Today, if one still believes in or talks of high moral standards he is called a Puritan or is looked upon as Victorian; and the same inAmerica.  Already, just before the year 1900 Nietzsche, although a godless philosopher said;Englandhas lost her glory and is weightless.

 

The Father To The Children Shall Make known Thy Truth=Isaiah 39:19

He will command his children and his household after him  and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment=Genesis18:19

            We see then that all are born with a “built-in conscience’. This conscience  influences society for good and becomes, as it were, the property of society.  After the flood of Noah  God placed the individual under the control of something bigger than himself.  It was called the law and all of these people’s groups made their laws.  If it remains only with the individual to decide what is right and what is wrong, the result would be anarchy.  How  then does the individual’s conscience play it’s part?    The individual, guided by conscience is a good father, a good mother, a good child, a good worker, a good follower and a good leader.  In short, he is known as a good man.  He becomes a profitable member of society.  Almost all individuals and societies have this God-given conscience as their basic and underlying philosophy.n a truly 

There are a few exceptions to this.  One of these would be Islam. It is not that they do not know.  They, too, have a conscience and have the knowledge of right and wrong but have chosen to ignore it until it speaks to them no more.   For this reason they can kill not only enemy warriors but also a bus load of little children, believing that their god will reward them, never thinking to ask what kind of a god they must have. 

All societies, almost without exception have then taken upon themselves the responsibility of training the youth in the principles of the group, whoever they may be.  For  examples of this the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese and others , spent much time on their youth so that they, as they matured,  would become knowledgeable about their own society and the laws that the society made so that the society and the principles they believed in would continue.  These societies, peoples groups, or however you like to think of them had one thing in common. They had a conscience given to them by a perfect God, but each had their own laws made by imperfect men. This was true of all the

Gentile nations or children of Shem, Ham and Japheth.   There was one nation of whom this was not true and that wasIsrael.  In their case not only had God given them  conscience but  God gave them a perfect law.  Therefore each nation had or has their own culture,  We in western Europe orAmericahave for our inheritance  the Judeo-Christian

culture or ethic

            We have not only a conscience from One Who us perfectly good,  We have also a law.  Like the gentile nations mentioned above, both past and present, we too were  concerned about our young people or the future for our particular society.  In the last few decades this has all changed.  In fact, a few years ago Chuck Colson made the statement that we are the first generation in history who are not giving moral guidance to the youth.  We have a perfect law, given by  God Himself.  What is the heart of this law?  It is the ten commandments.  Some of the laws are primarily legal but many have also a  moral  side. The ten commandments have both, and as law there were definite consequences attached to them.  For example, there was a commandment that forbade the taking of human life.  God had already told Noah the reason for this, that of man being made in the image of God.  In our culture, put down by God Himself, life is of great value, unlike that of many pagan cultures where life is much cheaper.  If the state fails to teach the young, the father must do so.

 

The fathers to the children shall make known Thy truth: Isaiah 38:19

He will command his children after him: Genesis 18:19

If the heart of the law given to Israel and passed down to us is indeed the ten commandments, then we as a nation have taken the  heart right out of  our culture.   After all we would pay little attention to either the ancient cultures such asEgyptorGreeceor the modern ones of Shinto or Hinduism.  They had or have their own.   The culture inherited byEuropeand the entire western world is the Judeo-Christian culture.  If we reject this, as we have,  then we are , as Colson said, the first generation that raises it’s  children without moral guidance.  It makes ne think of something I read:

                                                Dear God

                                                Why didn’t You stop the killing at Columbine

                                                Sincerely

                                                Concerned citizen

                                                Dear Concerned Citizen

                                                I’m not allowed in the schools

                                                Sincerely

                                                God

If the State does not fulfill it’s duty in giving moral instruction to the young then it becomes the duty of the parents,  particularly the father to fill the vacuum.  This is of eternal importance.  As the young person grows to maturity, he learns many things. One of the things he learns is to distinguish between right and wrong and to choose that which is right.  He must learn that there are times when we choose that which is contrary to his desires.  But if he has not learned to choose the right when contrary to his desires, how then will he accept the gospel?   Will not the pleasures of the flesh or  the drinking party on Friday night be much more real to him than the endless ages of eternity?    

 

WHEN HAS A SOCIETY COME TO AN END

Isaah 3:8 tells us thatJerusalemis ruined andJudahis fallen and the nekt versestell us the specific things we are to look for. They are:

Verse 9=Openly talking of their sin

Verse 12=Children oppress them

                Women become the rulers (God said it. I Didn’t)

                More than anything else, it was the women’s vote that put Obama in office             

Rulers destroy the country

 

MUST CONSCIENCE BE TAUGHT

Just because something is universally known it still needs to be taught to the young.  A boy may be taught that 2 plus 2 =22.   He will believe it but will not do well later in life .  The same is true of conscience.   If he is taught contrary to truth, especially in the area of conscience he will become either a criminal or a democratic congressman..           

 

 

 

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Written by biblestruth

October 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Posted in scripture

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