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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Does God Work with Our Conscience?

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Don Stewart
It is important to understand the place our conscience has in our Christian experience. The conscience can be defined as that small voice within us instructing us what to do. The Apostle Paul said,

Men and brothers, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day (Acts 23:1).

Small Voice

God spoke to the prophet Elijah through a still small voice that we can identify as his conscience.

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks into pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after a fire a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11,12).

Not Violate

The Bible says we should not violate our conscience.

But the one who doubts is condemned if they eat, because they do not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

If we cannot do something in good conscience, then we should simply not do it.

Subordinate To Scripture

It must be emphasized that the conscience must always be subordinated to the revealed Word of God. Oftentimes people say that they do not feel convicted of committing something that the Bible clearly says is sin. Because their conscience does not bother them they feel that they should continue. However if God has objectively said that a certain act is wrong, then it is wrong. Lack of any convicting feeling does not make the deed right.


The Bible is our infallible guide to faith and practice. We must not deviate from its teachings. As Martin Luther once proclaimed, My conscience has been taken captive by the Word of God. This also should be our desire.

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