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The Interior Life – Part 5: The Conscience

The Interior Life – Part 5: The Conscience (Holy Trinity; Madison, MS)

MESSAGE SUMMARY:

The Psalmist, in Psalms 1:3-4, describes a person with a fruitful Interior Life: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.". Our Interior Life, typically, does not call out for our attention until, usually, it is too late. Our Interior Life does not call for our attention or scream for help. However, if our Interior Life is not maintained or nurtured, our spiritual life can come crashing down.

Our Interior Life can be viewed like a savings account in a bank. Like a savings account when we make deposits, our Interior Life grows, draws interest, and becomes strong, thereby, giving us a balance that can see us through life’s tough times. However, if we are not making Interior Life deposits and our life circumstances need to draw on our “savings”, we may find that life has put us in an untenable situation; and we go spiritually bankrupt. Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, describes the characteristics of the Inner Person and the maintenance of the Inner Person: Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.". Paul describes us as being comprised of body, soul, and spirit.

Our Inner Person, or Our Inner Self, is all that relates to our soul and spirit. The Interior Life is critical for our abundant life – the part of us that is private not public; the part of us that no one sees or knows but us and God. Too often, we focus our personal care on our bodies and not our soul or Inner Person. Paul, in Ephesians 3:16-17, addresses or “inner being”: “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,".

We need to focus, today, on a portion of our Inner Self’s soul that includes “our conscience” – “the power of our mind”.  Our conscience is that part of our soul that brings our hearts and minds into knowledge of God’s requirements and expectations for living a Godly life. In 1 Timothy 1:5, the conscience is related to love: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”. Do we have a clear conscience before the Lord?

As an example of “conscience in the Inner Life”, King David was a righteous man that gave God credit for all His successes; but David, like us, was a sinner. He lusted after the beautiful wife of one of his generals. After David got the general’s wife pregnant, David’s sins, like most of ours, cascaded into the murder of his general to protect his secret affair with the general’s wife. Subsequently, David’s conscience rose to the top of his Inner Self in Psalms 51. While David confessed and repented of his sins to God; and David was forgiven by God, but the consequence of David’s sins was enormous – David’s family and kingdom were disrupted, his son, born of the adulterous affair, died.

There are three aspects of our conscience: 1) the part of our person that knows right and wrong within ourselves – our moral compass; 2) as Christians, our conscience becomes God’s moral compass within us; and 3) a reminder that we have sinned against God or our neighbor. The Holy Spirit deals with conscience first and not our intellect or emotion.

What happens when we ignore our conscience: 1) we begin to dumb down the power of our conscience to speak into our lives; 2) even though our conscience speaks to us all the time, we begin not to hear it; and 3) our conscience becomes polluted by the world – a defiled conscience. Ignoring our conscience leads us towards self-deception and depravity.

How do we keep a clear conscience: 1) confess our sin to God as instructed in Hebrews 10:22-23: "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.", and in 1 John 1:9-10: "We confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."; 2) make a confession of our sin to a Christian friend; 3) sometimes, confess our sin to a minister; and 4) sometimes, we need to make restitution to those to whom we have sinned, when appropriate.

Our conscience is a mighty gift to us from God if we listen to it and keep a clear conscience. However, we will never have a clear conscience in our Interior Life unless we, like King David, confess and repent of our sins to God and lead a new life in Jesus.

 

NOTE: Also, please view the included one-minute “Clip” for a summary video of this Sermon

 

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV): Today, I affirm that, because I am in Jesus Christ, I will seek God’s perspective on my situation. For I know that in all things God works together for good to those of us who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (From Romans 8:28).

 

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV):  Psalms 51:1-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Ephesians 2:1-8; 1 Timothy 1:5-6; Job 27:6; Acts 24:16; 2 Corinthians 1:12; Matthew 6:22-23; 1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; Titus 1:15-16; Psalms 36:1-4; Hebrews 10:22; 1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1-2; James 5:16; Proverbs 27:17; 2 Samuel 12:13; Luke 19:8; 2 Timothy 1:3 (Click the Bible References, in blue, below to read the full Bible text for these Scripture References in BOLD.).

 

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10/28/2018

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About A Word from the Lord

The vision of A Word from the Lord is to share Biblical teaching using the instruments of radio, print, computer, the Internet, and satellite technology so that people might hear and apply the WORD of GOD and discover the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.

In today’s world of confusing and conflicting messages from the Church, a major goal of A Word from the Lord can be summarized from Nehemiah when: They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving meaning so that the people could understand what was being read (Nehemiah 8:8,NIV). With all the clutter in today's media venues, A Word from the Lord, seeks to proclaim in simple terms the ancient Faith of the Scriptures. As the Apostle Paul has written for us: So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17, ESV).

About Archbishop Foley Beach

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach is the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

Founded in 2009, the ACNA unites some 112,000 Anglicans in nearly 1,000 congregations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico into a single Church. It is an emerging Province in the global Anglican Communion, and the ACNA has planted nearly 500 churches in the past five years.

Archbishop Beach served as the Rector and Pastor of Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, Georgia from its founding in February 2004 until December, 2013. On October 9, 2010, he was consecrated as the first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the South (ADOTS) in the ACNA, and in June 2014, he was elected by his fellow bishops to serve as the Archbishop of the ACNA. Additionally, Dr. Beach is president of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF).

Dr. Beach is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the School of Theology at the University of the South and Georgia State University. He has served in ministry with Young Life, the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Church. Dr. Beach has been married for more than 30 years, and he and his wife have two grown children and make their home in the Metro-Atlanta area.

Dr. Beach’s passion is to share the Word of God in such a way as to help others discover the incredible and living Jesus. Dr. Beach’s A Word from the Lord radio ministry can be heard each week on radio stations throughout the United States and on the Internet. A Word from Lord’s Weekly Broadcast is a 25-minute Biblical Teaching ministry, and A Word from the Lord’s One-Minute Messages offer a daily challenge from the Scriptures.

Dr. Beach shares years of Biblical and theological study in addition to more than 40 years of ministry experience as he shepherds the ACNA and ADOTS. Reaching out through the church, the radio, weekly email messages, the Internet, and newspaper columns, in clear and concise ways, he brings out the principles of the Word of God so that listeners may apply them in their lives.

His personal favorite scripture is: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV).

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