One of the topics covered in The Experience of Life is dealing with the conscience. After regeneration, clearance of the past, and consecration to the Lord, we begin to deal with outward matters, such as sins and the world, and the inward matter of our conscience. In dealing with our conscience, we need to allow the Lord to touch the central part of our being. It is through thorough and deep dealings that the Lord has a way to purge away the obstacles that hinder the growth of life in us.
Man’s conscience was not activated until man partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At that point the conscience began to function, and man felt ashamed of his nakedness. For a time man was governed by the feeling in his conscience, but as he fell further and sunk deeper into sin, even the feeling of the conscience was cast aside (The Experience of Life, p.97). Man’s conscience became seared as by a hot iron (1 Tim. 4:2), so that when he indulged in licentiousness and lusts, he had almost no feeling (Eph. 4:19). The issue of man’s casting aside the control of the conscience was murder, fornication, corruption and fullness of wickedness. Man fell to the point that God repented for making him and sought to blot out the man whom he created (Gen. 6:5-7). Eventually, because man was neither subject to God’s rule nor obedient to self-rule, he fell under human government, in which God authorized man to represent Him in ruling over other men.
Like the men on the earth in Genesis 6, it is possible for us to sear our conscience to the extent that we hardly have any feeling at all. By continually disregarding our conscience, we slowly find ourselves void of any feeling or sense from our conscience. In today’s age, everything is designed to defile and desensitize our conscience. We may find ourselves not living under God’s ruling, not living under the ruling of our conscience, and perhaps not even living under the ruling of man. For this reason, we need to exercise and practice to deal with our conscience. Paul could boldly declare that he exercised to always have a conscience without offense toward God and men (Acts 24:16). We need to deal with our conscience in a thorough way so that we can be delivered from mere human rule on the negative side, and enter into God’s rule to be directly under His control on the positive side (The Experience of Life, p.103).
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