The Holy Spirit VS The conscience

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by zrs6v4, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    I stumbled across this again reading a book and Im not sure I have ever heard this discussion on here, so I'd liek to see where it goes. I am going to make a few statements that might kick it off-

    - I have heard people say that only believers know true right from wrong and care, but I absolutely disagree. All have this inner conscience of the moral law of God and image of God that reflect God's communicable attributes.

    - When one says the Spirit has convicted me how do we discern the conscience (which is at times crooked b/c of sin) vs the Spirit?

    - How do the two work together? The Spirit guides the believers conscience, and for the unbeliever the conscience will condemn.

    - It seems to me many poeple misunderstand the conscience for the Spirt, but I think it is key to be in the Word of God by the Spirit of God to have proper discernment of true right from wrong although I would say there is a standard level of right from wrong in which the conscience will bind. What I mean here is that the Spirit convicts of sin in light of God's holiness, which reveals the true need of a Savior. Now the Conscience merely tells one inwardly that stealing is wrong, killing is bad, and so forth.

    These are my general thoughts, so just comment freely

    -Zach
     
  2. Marcia

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    I just wrote a rather long reply and it didn't post because the connection was interrupted (I'm at the library and the signal interrupts every so often). This is the 2nd post today I've lost.

    A conscience is imperfect because it's fallen, but it does make people realize there is a right and wrong - in all cultures and in all time, though the standards may vary. I think a conscience reflects a God who is the standard for moral good, and this is one of the arguments I use for the existence of God (Rom. 2).

    A conscience makes us feel guilty but is not based on absolutes, but rather on what we've been taught or what we learn in the culture.

    A conviction of sin from the Holy Spirit humbles us and causes us to want to confess and repent (though we don't always do that, of course).
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    For the fallen man, the conscience does the work of Torah (though they might not know all the rules/regs) in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them. Romans 2

    The regenerate has the exact same conscience (part of being flesh/humanity) that we will have until we die. But the holy Spirit of God working in a newly born-again nature is vastly different . . . and vastly superior to the conscience.

    Part of what I must do, however, it to retrain my "stinking thinking". Rom 12 speaks of it as "renewing" my mind (volition, will). That comes from immersion in Christ and His Word.

    So I see the conscience as part of the paradox of humanity, even though I am saved.

    My soul/spirit is regenerated, my mind/volition/will is being changed, and yet my old fleshly body (with the conscience) is still waiting for the day of redemption.

    The conscience alone as your guide will never bring a person to Christ, even though it might make some good moral sinners feel better!
     
  4. kyredneck

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    I'm sorry but that is just so wrong. The context in Ro. 2 is not about some sense of right or wrong in fallen man but about evidence of the Spiritual birth through their deeds:

    (for when Gentiles [NON-JEWS] that have not the law do by nature the things of the law......... they show the work of the law written in their hearts [I.E. AGAPE, which is the fruit of the Spirit and which is the fulfillment of the law,] ........ Ro 2:14,15

    If therefore the uncircumcision [NON JEWS] keep the ordinances of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision? Ro 2:26

    but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter;..... Ro 2:29

    So now the inevitable question. If all this time NON JEWS who had not the law could still be children of God.......... What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision? Ro 3:1

    The answer:

    Much every way: first of all, that they were intrusted with the oracles of God. Ro 3:2

    And:

    who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Ro 9:4,5
     
  5. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    I pretty much see it the exact same way....
     
  6. zrs6v4

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    kyredneck- (Regarding your reply to Dr BOB)

    What it seems Paul is doing in the beginning of Romans 1-3 is condemning the entire human race. If they have the Law then that condemns and if not (Gentiles) their conscience condemns them. I think this is the point DR BOB was making. We are condemned and under the wrath of God because of the general revelation all mankind has.

    Then he ended with basically saying, Special Revelation (Gospel) saves, not general revelation such as the conscience.
     
  7. kyredneck

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    You're wrong.

    The whole context of these passages are 'there is no respect of persons with God'; 'not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified'; and the doers of the law are those that have it written in their hearts, which requires a supernatural act of God to do.

    Thus:

    What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision? Ro 3:1
     
  8. kyredneck

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    Dr. Bob and zrs6v4,

    My apologies to the both of you for my brashness. Perhaps I'm a bit 'overly passionate' about these particular verses of writ (Ro 2:11 – 3:2).

    Yes, I couldn't agree more. Whether Jew or Greek ( there is no respect of persons with God) all are under sin. But also contained within these passages is a direct inference to the work of the Spirit in regeneration, whether Jew or Greek ( there is no respect of persons with God). Thus: What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision? Ro 3:1
     
  9. kyredneck

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    Zach, in all sincerity, this topic of the conscience has really caught my interest and caused me to look more closely at what I thought I knew. Do you (or anyone else) have scripture to show the above statement to be so (excluding Ro 2:15)?
     
    #9 kyredneck, Nov 13, 2009
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  10. webdog

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    I disagree. It is God's law written on the hearts of man. Now one can try to suppress it through what is learned and culture, but it remains absolute, as right and wrong are absolute. Regardless of what culture, what religion or whether one is righteous or reprobate, you know it is wrong to rape a child. Why? God has built it into us that it is wrong.

    Conscience (Rom. 2: 14-15) is one of the three "C"'s God has given man to seek him, the others being creation (Rom. 1) and the desire for "ceaseless" (eternal) life (Ecc. 3:11). If man accepts these truths given to him, He will provide further truth.
     
    #10 webdog, Nov 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2009
  11. kyredneck

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    I probably have more questions than answers on the topic of the conscience.

    Consider 2 Cor 1:12. Isn't the conscience doing the very same thing in this passage as it is in Ro 2:15?

    For our glorifying is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 2 Cor 1:12

    14 (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves;
    15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them); Ro 2

    It appears to me the conscience is bearing witness to the individual of the law written in their hearts in Ro 2:15 just as the testimony of the conscience assured of good behavior in the 2 Cor passage. Note, it's the mind (thoughts) that accuses or excuses, NOT the conscience (see Titus 1:15).

    Is there a synonymy or relationshiip with this passage?:

    The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: Ro 8:16

    Heheh, a good conscience is a very desirable thing to have:

    having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ. 1 Pet 3:16

    Herein I also exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always. Acts 24:16

    which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; 1 Pet 3:21

    Wherefore ye must needs be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience sake. Ro 13:5

    Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 1 Tim 3:8,9

    I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers in a pure conscience, how unceasing is my remembrance of thee in my supplications, night and day 2 Tim 1:3

    And Paul, looking stedfastly on the council, said, Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day. Acts 23:1
     
    #11 kyredneck, Nov 13, 2009
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  12. kyredneck

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    Again, is there anyone that can build a case from scripture that indicates the above statement is true? I am not trying to pick a fight, neither was it my intent to hijack the thread. I really would like to know.
     

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