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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Christian Obedience JULY 8


For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience. 2 Cor. 1:12.

"Let your conscience be your guide" is an oft-repeated phrase. Thousands of people believe that if they live according to this principle, they fulfill their moral responsibility to God and man. Yet many of these people lack discriminating judgment on moral issues.

Conscience is not a separate moral faculty, but the function of the mind discriminating between right and wrong. While God speaks to us through this moral sense, conscience does not tell us what is right. We do not possess within ourselves the ability to discover or learn what our moral responsibilities are. Conscience cannot discover what is right and wrong. This we get from God and from His moral law.

Men often assume that the dictate of conscience is the moral standard by which to live. This is a dangerous error, for men may not develop a good conscience but a depraved, weak, seared one. Then the conscience renders false moral judgments or no judgment at all.

God requires that we take our moral standard from Him and not from ourselves. We are to judge the moral situations and acts of men from the immaculate purity and righteousness of God's character, the holiness of His law, and in the light of Jesus Christ.

Every moral act and response becomes significant when illuminated by the revealed truth of God. To neglect developing our moral sensitivity according to the moral perfection of God can only make us a law unto ourselves.

Some years ago I held a series of public evangelistic meetings. A man who held an important position in another religious body attended the services. When I confronted him with God's requirement in the fourth commandment, he said to me, "I know what the law of God says. But I am not going to change. I am not going to let it bother me. I intend to go on letting my conscience be my guide."

It is a small matter that we be judged by man's standards. It is of supreme importance that we be judged by God's moral code. Here we can take our stand. Here we wait for God's final vindication of us.

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