FacebookTwitterRSS FeedPinterest

Audio Sermons

Acts 24:1-27

Serving with Love:

A Conscience Void of Offence

Life B-P Church Worship I & II, 20th November 2016

Text: Acts 24:1-27

 

·      We are born with a conscience that evaluates our actions and intentions (Romans 2:14-15).

·      Acts 24 records Paul’s defence before Felix, a Roman governor.

·      It reveals the subtle manner that sin works in the hearts of men, e.g. flattery (v.2), distortion (vv.5-7) and abuse of authority (v.26).

·      Felix trembled because his own conscience condemned him (v.25).

·      The only one who had a clear conscience was Paul.

·      There are three lessons about our conscience:

 

1. It Is Useful to Prevent Sin.

·      “… to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” (v.16b)

·      Paul could face all his accusers and speak before the judge boldly, because he had done nothing wrong.

·      Conscience can help us to live without offence toward God and toward men.

·      Application: Pay attention to the warnings of your conscience. This will enable you to bear a good testimony for God before the world.

·      However, sin has affected man’s conscience. (Proverbs 16:25;
cf. Paul, 1 Timothy 1:13)

 

2. It Must be Maintained to Be Kept Useful.

·      “I exercise myself, to have always a conscience that is void of offence….” (v.16a) The word ‘exercise’ implies continuous or repeated action to keep his conscience useful.

·      To be kept useful, the conscience needs four things:

 

a. God’s Rule

o   “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

o   Christ alone must be the Lord of your conscience.

 

b. God’s Word

o   “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11)

o   This is the standard you should use for every decision you make.

 

c. God’s Power

o   Conscience warns you of danger but it cannot give you the power to avoid it (Romans 7:18-19).

o   You need the power of the Holy Spirit to do this.

 

d. God’s Forgiveness

o   Conscience torments you with guilt but it cannot remove it.

o   You need the blood of Christ to purge your conscience
(Hebrews 9:14).

o   You can appropriate this by confessing your sins to God
(1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:1-2)

 

3. It Will Become Useless if It Is Ignored.

·      Felix had obtained power by political intrigue and was known for his ferocity, cruelty and immorality.

·      When Paul reasoned about righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come his conscience made him tremble.

·      But he stopped Paul from proceeding further (v.25).

·      Application: Don’t ignore your conscience – the ‘more convenient time’ to heed its warning never comes.  

·      If you suppress your guilt feelings you may convince yourself that your sin is alright (Isaiah 5:20).

·      Do not end up like Felix!

 

Questions for Reflection:

1.  What will you do to maintain a clear conscience toward God and toward man?

 

 

2.  What should you do if you are still bothered by a guilty conscience?

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25