A Clear Conscience

8610742_sWhat happens when a believer sins?  Why does Apostle John tell us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”?  When a believer sins, it doesn’t change his standing with God; he remains in right-standing with God (righteous) because righteousness is a gift from God and is not the product of our performance (Romans 5:17).

LOSS OF CONFIDENCE

What do we lose when we sin that needs to be recovered, if we haven’t lost our standing with God?  We lose a “clear conscience and confidence before God.”  Apostle John again writes, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God” (1 John 3:21).  When a believer sins there is now a sense of guilt and shame that hinders our faith and undermines our boldness to stand in the authority of Christ.  When we confess (acknowledge) our sin, God assures us we are forgiven and cleanses our conscience by the Blood of Christ, so that there is no sense of unrighteousness in our heart and mind.

PROVISION THROUGH FAITH

“Sin consciousness” is like a smoke screen between us and God, because He is Holy and we now have a sense of unworthiness again due to the act of sin we may have committed, even though we are still accepted by God.  God has made provision through 1 John 1:9 for us when we err so that we can regain confidence and boldness in prayer and spiritual warfare.  We need faith and boldness to live this life (Romans 1:17; Proverbs 28:1) on Earth.  Even when sin has not destroyed our standing with God, it still is a destructive force that debilitates the believer in their pursuit of victory over the problems we all face from day to day.

CONFIDENT LIVING

Keeping a clear conscience is vital to confident living as Paul attests in 2 Corinthians 7:2:  “Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted on one, we have cheated no one.”  Notice now confident Paul was in presenting himself to the Corinthians – he had a clear conscience before God and men and was assured of his ability to be a blessing to them.  We can all live in this glorious light of freedom through the Blood of Jesus, even though we all sin from time to time by “stepping out of love.”  As E.W. Kenyon once said, “A step out of love is a step into sin.”  The New Commandment, which fulfills all the commandments of the Old Testament, is to “love one another.”  If we walk in love we will have a clear conscience, boldness in the face of the adversary, and faith towards God.  If we lose that sense of righteousness through some sin, we can get our conscience cleansed again, through acknowledging it and applying the cleansing power of the Blood of Christ.

Steps to Achievement

7971469_sGod is strategic in His plans and purposes.  He has procedure that makes the universe work without interruption; He also works in our lives according to these procedures.  The Psalms tell us, “the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord” (Psalm 37:23).  So what are some steps to the achievement in life God has planned for you, steps that when understood and followed will result in the utmost productivity in our span of life?
1.  GRACE.  God first of all gives the grace, or “gifting,” to accomplish the purposes He has ordained to His own glory.  We must understand that the presence of His grace in our lives in no way indicates that we are ready to use that grace to its ultimate purpose.  Many people take the manifestation of grace, or gifting, to be validation that they are mature enough to take on all responsibility inherent in the “gift and call” of God.  But there is another step.
2.  GROOMING.  The development of our character is the next step toward our ultimate achievements.  When God’s grace appears in our lives, we begin to be noticed by others, and our lives come under greater scrutiny; what we “are” is what matters most at this point, not just what we can do by the “grace of God.”  The grace of God has given us the attention of others, and now we have influence, not because of character, but because of gifting.  We come under a strong pressure to let “Christ be formed in us” so that we can be examples to the people of God, who are now willing to listen to us because of God’s grace manifested in us.  God’s wisdom is seen in this process, because He has orchestrated a scenario whereby we feel the need to change and submit to the “grooming” of Holy Spirit, and our spiritual leadership, so that the people we now have influence with will not be disappointed by any lack of character in us.  This situation will reveal our true motives, and love for others will make us change into the kind of people we need to be in order to properly influence them toward a life of faith.
3.  GROWTH.  Once we have been graced by God, and our character has matured to coincide with the grace gifts in our lives, we are now ready for increase.  It is at this point that God will allow growth to come to us – growth in influence and fruitfulness, which amounts to the lives that have been changed because we have allowed God to work in our lives.  God’s intention for each of us is that we will have much to celebrate when we arrive in Heaven and stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, who served us with the suffering He endured on Calvary.  Perks along the way in this life are additional blessings that God favors us with as we live for His Glory!