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Keeping Your Conscience Clear Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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February 26, 2021 1:00 am

Keeping Your Conscience Clear Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 26, 2021 1:00 am

Maintaining a clear conscience is not what the devil has in mind for the children of God. He tells lies in order to return us to the bondage of a defiled conscience. How can we combat those lies and walk in victory?

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Reason for us. Jesus phone number for maintaining a clear conscience is not what the devil has in mind the children of God. He tells lies to get us back into the bondage of having filed. Conscience today. To combat those lies and walk in victory. Stay with the Moody Church in Chicago.

This is with Dr. Erwin looks her booze clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line vasculature were coming to the end of your series on the power of a clear conscience and we all want to know clear Dave. The reason it's so important to keep our consciences clear is because if you have a troubled conscience.

Today I'm talking to many people who probably do I know this about you number one you lost your joy. Nobody with a troubled conscience has a joyful spirit. Secondly, I also know that your confidence toward God is compromised. That's what it says in first John, if our hearts condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God and then you can go on from there talking about human relationships.

That's why I believe so deeply in the book the power of a clear conscience where I tried to help people navigate all of these issues. By the way, also including the question of how do we know that we are being convicted by the Holy Spirit or accused by Satan were making this resource available to you and this is the last day that we are doing so.

Here's what you do for a gift of any amount you go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book the power of a clear conscience and if you weren't able to write this contact information down. I'll be giving it to you again at the end of this message is Ogden Nash who wrote these words, the only way to have happiness on this terrestrial ball is to have a clear conscience or none at all. If you don't have a clear conscience.

You can't be very happy. Actually, in the apostle Paul said, and I've quoted this verse almost every time. In this series of messages first Timothy chapter 1 verse five.

The aim of our instruction is faith a pure heart, rather love, I thought I knew it by memory and I didn't practice that I had of time because I've been putting it all this time. Sometimes I get my main slick stuff and I begin backing talk so let me try this again.

The aim of our instruction is love that flows from a pure heart a good conscience and a sincere faith that's with the aim of thank you of our instruction is not what we'd like to do today is to emphasize that the clear conscience not only gives us that kind of faith.

But you know the apostle Paul says in the book of second Corinthians, he says, we commend ourselves to you with a good conscience, good conscience also in first Peter first Peter is associated with the fact that you are a good witness, Peter says that we should be able to give an answer to those who ask us of the hope that is within us, with meekness and fear, and he says with a good conscience, so that if you're slandered, you're able to endure it. Good conscience is powerful. Now, when I was a boy growing up in Canada I went to school. First of all, in the summer with a horse and buggy and then in the winter with a sleigh and with a horse and so what we would do in this country school yard. We would play a game called fox and goose what you did as you had a huge circle in the snow with various folks and then we would play tag and that's what we called fox and goose one of the things we noticed is this that when we began that circle. Everyone was so particular to stay within the tracks to stay within the lines, but inevitably it would get messed up and after it really got messed up what we would do as we walk through. We'd kick dirt into it would make the biggest mass that we possibly could without circle.

And then we go off somewhere else and begin again as I think about that. I realize that there are really two lies that Satan tells us line number one is one sin really doesn't matter.

Line number two is now that you've messed up. You might as well mess up your life good and proper. A defiled conscience causes you to do that which continues to defile and that's why it is very important that we keep our conscience clear because when we keep it clear will want to stay within the lines and will be very conscious when we step over those lines. Actually, my passage of Scripture today is going to be found in the book of Ephesians Ephesians chapter 5. A very important, very important passage of Scripture.

I want you to turn to it, whether you have your Bible, your cell phone, your iPad, whatever turn to Ephesians chapter 5 and were going to speak today about the topic of sin because it is sin that defiles our conscience and will talk about how to keep our conscience clear Ephesians chapter 5 verse one therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children stop there for moment uses the word mimic lettuce mimic God become imitators of God, as dear children. The idea is this that because we belong to God. God is our heavenly father and because we are partakers of the divine nature. We have the chromosomes if I can put it that way of our heavenly father.

And so there should be something within us that is like unto him and we ought to be able to imitate him.

Now, of course, that theologians make a distinction between the attributes of God. There are some attributes that are called noncommunicable what are those those are attributes that belong only to God that can never possibly belong to us.

Those are the omnis omnipresence omnipotent and all of those attributes that are really only God's attributes, but there are other attributes that God can communicate to us in the apostle Paul here lists two of them and perhaps three that we can have as we imitate God. The first is this walk in love, walk in love, even as Christ has loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God, to characteristics of this love, about which we speak today.

First of all, it is a forgiving love you'll notice, for example, in the last verses of the fourth chapter you know when you're reading the Bible and you come across the word therefore you know that you should pause and ask why it's there and therefore really refers to the previous section, doesn't it, and you'll notice it says let all wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you the first characteristic of being like God in love is to be a forgiving person because God in Christ forgave us you know the Bible says in the sixth chapter of Luke, Jesus is talking about the Pharisees and then he speaking to his disciples, and he makes it very clear he says that we should be like our heavenly father. He says love your enemies, do good to them and bless them why should we do that because your heavenly father. He blesses those who aren't his. He sends rain on the just and the unjust. So, in light of that, if we want to be dog like we should even love our enemies, because that's the way in which we illustrate the love of God. It is first of all I forgiving kind of love. Secondly, it is also a sacrificial love and that's in chapter 5, verse one, as we have already read that Jesus gave himself up and he became a sin offering, he became the offering that God delighted in whereby our sins could be forgiven and so he was very sacrificial in his commitment. He gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. How can we be God.

Lee. How can we imitate God number one but we have to think about is walking in love. But there's more in the text year and it relates more specifically to a defiled conscience and walking with a pure conscience what the apostle Paul now says in verse eight, and I'm going to jump right into the middle of verse eight and then were going to work backwards. He says them.

You are light in the Lord walk as children of light. That's the second way in which we can be like God. God is light, and therefore the text of Scripture encourages us also to walk in light, even as God is in light now we must understand that what the apostle Paul is talking about here is moral issues and what he seems to imply and actually directly implies and that is that if we are not walking in light if we are walking in darkness, as we shall see in a moment that is walking in moral and spiritual darkness, and he addresses that. So with that, let's go back and see the context in which he invites us to walk in light which is really to walk in holiness, God is holy.

We are to be holy. The Scripture is very clear that we are to be like God. Now let's look at what it says in verse three, but sexual immorality and all impurity you notice how all encompassing. This is sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness why covetousness because it is really the heart of everything Paul says it is really idolatry is wanting something that's not supposed to be yours.

In a sense, all sin is covetousness.

So Paul puts that in must not even be named among you, as is proper to same. Let there be no filthiness or foolish talk or crude joking which are out of place, but instead let there be Thanksgiving what the apostle Paul does as he lists things here that are improper for Christians and I think that you understand the meaning of the word immorality in impurity and covetousness. I do want to add a word though about what he says about foolish talk and rude, joking, clearly God does not mind if we have a sense of humor. You know what is talking about here is impure jokes is talking about dirty jokes. It's talking about low kinds of humor when I was in Bible school. There was a man there who is very sincere. You could describe him.

I think as over say have you ever met somebody was just really over, say, when we be laughing in a room he knock on the door and say there's to be no joking there's to be no jesting. Obviously, Paul is talking about, that a sense of humor is so important as to who we are. I think God has a sense of humor. I really do yet.

Thank you. Thank you. I'm glad that I got a little bit of support not support throughout the whole congregation but part of I think got it a sense of humor. Have you ever look carefully at a rhinoceros. I mean you can look them up and you can ask the question what was God thinking when he created them.

Of course he has a sense of humor. But what he's talking about what Paul is talking about is some of the humor. It's the kind of humor that you sometimes have in business and where were you make fun of sin that would be one way to identify the kind of joking and jesting that he's talking about here, but that being said, now let's continue to read the text. Because this becomes very very serious. You'll notice it says and I'm in verse five for you may be sure of this. When Paul begins. That way you know that he's talking about something that is very very important because we can be sure about everything else that he writes in this chapter, but he doesn't want us to miss this, you can be sure of this, you may not know whether or not the Cubs will ever win another World Series that you can't be sure of that and there are lots of other things that you can't be sure but be sure of this and now no matter who you are, no matter how you are listening to this message.

This is the time for you to be all ears. As the saying goes, you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure who is covetous that is an idolater, has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God will two ways to interpret that phrase. No inheritance.

Some people believe that it means that you will be denied the opportunity to rule in the kingdom you will not be able to inherit the kingdom, you may enter it but not inherited. That's the most charitable way that you can interpret this. Others are adamant in insisting. This means that you will not even enter the kingdom. In other words, you will be lost forever. You will not be in the kingdom you will not be in heaven. You will be lost for all of eternity.

If you think that you can practice these things and make it part of your lifestyle and at the same time you are able to enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is very serious. My dear friend if that's part of your lifestyle. If you say this is who I am and you're practicing immorality and impurity and that becomes a part of your life and you never deal with it.

You never fight it because you're simply going along with it. Text of Scripture says be very careful because know this, there will not be an inheritance for in the kingdom, and you may not even enter the kingdom now if you think that that is very upfront and serious it is. Let's keep reading here and then he says in verse six let no one deceive you with empty words or because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Don't be deceived by empty words.

Yesterday I spoke at a and a conference here in the area on apologetics which is the defense of the faith, and I was reminded of the book that they had their and the book is entitled the making of an atheist and a subtitle was how immorality leads to unbelief. This is an excellent little book actually is published by Moody publishers. The name that you can trust so you can trust it and what the writer has concluded, after extensive research, something that I've always believed intuitively that the reason really that young people who go to college often lose their faith is not because of the intellectual argument.

The arguments aren't that strong. The arguments for Christianity are compelling. They do it because they fall into the sin of immorality and then not knowing what to do with her guilt, not knowing what to do with their situation.

Impurity going back to purity seems to be impossible for them. They don't know where to park their guilt. So what they decide to do is to plunge headlong into that lifestyle.

Then they build their whole theology around it again to say well you know I don't believe the Bible anymore. I don't want to go to church anymore and and they begin to justify it and begin to live in a bubble where nothing that can be said to them, can dissuade them of the fact that they are living wrongly and the Bible says do not be deceived by empty words. We live in a culture today that is willingly deceived by all kinds of empty word they all had sent a British journalist. I don't know much about them.

Not sure if he's a believer or not said this, that in order for a sexual revolution to be complete, you need three things. First of all that which was condemned has to be celebrated. You have to celebrated and then that which was at one time celebrated, such as traditional marriage. It must now be condemned and those who refused to celebrate the revolution. Now they must be condemn and that's where we are today and I never really understood that, until I just read a book recently about this and a lot of other topics and I pointed out that in a purely secular culture where sexuality becomes ineffective at controlling reality.

The important thing and work sexual freedom way out of control becomes the dominant value of a culture.

It is very important that not one form of marriage be above another. Therefore, all of them must be dragged down anything noble needs to meet the lowest common denominator because no one sexuality and their preference should in any way be perceived as better than another, so everyone is together and those who refused to celebrate. They now need to be condemned longer discussion, no doubt, at some other time. But notice this.

Do not be deceived by empty words, Paul says, because of these things and you can be sure this the wrath of God, upon the sons of disobedience. What a day and age in which we live. When our television and our media and our iPads and speeches that are given are filled with empty words, so there are really two ways in which we can be like God one as we walk in love, the audit we walk in light now what the apostle Paul does as he talks about their conversion and I want you to look at the text he says in verse seven. Therefore do not associate with them. That is, people like that Ford one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord walk as children of light. It's interesting that in the book of Isaiah. The Bible says the people they walked in dark by the time you get to the time of Christ in Matthew chapter 4 it's quoted as saying the people they sit in dark this and here in this passage, you find that the people are darkness they are darkness, darkness personified and so what he says is that the Lord has given you light now you are light. They are darkness. You are light in the Lord walk as children of light and we have this elsewhere.

Of course, in the words of Jesus in other parts of the Scripture and them notice for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness but instead expose them for it is shameful even to speak about things that they do in secret, my friend, this is Pastor Luther and in a world that is lost its way. We need to hear from God and his holy Word. You know, I've written a book entitled the power of a clear conscience. What does a woman do if her husband doesn't know that she's had an abortion. How do issues of the past impact us today and what do we do about them. Those of the kinds of matters that I discuss in this book and today is the last day, we are making this resource available.

We received this from a listener.

This book is for you if you feel shame and wounds for how you were treated as a child. It's for you if you feel unworthy in mental anguish or contemplating suicide. This book is for you if you are curious about becoming a Christian. And even if you have been a Christian for many years. It's for the hurting everywhere. This book I believe will be life-changing for many of you who need to read it. And as I've already mentioned were making it available today and this is the last day that we are making this resource available for a gift of any amount. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now I'm going to be giving you that contact information.

Once again, so that you can get a pen or pencil, but I need to say that in this book you will find issues discussed that will affect you and your family and help you make it all the way to the finish line is we like to say here on running to win to go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and, in advance, let me thank you for helping us as we continue this ministry around the world.

You can write to is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, Hanoi 60614 to maintain a clear conscience. We need to be vigilant lest any works of darkness find their way into our lives.

Next time I'm running to win some final thoughts on our consciences. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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