| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 33 of 190 Index | Zoom | |
A good conscience and dispensational truth.
pp. 233 - 235
The antithesis of an "evil" conscience must be a "good" one, and as this expression is
found in the Scriptures, it seems fitting that we should consider it next.
There are six passages which contain the expression "a good conscience":--
"Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day"
(Acts 23: 1).
"Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good
conscience, and of faith unfeigned" (I Tim. 1: 5).
"Holding faith, and a good conscience" (I Tim. 1: 19).
"Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live
honestly" (Heb. 13: 18).
"Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil-doers,
they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ" (I Pet. 3: 16).
"The answer of a good conscience toward God" (I Pet. 3: 21).
It will not be possible to deal with these six passages in one article. In order to make
the study profitable, therefore, we shall concentrate our thoughts upon one aspect and
usage. If we examine these references, we shall find that the expression "a good
conscience" is sometimes used to refute the charge that the apostle had turned away from
the faith of his fathers, or from one dispensation to another, without just reason. This will
appear more clearly as we examine the passages in their contexts.
The setting of the first passage, Acts 23: 1, is the apostle's defence before Ananias.
The apostle had been severely handled by the Jews, who had accused him of taking
Gentiles into the temple, and of polluting the holy place. He had spoken in "the Hebrew
tongue" to the multitude, who had heard him in silence until he came to his own
commission to the Gentiles, at which point they had shouted, "Away with such a fellow
from the earth". Having been rescued by the Roman soldiers, he is brought before the
council of the chief priests--and his opening words refer to the fact that he had lived in
all good conscience before God "until this day".
As the apostle took the same line of defence before Felix, we shall do well to read his
statement in the next chapter before going further:--
"There are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. And they
neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people,
neither in the synagogues, nor in the city. Neither can they prove the things whereof they
now accuse me" (Acts 24: 11-13).
Having said so much, the apostle proceeds to a definite statement concerning his own