Having A Clear Conscious Before God
Have you ever had a guilty conscience about something? Actually, that is a trick question, because we have all had one before God. A guilty conscience can weigh heavy on one’s soul. If we have any sense of morals, the guilt of doing something wrong can severely affect us both mentally and physically. The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). This is what Jesus was referring to when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and “Blessed are those who mourn” (Matt. 5:3 & 4). Jesus was referring to those whose guilty conscience will drive them to be obedient to God. God’s plan for the redemption of mankind makes it possible for men to stand before God with a clear conscience. That means our sins should no longer bear on our conscience because they have been forgiven. Let’s examine three verses from the New Testament that speak of how we can stand before God with a clear conscience.
1. “There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:21). Peter states in this verse that baptism is the “answer of a good conscience toward God.” What makes baptism the answer? Baptism is the final step in the plan of salvation. Baptism is the actual point where we become saved. It is the point where our sins are forgiven. Peter told the Jews on Pentecost, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Ananias instructed Paul to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16). Baptism is the answer of a good conscience because it’s when our sins are forgiven. Only when our sins are forgiven, and blotted out, can we have a clear conscience before God.
2. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:22). This verse tells us what happens during baptism that makes it possible for our sins to be forgiven and our conscience to be cleared. First, we draw near to God with the right attitude and heart condition. That means we are aware we are sinners and have a convicted conscience. We then are baptized through faith, which is what the Hebrew writer meant, by saying our bodies are washed with pure water. Our hearts are then sprinkled from an evil conscience, which symbolizes our hearts being sprinkled with the blood of Christ to forgive our sins. It is during our baptism that we come into contact with the blood of Christ because we are united with Christ in His death. Paul stated, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death” (Rom. 6:3)?
3. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The first two verses above speak of how we initially come into contact with Christ’s blood to have our sins forgiven and our conscience cleared. John tells us in this verse how to maintain that status. Jesus’ blood will continue to cleanse us of sin if we walk in the light (1 John 1:7). We can confess our sins to God, and he is faithful to forgive us, which will keep us in the blessed condition of being able to stand before God with a clear conscience. Having a clear conscience before God leads to a clear conscience in all aspects of our lives. -Ed