1 Peter 3:14-17
But and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;…
I. CONSCIENCE IS AN ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTE OF PERSONAL BEING. It is that in which we are consciously bound in allegiance to the Great Supreme in truth, righteousness, and goodness. Its function is —
1. Prospectively, to incite to good and to restrain from evil; and —
2. Retrospectively, to fill with joy when the evil has been overcome and the good achieved, and to reprove and fill with shame and remorse when the good has been eschewed and the evil e done.
II. A GOOD CONSCIENCE IS A MOST DESIRABLE POSSESSION.
1. It must he a conscience binding its possessor to the right and good. It is not always thus with conscience. It binds, indeed, to what the man judges to be right. But his judgment may be wrong (John 16:2; Acts 26:9). It needs to be enlightened to see light in God's light (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).
2. It must be a faithful conscience. Some consciences are insensitive, cauterized (Ephesians 4:17-19; Ephesians 5:7-14; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2). A good conscience is faithful, and performs its proper function.
3. A good conscience is a peaceful conscience. If burdened with guilt and fear it is essentially "an evil conscience." For such a conscience there is only one source of peace (Hebrews 9:13, 14; 1 John 1:7; Romans 5:1).
4. A good conscience is a self-approving conscience (2 Corinthians 1:12; Acts 23:1). It involves the abiding consciousness of integrity.
III. THE VIRTUE OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE. It is a precious possession.
1. For the man himself. It makes him strong to toil, contend, endure, die. It ensures continual victory and final triumph (Romans 5:3-6; Romans 8:35-39; Hebrews 11).
2. For the Church and the world. A church made up of such members, of meal firmly holding "faith and a good conscience," must be a mighty power amongst men; "putting to silence" the ignorant and foolish (1 Peter 2:15); and lending the observant "to glorify God in the day of visitation."Conclusion:
1. By penitent faith in Jesus secure a good conscience.
2. By obedient faith in Jesus keep a good conscience.
Parallel VersesKJV: But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;