Having a hope in GOD
Which these men cherish themselves
That there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked
In view of this
I also do my best to maintain always, a blameless conscience
Both before GOD and before men
In Acts chapter 24, the apostle Paul was standing before the governor Felix (a roman who had been given the authority and responsibility to govern over Judah and Samaria at Caesarea), giving his defense against the false charges brought by the Sanhedrin (council of Pharisees and Sadducees who had been given limited authority over certain religious, civil, and criminal matters by Rome).
Paul denied being guilty of the false charges brought against him, and confessed that he served GOD, and believed in The LAW of GOD that was written in the prophets (Act 24:10-14). He further confesses that he has the same hope in GOD, that the Council did, concerning the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (Act 24:15). Paul then brings us to the basis of this message, because he believed in the resurrection of JESUS (Act 24:21), and the resurrection of all men, he did his best to always maintain a blameless conscience both before GOD and men.
What did Paul mean by a blameless conscience? This question is best answered by looking at the definition of each word separately:
- To be blameless is to be free from blame; without fault; without guilt; innocent; refrain from sin.
- The conscience is a personal awareness of right and wrong that is used to guide your actions to do right; a knowledge or sense of right and wrong; an inner feeling or voice as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of behavior.
How can you know if you have a conscience? Our Beloved LORD GOD wrote HIS Law on our hearts (Rom 2:15), so we know when we are doing right or wrong as confirmed by the following Scriptures:
For our transgressions are multiplied before YOU
And our sins testify against us
For our transgressions are with us
And we know our iniquities
“Although our iniquities testify against us,
O LORD, act for YOUR NAME’s sake!
Truly our apostasies have been many,
We have sinned against YOU.
By means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron
1 Timothy 4:2
Is there a difference between a blameless conscience before GOD and before men? For the godly there is no difference. Our love of CHRIST controls us (2 Cor 5:14), so our private walk is the same as our public profession. We serve our Beloved LORD GOD from our soul or innermost being (Psa 51:6, Psa 15:1-2). We know our GOD sees all and will bring every act to judgment (Pro 15:3, Jer 16:17, Ecc 12:14). For the ungodly and disobedient their private life is shameful, and their public life is praiseworthy. We see this demonstrated by the Pharisees (Mat 6:1-6, Mat 23:27-28).
Why do the ungodly and disobedient walk this way? There are at least ten reasons, they:
- Don’t think GOD sees them (Psa 94:3-7) as demonstrated by the elders in the temple of GOD (Eze 8:7-12)
- Think their sins are hidden (Jhn 3:19, Eph 5:11-13) though those very sins are exposed before GOD (Psa 90:8, Heb 4:13)
- Seek glory (honor and respect) from men, instead of GOD (Jhn 5:41-44, Jhn 7:18)
- Love the approval of men, rather than the approval of GOD (Jhn 12:43)
- Are men pleasers (Gal 1:10, 1 Ths 2:4)
- Obey unrighteousness, lusts, the sinful nature (Rom 2:8, Rom 6:12, Rom 6:16)
- Serve self and money (Php 2:3-4, Mat 6:24)
- Love self, money, pleasure, the world, and the things in it (2 Tim 3:2-4, 1 Jhn 2:15-16)
- Continually walk with the ungodly (1 Cor 5:9-11, Eph 5:11-12)
- Fear man, rather than GOD (Pro 29:25, Luk 12:4-5, Jhn 12:42-43)
Points of clarification:
From 1 Timothy 4:2, a seared conscience is one that has become insensitive to what is right and wrong. As an example, if you do something that is wrong, for example binge watching, gaming, gambling or adultery, at first your conscience bothers you, because GOD has written in your heart that it is wrong (Rom 2:15). But if you continue to do it, you are no longer convicted of your wrongdoing, in fact you begin to justify it.
To obey GOD means to:
- Listen to HIS Voice (Psa 81:11-16, Pro 1:33, Pro 8:34)
- Do HIS Will (Mrk 3:35, Luk 6:46, 1 Pet 4:2)
- Act upon HIS WORD (Luk 6:47-49, Jam 1:22-25)
To serve means to seek after. To serve self means seeking after one’s own interests (Php 2:21); selfish, looking out for their own personal interests (Php 2:3-4). And serving money means to seek after it (Pro 23:4, Luk 12:21, 1 Tim 6:9, 1 Tim 6:17).
To walk with means to hang out with; occupy one’s time with; follow as a companion; how one conducts themselves (Amo 3:3, Gen 5:22-24, Gen 6:9, Gen 48:15, Jhn 14:23, Jhn 15:4-10, 1 Jhn 2:4-6).
What does The LORD your GOD require from you
But to fear The LORD your GOD
To walk in all HIS Ways and love HIM
And to serve The LORD your GOD
With all your heart and with all your soul
And to keep The LORD’s Commandments
And HIS Statutes
Which I am commanding you today for your good?