How does my conscience differ from the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Romans 2:14-15, (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.
They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times defending them.)
Our conscience functions much like the computer. Computers are programmed to respond in particular ways to specific information. Also, it responds to information based on the commands pre-programmed for it to follow. Therefore, our conscience is subject to the pre-programming that God gave us (moral code) and the subsequent retraining/reprogramming that results in our current conscience – as modified.
We are subject to alteration of thought by the influence of the environment we live and work. Conscience is also influenced by the people we are with at home and at work. Whereas, the Holy Spirit is totally consistent with God and is not influenced by the person indwelled nor the environment.
1 Corinthians 2:15-16, “The person with the Holy Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
The Holy Spirit is not subject to anything human – such that it would be persuaded to act, acquire, or mimic that which exists only in the flesh (world). (see, 1 John 5:18)
So long as we do not reprogram our conscience, we will continue to follow the moral code God gave us (written on our mind). When our inner code says “NO” then we refrain. When it says “GO” we get involved. This continues until we compromise our code by doing that which is contrary to the inner code’s prompting. As we repeat doing what conscience tells us not to do, we will continue to replace the moral standards with whatever we have done repeatedly. Therefore, by practice, we are disobeying God.
When we become a Christian, a change began to occur in our conscience. The basic moral code we all had from birth began to be overhauled. The Holy Spirit of truth took up residency in our hearts. Whether we are aware of this change or not, the Holy Spirit immediately set about to reprogram our conscience. Before this, we had a general sense of right and wrong. Now the Holy Spirit began renewing (reprogramming) our minds to more specific and complete truths of God (1Corinthians 2:10-13).
Each time you read your Bible; you are participating in the reprogramming process. This is also true when attending a gathering of like-minded believers or memorizing a verse or praying. The Holy Spirit uses all this input to update, reprogram, and change the database (mind) through which your conscience evaluates every opportunity, thought, invitation, word, and deed. Conscience is thereby changed ever so slightly in repetition to bring each of us into that predestined position of being more like Christ. (see, Romans 8:29)
The Holy Spirit is not subject to worldly matters, issues, or people’s tendencies. Therefore, the guiding of the Holy Spirit is a much more forceful power and capable of changing our course to reflect the true moral and ethical standards of God that Christ Jesus exemplified while here in the flesh (divine in a human body).
In this way, guided by the Holy Spirit, we are sensitized to God’s moral standards BUT also to His Will. 1 John 5:18, “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.”
Shalom, God is good – all the time, amen!