"…the unjust knoweth no shame." (Zephaniah 3:5b KJV)
There is a shame that is heaped upon a soul unjustly, and there is a prick of the conscience supplied by a just and merciful God. We would do well to discern between the two. The one leads to bondage - the other to the light of truth.
I heard a man once say we should not make too much of conscience as if to imply that following the "letter" in regards to certain precepts and practices of the church was quite enough.
But it is possible to follow the letter of the law and know nothing of a true conviction of sin that turns the soul to Christ. The difference between faith-keeping and law-keeping is profound (Romans 3:19-26 KJV). "For the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." (II Corinthians 3:6b KJV)
God's law mercifully shows us how miserably we fall short of keeping it so we might call upon the Lord and be saved (Romans 10:13 KJV). Until His grace ignites such faith, we will not have learned to live the true Christian life, (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV) for
"The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17b KJV). Justifying faith heightens our spiritual senses, giving us a truer sense of sin so we might rightly turn from it.
Ask yourself this:
Am I slavishly following the "letter of the law" to be justified before God? Or do I respond in faith toward Jesus Christ, having applied my conscience to His written Word?
Am I burdened because I don't quite measure up, or do I have confidence because I have put my trust in Jesus Christ who died for my sins and rose again?
Toni M. Babcock is the author of The Stone Writer. Contact