1 Corinthians 2:10-12

How Does My Conscience Differ from the Guidance of the Holy Spirit?


God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.  For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?  Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  1 Corinthians 2:10-12

Pastor, it is like God flipped a light on in my soul.  A man who had recently become a Christian said these words, and shared a simple but profound comparison of the conscience and the Holy Spirit.  He explained that his choices prior to salvation were based on the knowledge and evaluation of right and wrong, measuring the consequences of his decisions.  His actions would be determined by what seemed right and rational to him.  Satisfaction and regrets were based on feelings.  This man had been acting according to his conscience.

But that viewpoint changed when he became a follower of Jesus and the Holy Spirit came to dwell in him.  His decision-making process was completely different.  Now when he made the right choices, he felt God’s pleasure and direction, and a renewed sense of purpose in life.  When he chose sin, he felt conviction and uneasiness because he was displeasing God.  Personal regrets became sorrow for sin against the holy God (John 16:8).  Everyone is born with a conscience.  Psalm 139:13 refers to the creation of one’s “inward parts.”  It is the conduit in a person’s soul that allows the Holy Spirit to work in the believer’s life.  (John 14:26), led (Romans 8:14), and strengthened (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 3:16).

As today’s passage states, we can know more than surface facts about God.  The Holy Spirit creates in us a hunger to know Him personally.  He reveals mysteries and purposes.  And, although there will always be things about God that are beyond our grasp to understand (Romans 11:33-36), the Spirit generates in us a passion to search for what we can comprehend.  May we as believers never trust our conscience but fully depend upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  

You desire for me to know the deep things of You, Lord.  Create in me an insatiable desire to know who You are and what You are like.  May I reply on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit’s light to direct my paths.  Thank You for desiring a pure relationship with me.  Amen.

Thank you… Dr. Ted Traylor, Pensacola, Florida