The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

A conscience without offence (PDF) PDF version

A conscience without offence

In Acts 24:16, Paul, speaking to Felix, a Roman governor, said:

Acts 24:16
"I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men."

Among the things that Paul was striving, was to have his conscience clean, without offense, toward God and men. In contrast to him, some others followed/follow another way regarding conscience. In I Timothy 4:1-2 we read:

I Timothy 4:1-2
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron"

In the very opposite of the clean conscience we have the seared conscience. This is the amputated conscience that is unable to feel, for it is seared. It is the apathetic conscience that has been numbed and which is now indifferent and lax, as the heart of the respective man. However, this was not the conscience of Paul, nor can it be the conscience of a man that walks in fellowship with the living God. When there is fellowship with Him nothing can remain dead: it is resurrected. The fellowship with the living God gives life to conscience / heart and only with an alive conscience can one walk with Him. Returning to Paul, he didn’t sear his conscience to face pain and opposition, but in contrast he strove to have his conscience always clean, without any offence or laxity that would make him apathetic. What Paul preached, he was also. He was striving to have a conscience without offense, a clean heart, toward God and men. May we also have the same mind, striving as well to have the same alive conscience, the same clean heart, without offence towards God and men.

Anastasios Kioulachoglou