Ephesians 4:23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
What is the human conscience? Where does it come from? Why does all of mankind, regardless of religion, have a sense of right and wrong. Men suppress their conscience, yes, but they know by their conscience what is right and wrong. They suppress it, and they harden themselves against it, and they justify and excuse their actions, and build up a support system drawing others to their side to support them in their rejection of right and wrong, but they know. Inside each one of us, our Creator put the knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil. We are without excuse (Romans 1).
It's no wonder those who harden themselves against God's Word hate with such an intensity, anyone who holds to it and lives by it. It does not allow them to excuse their rebellion, but exposes it. No wonder they work with an insane zeal to shut up and persecute those who will not join them in their way of thinking! It's because the conscience they have suppressed will do all that it can not to be awakened, but to be kept deadened to the voice of God. It will call good evil and evil good to keep that conscience suppressed. It will form its own self righteousness to validate itself in doing so.
From The Christian in Complete Armor, by William Gurnall,
The Nature of The Saint's Conscience, P. 36-37
Man's conscience, like His physical body, is created by God. It is therefore, in its very nature to depend on Him for being and for operation. The capacity to be and to act in and of oneself is an incommunicable property of the deity. It can never be imparted to a creature. God alone is the source and sustainer of all life; therefore, it is His constant regenerating power that keeps the conscience alive. Conscience may be defined as that divine influence at work in man to restrain him from sin. One evidence of its origin is that it always speaks against sin and for righteousness. Therefore, it cannot be the product of our own hearts, which in their fallen state are 'deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked' (Jer. 17:9). God uses the conscience to give some knowledge of His righteousness to all, so that no one can stand before Him on the day of judgment and plead ignorance (Romans 1). When you become a Christian and consecrate yourself - conscience and all - to Him, the Holy Spirit begins in earnest to perfect you in Christ.
The Lord awakened our conscience when we were born again, renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and given new life in Him. He continually works to renew our conscience, as we come to His Word and allow Him to shape and form our minds and hearts according to His. He continually works in us to "will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). We cannot determine in our own minds, or according to tradition, or culture, or even what a church dictates, what is right or wrong in God's eyes.
Our conscience can trick us as well, and put us under false condemnation, when we become dependent on our own thinking or that of a religious system. We can be made to believe we are doing something right by man's standards when it is very wrong in God's eyes. We can become so self introspective judging ourselves inwardly, that we totally miss what God sees in us. We can in many ways damage our own conscience's ability to know when to feel guilty or not to. We are completely dependent on Him to renew our conscience. We do this by being in His Word daily with a humble heart, that is receptive to His Word, His counsel, and His conviction, ready to receive and submit to all that is there. Why do so many in Christianity argue over right and wrong, different scruples, and disagree in so many areas. Why is it one will say something is perfectly moral and another strongly stand against it? Who's right? Only God is right, and our minds must be brought under subjection to His Word, not man's.
It is God Who will have the final say, on that day when all of men's hearts are judged. Their consciences then will see clearly, standing naked in His light, with His truth judging all the motives and intentions and actions. They will be according to His law and His Word, not according to the laws of man or the philosophies of man. The question is where will we stand? Do we really want to know what His Word says? Do we really want to seek out and find the God of that Word? Do we really desire to know Him and His wisdom, or do we want to quiet the conscience He has given us and change it to act according to what we please and what is more acceptable or palatable to the world around us? Man can invent any god he chooses to in his mind to please himself and serve his own purposes, even making himself feel very spiritual in the process. But all of that will be stripped from him once he stands before the Creator of all things. And we all will, whether we choose to believe in Him or not. It does not change His existence one bit. He does not need our belief to exist. We need to believe in order to receive His life so that we can truly live and be alive spiritually.
Men can create his own laws and he redefines love, justice, and goodness by his own lust and passion. If laws are founded on the law of God, they will benefit mankind and they will prosper. If not they bring oppression and corruption, and death. We can see so many examples of that in the world today that it needs no explanation, such as in communism, humanism, socialism, Islam…all are systems of laws against God and those who love Him and have brought more destruction to the world than anything. God's law brings life and happiness and freedom to those who follow it, yet those who don't want to, see His law as something to restrict them. Every law of God is for our own good and well being, but the laws of man are for promoting those passions that will eventually lead to death and destruction. The conscience God gives is for our own well-being to restrain us from destroying ourselves and others, as well as showing to us our own inability to keep it, and our reliance on Him. We suppress it to our own destruction.
God gives us freedom for a time to choose. Love has to be by choice. Yet one day He says He will put an end to evil. If you are one who says, "if there is a God why does He allow evil in the world?" then just hold on. He allows it for a time because of His love and longsuffering patience and because He wishes none to perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), yet there will be a day when evil, all that opposes Him, will be judged and will be done away with forever, and those who chose His grace will live forever in the presence of His perfect love, goodness, and glory with no threat of evil ever again.
How does this apply to my life, in Christ, right now? I want to know that I am pleasing to Him in every way. I don't want to be fooled by men's opinions or the popular opinion of the day. I want to know God's heart, so that I can walk according to His will always. In doing so I am walking in communion with Him, close to Him, and relying on Him alone to guide my conscience. In doing so I am confident, and am free of fear. Perfect love casts out all fear.
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:17-19)
I can walk daily with a clear conscience, in unbroken fellowship with Him, knowing that He is with me, and always for me, and will never leave me or forsake me. But if I ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit in me, in my conscience, according to His Word, then I break the fellowship with Him, the sense of His love and fellowship is gone and I stumble. I'm unable to walk in victory, and I walk in fear and doubt with no power to overcome the evil forces coming against me in this world. I am weakened and fall into temptation, which again brings me through that vicious cycle of sin and condemnation, never feeling like I can make it, or measure up. when I walk in the knowledge of His forgiveness, and in obedience to His Word, my conscience is clear and I walk dressed in the armor of God, and the breastplate of righteousness that nothing can penetrate or destroy.
Mankind strives to be "free of God" thinking that if they deaden their conscience they will be free to do as they please. They only find it to lead to death, just as the Lord warned. Those who listen to God and submit find themselves truly free.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
If you find your conscience has been deadened, ask Him to quicken it, as you sit before His Word, letting Him renew your mind and conscience. It is God that can awaken and quicken the conscience. If you listen to the wrong voices, that of the world, your conscience will become confused. There is such a thing as a good "brain washing." It is washing our brains/minds in the Word of truth and light…the Word of God, that is alone the one thing that can cleanse and purify, and bring true peace and freedom. The world brain-washes us through media in its own ways and thoughts. Ask God for that brain-washing that is true and good. Let your mind be renewed afresh by the power of the Holy Spirit. Give up all your own thoughts of what is right and wrong and just and unjust. Ask God for His. Come before Him in humility and ask to be renewed in your thinking. Ask for a conscience that is sensitive always to the Holy Spirit, able to discern between flesh and spirit.
If your conscience has been hounding you, rather than run from it, take it before God and before His Word and surrender fully to Him. Ask Him to cleanse you and give you a new heart to do His will. You'll find when you've surrendered to His will and begin to love His will rather than your own, that you will find true freedom and peace, much more than that thing you thought you had to hold onto. Let God be your conscience. Let Him be your life. He wants to be your portion and reveal His love to you and His goodness. He has so much for you!
But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts 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 understand the things freely given us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-12)
Open our eyes and hearts to You, Lord Jesus! Quicken our hearts to receive Your Word! We love You, Lord Jesus. Be glorified in Your people.