Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
Are you discouraged this week? Are you tired this week? Are you down this week? Are you struggling with this sin this week? Does life seem out of control this week? Remember that Christ has conquered sin, death, and Satan. He is the risen King. He is the exalted Lord. And he must reign until he puts all things under his feet. He is reigning this very moment for the good of his church. Sin is no longer on the throne of your heart, but the risen Christ now reigns in your heart. So be encouraged! Rejoice this week in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Come and join us this Lord’s Day at 10:00 for breakfast and a hymn sing. And we will look at Christ as the resurrection life in the sermon at 11:00.
Bring a friend or neighbor and expose them to the gospel of Christ!
- TONIGHT we will meet at the VanTubergen’s home at 7:00 to continue our study in Galatians. Their address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, 77095.
- The Men will meet next Saturday at the Egg and I at 8:30AM for good food, fellowship, and to begin looking at our new book study.
- Our Spring retreat with Providence OPC will be April 23-25. See here for info and to register: http://providencepres.com/retreat/.
- Note the dates for the OPC summer youth camp: June 22-27. See here for more info: http://www.opcsouthwest.org/summer-youth-camp/.
- Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from the New Testament on the Bible’s teaching on the conscience.
God bless and I look forward to worshipping with all of you this Resurrection Sunday!!
From the Pastor’s Desk
Romans 2:15, “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.”
The Bible teaches that God is the creator of all things (Gen 1:1). That in six days he created the universe and all that exists; and that man, as created male and female, is the ‘crown of creation.’ For it is man – and man alone – who is created imago dei, ‘in the image of God’ (Gen 1:27). There are many important consequences of man as image bearers of God (especially in the arena of ethics); and it is one such consequence that I want to consider in this devotional.
As image bearers of God, all mankind possesses an intrinsic ‘moral consciousness.’ That is to say, all men possess a conscience. Put simply, as all men are created in the image of a moral God, so all men possess a moral consciousness, a conscience. The Bible has much to say regarding the conscience of man. For example, in a critical passage regarding man’s knowledge of God, Paul states: “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them” (Rom 2:15). Man’s conscience bears witness to the law of God written on the heart. In other words, as image bearers of God, all men know God and his moral requirements (Rom 1:18-21, 32); and the conscience bears witness to that knowledge, either ‘accusing’ that which violates God’s law or ‘excusing’ that which conforms to God’s law. There is more to the story, however. For the Bible also teaches that the conscience can be molded. For example, the New Testament speaks of a ‘clear conscience towards both God and man’ (Acts 24:16); a ‘weak conscience’ (1 Cor 8:7); a ‘seared conscience’ (1 Tim 4:2); and a ‘defiled conscience’ (Titus 1:15). Our conscience can be softened to the truth of the Lord … and it can be hardened to the truth of the Lord … and it can even be ‘seared’ to the things of the Lord. We can think of it this way: the existence of a moral grid testifies to the conscience or moral awareness in every person; that grid, however, can be distorted, twisted, sharpened, desensitized, and sensitized to God’s law in the heart.
How can we apply the Biblical teaching on the conscience to our lives’ today? There are two things we should take to heart as God’s people. We must strive to cultivate a sensitive conscience and to maintain a clear conscience (Acts 24:16). How do we cultivate a sensitive conscience to the things of the Lord? We saturate ourselves with the word of the Lord. We continually expose ourselves to the glorious truth of the gospel. We spend time with the Lord in prayer and we ask the Spirit of truth to impress the truth deep into our heart. And how do we maintain a clear conscience towards God and man? We keep short accounts with the Lord. We go to our Heavenly Father in confession and repentance when our conscience accuses us. We go to those we have wronged seeking forgiveness and we forgive those who have wronged us. We ask the Lord to give us strength to live in accordance with our confession. Brothers and sisters, may we cultivate a sensitive conscience to the Word and the Spirit; and may we maintain a clear conscience towards God and man!!