Conscience – By Arthur Zepp

Chapter 5

Conscience Unperverted An Inestimable Blessing

In this unperverted state conscience (where the Bible is unknown) is an invaluable blessing as it would lead to salvation if its dictates were followed. Only when conscience is gladly followed in its incitements to right it may be said to answer the definition often given “the voice of God in the soul.” IT IS MANIFESTLY NOT THE “VOICE OF GOD” IN THE SOUL WHEN IT ALLOWS THOSE THINGS IN HEART OR LIFE WHICH GOD’S WORD PLAINLY CONDEMNS. Conscience is the voice of God to the heathen, without the revealed ward of God, as is also God’s revelation in nature, another voice, and, if the heathen follows the light of these, salvation will ensue. But we of the American Church have a “more sure word,” even the Word of God, and it is the “lamp unto our feet and light to our path” and we are exhorted to “receive with meekness this word which is able to save our souls.”

Dr. Finney has a sermon on Conscience, in which he proves conscience (unperverted) and the Bible harmonize and agree‑that is what the Bible requires of men, Conscience affirms to be correct.

For example: The Bible commands love to God and man; and Conscience affirms the same obligation. Though some deny the Bible to be the revealed word of God still they admit independent of its revelation there is a Supreme Intelligence and we are obligated to love Him as well as our fellows. By this admission they but show the natural agreement of conscience with revelation. The Bible reveals the depravity of the human heart, in its unrenewed state; Conscience assents to this; men are depraved.

The Bible affirms guilt, presses the sinner with a sense of blame; so does Conscience.

The Bible demands repentance. Conscience alarms man; if he does not repent there is no hope. The Bible demands faith and entire holiness. Conscience responds that we cannot enjoy God here or hereafter without being like Him, and that faith, only, brings holiness. The Bible teaches man’s position as a sinner to be wrong. Conscience approves this affirmation. The Bible reveals an atonement for sin as necessary to salvation, and the sinner, under God’s displeasure, and that Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient. Conscience affirms this same necessity and the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Through all ages men have been (through conscience) devising some form of sacrifice to render it proper for God to forgive the sinner. The Bible and conscience agree in affirming the doctrine of “endless punishment.” Conscience could teach nothing else. It could at no time in eternity say, “I have suffered enough to satisfy the (offended) laws of God. I deserve no more. Wonderful harmony: Surely this is the strongest argument for he inspiration of God’s word.”

The foregoing is a remarkable confirmation of the inspiration of God’s word. Here is a book we call the Bible‑God’s own word. In it He speaks His mind, and here is set up somewhere in man a something or faculty we call conscience‑voice of God‑spark of the Divine remaining in the soul of man, and it agrees fully with the word.

Of course the foregoing is only true of a live conscience which is not yet seared and calloused by persistent rejection or sin against light. A dead conscience is dead to reason, God’s word and spirit alike. Let it not be supposed because conscience, when unperverted by repeated sin, agrees with God’s word, that men do what they agree to be right. Far from it. Countless thousands admit the rightness of God’s requirements and still go on doing their own will and following their own ways. They say “Lord, Lord,” and “Yea, Lord,” and do not the things which He says.