Class Notes: 2/12/2023

The book of Romans part 113; Rom 2:15; Doctrine of the Conscience part 5

In our verse by verse study of Romans we finished Rom 2:15; with the expanded translation "The very ones who demonstrate the accomplishment of the law written in their hearts, their conscience confirming the testimony, in fact their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending themselves;"

This brought us to the doctrine of the conscience where last time we noted that the problem-solving device of grace orientation expresses itself through the norms and standards of the conscience that is constructed from Bible doctrine. There is no grace orientation apart from the norms and standards of Bible doctrine established in the soul.

Grace orientation in the soul requires the renovation of the norms and standards of the conscience because the conscience is the basis for grace function in the Christian life.

The principle of grace orientation as it relates to the conscience is also taught in 1Pet 2:18-19; "Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only for the good and gentle masters, but also for the unreasonable ones; for this is grace, if for the sake of conscience toward God, anyone bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly."

This verse was originally addressed to Roman slaves, but it came to refer to anyone who is under the authority of someone else. Some people in authority are perverse, but you are just as responsible before God to submit to their authority. You serve them and do your best job as unto the Lord.

A conscience loaded with doctrine maintains its integrity under unfair treatment. Such a believer has a strong conscience. Instead of resentment entering the conscience and destroying it, there is grace orientation that enables persistence in making the right application of doctrine. The weak believer complains, rejects authority, and becomes a loser.

So it is very important to have a conscience with norms and standards from epignosis doctrine so that you can handle unfair treatment in the same way that you handle fair treatment.

Military training can be counted on to provide unjust and unfair treatment from authority. It is necessary to learn to submit to unfair authority to bee able to function properly under the abnormal circumstances of combat.

When the norms and standards of the conscience are formed from Bible doctrine, the believer also has a problem-solving device related to doctrinal orientation,

2Cor 4:2; "But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame (false norms and standards), not walking in craftiness or watering down the Word of God, but by the unveiling of doctrine (cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine), commending ourselves to every person's conscience in the sight of God."

The "things hidden because of shame" are the false norms and standards in the conscience related to guilt or some other form of arrogance. This is how people justify wrongdoing.

The weak conscience is deceitful because it waters down God's Word of truth to make it more acceptable to unbelievers. The more doctrine you learn and believe, the more you will be able to stand your ground with doctrinal standards and not cave in to the pressure of the devil's world.

You cannot have a good conscience, if you do not know Bible doctrine because Bible doctrine is the sine qua non of all of the spiritual skills.

Paul is telling us that believers will build up norms and standards related to the spiritual life from Bible doctrine, and at the same time the false norms and standards that come from the legalism of satan's cosmic systems will be expunged.

By learning and using doctrine without trying to run other people's lives, you commend yourself to other people's consciences in the sight of God.

The conscience of the believer must be formed from the norms, standards, and priorities obtained through cognition of Bible doctrine. No one has a strong conscience until they have cognitive independence from spiritual self-esteem.

1Tim 3:9; "Holding the mystery of the doctrine with a clear conscience." You acquire a clear conscience by having doctrinal norms and standards.

The conscience of the believer must be formed from norms and standards obtained through the cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine.

When the norms and standards of the conscience are formed from Bible doctrine, the believer has problem-solving devices related to integrity love, 1Tim 1:5; "But the objective of our instruction is integrity-love from a pure right lobe and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

When the norms and standards of the conscience are formed from Bible doctrine, the believer has a problem solving devices relate to God's perfect happiness. Happiness, tranquility and contentment of soul are applied through the conscience.

When the norms and standards of the conscience are formed from Bible doctrine, the believer also has a problem solving devices related to a personal sense of destiny.

When the norms and standards of the conscience are formed from Bible doctrine, the believer also has a problem solving devices related to occupation with Christ.

1Pet 3:15-16; "but sanctify the Lord Jesus Christ in your hearts (occupation with Christ), and always be ready to make a defense to anyone who asks you to give an account for the confidence that is in you with grace orientation and respect (occupation with Christ])

v16 Keep having a good conscience, so that in the things in which you are slandered, those who malign your intrinsic good in Christ may be put to shame."

The source of occupation with Christ is epignosis doctrine in the heart's stream of consciousness. Slander is handled by using epignosis in the heart.

If you have a strong conscience, you will leave it in the Lord's hands. Then it will go to the supreme court of heaven. The slanderers will be put to shame without you ever trying to respond or defend yourself.

Occupation with Christ extends into the conscience and becomes the ultimate in problem solving devices. Any of the various problem-solving devices can enter the conscience and solve the problem. You will never be occupied with Christ until you have a strong, doctrinally oriented conscience.

The problem solving devices only work through a strong conscience because a believer with a weak conscience will distort the problem solving devices.

The believer's conscience demands that he submit to establishment authority. Rom 13:5, "Therefore, it is necessary to be in subordination, not only because of wrath (law enforcement), but also for conscience sake."

In other words, the Christian doesn't refrain from criminal activity because he's afraid of going to jail he doesn't go there because the norms and standards of a strong conscience refuse to let him even consider any criminal activity because it is the wrong thing to do.

The norms and standards of the soul's conscience is a much stronger restraint than any fear of punishment from the criminal justice system is.

The conscience is also a source of motivation. 2Tim 1:3, "I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, the way my ancestors did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers, day and night."

So the conscience is related to effectiveness in prayer. Paul's conscience demanded that he pray for certain people, and he did so. Paul didn't pray for people because he liked them, but for conscience sake, which is the strongest possible motivation.

Since the conscience is located in the right lobe of the soul, the norms and standards of the conscience are built on epignosis doctrine, not on gnosos doctrine.

The conscience is involved in the function of God's GASP system. You've learned from your entire background and, therefore you have certain norms and standards. Most of these norms and standards are related to things that are non-essential.

You make application to situations from your standards. You have a right to those standards and their application as long as it does not contradict essential doctrine.

When one of your norms and standards is contradicted by an essential doctrine you have to make a volitional choice regarding what you will choose to believe.

You have to allow for the privacy of non-essential individual standards so you don't correct other people who are not under your authority; you tolerate them. You don't try to get others to agree to your non-essential standards. If you don't agree with and believe something it will not be permitted to enter your human spirit so it will not get it in your soul.

Once you accept and believe a doctrine, it goes to the human spirit as building material for the edification complex of your soul, then to your frame of reference, where it becomes a reality, then to the memory center, categorical center, launching pad and finally to your conscience where new norms and standards are established.

We see here that there is a relationship between the conscience and the perception of doctrine and between the intake of doctrine and spiritual advance.

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