Care for the Conscience
Mark Pikkarainen | 2017 August Voice of Zion
Free from Sin
Do you remember how good it felt as a child, when the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name and blood was preached by mom or dad for something that you had done that was wrong? Was it not a good feeling to know that you were free of that heavy burden of sin that weighed on your conscience? There was no question that the sin was washed away in Jesus’ name and blood. The burden and sin was gone, forgiven and forgotten!
Throughout life, sin can accumulate and weigh us down on our journey of faith. We are bombarded every day with news from around the world of horrible atrocities, rumors of war, and the temptations of the world in all manner and form. We are exposed daily to temptations at school, work, and even with friends, as the devil works tirelessly to lure us away from living faith that offers so much comfort and security. It might feel unsettling if we hear our parents or others talking about troubling matters at church and with believers. It may at times feel hopeless, and we may begin to worry: Will I be able to remain believing in the safety and care of God’s kingdom? Will I make it to heaven?
Do Not Fear
Dear child of God, fear not! Jesus has died for our sins and has promised to provide a place in heaven for us if we keep faith and a clean conscience. It is that simple! “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). We don’t have to worry about what is happening in the world, at work, at school, with friends or family, or in other issues or troubling matters. We can turn our burdens to Him and be free. When sins are forgiven, we can believe as a child.
The devil is always busy raising questions about the teachings of God’s Word, even the core doctrine that we have known since children, the forgiveness of sins. There is no better nor secure place to be than in the middle of the flock of believers, rather than out on the edge where the devil moves around seeking whom he can devour.
What can be easier and more secure than to simply believe as a child, putting sin away? What a comforting feeling it is, knowing that if we were to die, we would be in heaven forever! Is there anything that you can think of that you would be willing to exchange for eternal life in heaven? Is this not the assurance that we believers all live and strife for? Is this assurance available through unbelieving friends at school, at work, or through anyone else in this sin-corrupt world? Do we with our own reason need to understand all of the mysteries of faith in order to make it to heaven? No, we do not. All that is required is that we simply believe, keeping faith and a clean conscience, nothing else.
Escorts Preach Forgiveness
Remember dear young, and also older child of God, when the worries and weight of sin beset you, put that sin, doubt, fear, and worry away through the simple gospel message, believing sins and doubts forgiven in the name and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have beautiful escorts in God’s kingdom who willingly preach the forgiveness of sins through the power of the Holy Spirit. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Freely offer this gospel, also to those who do not own this gift of faith.
What better and more secure feeling is there than knowing that your sins are forgiven and that you are a child of God? This gospel message is preached openly and freely. In God’s kingdom, we do not travel alone but are united within a flock of believers who are together striving to make it to heaven one day. Jesus teaches in His Sermon on the Mount that we don’t have to worry about tomorrow because our Heavenly Father takes care of us (Matt. 6:25–32). If we keep faith and a clean conscience, our good and gracious God will care for us on the way to heaven.
1. What can happen if one ignores the grace-gift of confession?
2. How can we encourage one struggling in faith, who may question the truth of God’s Word?
3. What does God’s Word say about our role as a confessor mother or father, a friend?
4. Share joys you’ve experienced, when God has given strength to care for your conscience and put sin away.
5. Sing song of Zion #306 and discuss its meaning in your life.