Friday, December 01, 2017

THE TWO COURTROOMS OF OUR HEART AND CONSCIENCE

The two courtrooms of our heart and conscience



I will be going over 1 John 3: 20 - 24 and also including 1 John 4: 1 - 3. John starts out for all practical purposes at least for this article writing about the heart. The one place we do not want to be is our heart condemning us which does involve the conscience.

The Apostle also gives the alternative solution to the problem. If our heart does not condemn us then he goes on to say we will have confidence with God. This is not an easy place to be because we constantly have to do a self evaluation on ourselves with honestly. This practice is not a one time thing but an ongoing process in our lives.

It is kind of interesting to me that in verse 20 God reminds us He is greater than our heart and knows all things. We can not get anything past Jesus Christ. This should be comforting if we are living right because we serve a good and perfect God who does acknowledge our righteous living. He sees our heart even if we fall short and promises to work with us which is a process but the key to a proper walk with our Lord if you read the whole article is a clear conscience before God.

This passage speaks of requests, obedience and being pleasing in His sight. What encourages me is ... "Being pleasing in His sight" because if the Bible stopped at obedience then a legalistic picture would be painted and a heart to heart with Jesus Christ would not be present in our relationship with God.

The Apostle John really starts to focus on the Person of Jesus Christ. He urges his readers to believe in the Son of God, love one another and keep His commandments. Once again I am comforted because the result is we dwell in the Person of Jesus Christ and He in us which gives us assurance and peace in God. 

John warns us to believe not every spirit but try them because many false prophets are in the world. The Apostle goes really strong on ..."Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God " but if a person does not believe this he or she is of the spirit of antichrist.

Every once in a while I will listen to people talk and see the void in their heart. It is interesting that they have to fill that emptiness with more and more evil. This is the spirit of antichrist. The Apostle John assures us that we have overcome them because greater is He who is within us than he that is in the world. Let me just write the passage down so you can read the original text for reading and perhaps reference purposes. I personally believe most people will get a lot out of this study.

(20) "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (21) Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God. (22)  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (23)  And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. (24) And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us." 1 John 3:20-24.

(1) "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:1-4.

The Apostle John has to explain the court of conscience to his readers. Our heart is a court of law because we make decisions from our "Heart." We have to judge ourselves honestly before God. We have to constantly take check of our state before Jesus Christ.

There are two courts in this passage. The first court is our heart. We make thirty to sixty thousand decisions per day. Every one of these choices have their origin from our heart. The second court is our judgment about the decisions we made before God as we walk through life. This is specially for our conscience. If we are not honest our heart will not be right but if we are honest then our conscience will not be seared. Repentance will inevitably be in the second court because there is no way that we can make thirty to sixty thousand decisions correctly per 24 hours. This is a practice that should be part of our walk with Jesus Christ.

Imagine a real courtroom in life. The first gives a verdict but then a second courtroom reviews the first and is sometimes more strict than the original. Our heart is the first courtroom and our judgment of ourselves is the second courtroom. The second is for our conscience so we can have a strong relationship before God but also involves an honest relationship with people.

God built a conscience within us so we need to tend to it all the time. If our conscience condemns us so does God (pretty strong language) but verse 20 says God is a far greater witness than our conscience and His ways also far bigger.

Everybody knows when they do wrong but the problem lies when the second courtroom is not put into practice before God. Eventually this person will just do anything he or she desires before Jesus Christ. They will be judged someday before a God that knows everything in the final courtroom. This process does not stop with us but ends with Jesus Christ. By the way I am writing to Christians and trying to explain how God desires us to live before Him through His Son Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a practice on our part because if our conscience acquits us so does God. This is providing that our conscience is not seared but tuned into obedience to God with a relationship in His Son Jesus Christ.

Verse 21 says we need confidence now or assurance that God accepts us through His Son Jesus Christ. I think of the verse that says, "The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Romans 8:16.

As you can see there is preparation before we go to heaven even with the fact that we already accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts as our very personal Savior and Lord. We need to diligently attend to our conscience everyday and come to a verdict through repentance and allow the Holy Spirit to comfort us with His All Knowing presence in our spirit.

In my job I was told that if a person reaches that final step before he or she gets fired the worst thing they can do is lie. If they come forward with the truth from beginning to end they are usually granted leniency but if they cover up their debacle then it is almost guaranteed they will get fired. This same principle applies with us and our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is foolish to hid something from God who sees all things? 

I hope this passage brings home the point that we are to have a good conscience before God. If we practice this everyday we will be obedient to God but just as important we will be prepared for the blessings of the Holy Spirit. This comes in different forms for different believers in Jesus Christ but a good conscience before God, obedience and blessings from the Holy Spirit is the order. At the same time we must incorporate understanding that Jesus Christ is the Son of God but even more specific the Savior of the world.

First we are to judge or heart honestly and then we are to talk to God about our conscience. This is when it is good to consent to Jesus Christ as our Redeemer. Not only did the Son of God save us when we accepted Him as our personal Savior and Lord but He comes to our rescue in the present tense. In fact this is the way God set this divine process up in our dependence of Him.

Verse 23 reminds us to love one another because God gave us goodwill so at the very least we should have a Godly affection to other people.

When the Bible talks about abiding in Jesus Christ obedience is always connected to this biblical principle. Verse 24 phrases this precept different because the passage says we dwell in God and God dwells in us. This is divine inhabitation in the frame of our soul.

People may say, "Oh if you have that you can never be healed" but they do not understand who dwells in us through a clear conscience, obedience and the blessings we have positioned ourselves to receive from God.

If you had two choices to visit homes for dinner and one just kinds of looks at you when you came in but the other gives you a wonderful kind greeting and says, "Make yourself at home, we have plenty of good food and we are just so glad to see you" which choice would you make for your visitation? This is the same with our fellowship with Jesus Christ. Don't you think Jesus Christ wants to dwell in the person that gives Him a warm welcome?

This passage we are going over ends with the Apostle John reminding us that false prophets (seducing antichrist spirit) are everywhere so discretion is needed as we listen to them. They tend to set up in churches. The person that confesses and teaches Jesus Christ does so by the Spirit of God. There was an anti Christian spirit in that day and I see it all the time in our time.

We see the words of Jesus Christ fulfilled and we are confirmed in our spirit about the truth of the Son of God. The Holy Spirit is a strong preserver in us because He dwells in our spirit and He is more mighty than men or devils. "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, then He that is in the world." 1 John 4:4. That is the very last verse I quoted in the above passage.

If you are one that never accepted Jesus Christ as your very own Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God in your life now would be a good time to make that all important eternal decision today/tonight wherever you are because time is running short before Jesus Christ returns again in the rapture of the church. I do not know when but the prophetic clock is coming very close to the midnight hour. 

God Bless you,
Bob D.

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