September 4th, 1963                                 "Maintaining A Clean Conscience"                                 Late Mr. N Daniel

Acts 24:16

"And herein do I exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men." Here St. Paul is declaring something very important. He is saying that he is very carefully preserving his conscience. That is the highest stage of a Christian. When we confess our sins and receive forgiveness, we get relief and healing. All these things happen as we go on growing in the Lord. We have to keep our conscience clean. Why? Angels are our companions. They want to dwell with us. In heaven we cannot get on with an evil conscience. Our homes must be homes where there is an atmosphere of a pure conscience pervading. Very often our homes are not like that. There is so much of wrangling over this and that in our homes- between husband and wife or parents and children. What is the result? An evil spirit finds access into the home.

The greatness about Abraham’s family was that Abraham and Sarah were perfect before God. "All right; you are asking for a son. I will not give a son into an atmosphere where God’s Spirit cannot dwell." Why? He is to be the recipient of the greatest blessings of heaven. "Abraham, be thou perfect before me."

When I was the headmaster of a training school, there were a number of quarrels in the school. Girls have a way of quarreling easily. Two women teachers in that school were always quarreling. In those days by His grace I was keeping a very clean conscience. I used to wonder how these people who quarrel could get along in life. One teacher became mad after some time. I did not wonder at it. She maintained no good conscience at all. She could say anything and later twist it as she liked.

St. Paul was a mature Christian and yet he says, "I am always maintaining a clean conscience." 1 Peter 3:15, 16. Teachers can easily damage their good conscience. They can spend away their time talking. When the head-master comes they can pretend to be doing something very important. So many times I was tested. Some supervisor can come and we can be tempted to pretend we are doing something very essential. That is not right. I never allowed my conscience to be stained. If we are at fault, it is better our faults are discovered early. Let people discover our mistakes. Let us not be afraid of being known to be what we are.

After David’s sin, his home became a home with a very bad atmosphere. Our thoughts contaminate our lives and our homes. There is no use of blaming the children. If there is anything wrong with my children, I examine myself. It seems in Africa there is a cobra called the "spitting cobra." It is very dangerous. If you irritate it, it can spit straight into your eyes with perfect aim. You get great pain and your eyes are blinded. Our thoughts are like that. "Sanctify the Lord God in your heart", verse 18. Let us be willing to suffer when doing good. Let us not justify ourselves. By justifying ourselves sometimes we are spoiling our conscience. In the Bible we see so many who ruined their conscience. Cain was one. God said, "Take care of your thoughts. Sin is waiting to overpower you!" But he did not pay heed. He became a victim to his jealousy.

Very deep things are written in the Bible about the conscience. (Hebrews 9:9) Jesus Christ wants to create a good conscience in us. The first time I entered an operation theatre, they were making much noise to purify the air. I think God switches on such fans in our hearts. Nothing evil should exist in our hearts. Today it will get at you. Tomorrow it will get at your children. As you study the word of God and as you pray this way, those fans are being opened. When somebody is praying for himself in a prayer meeting, it works in my heart and it purifies me. As we are purified like this, we become more fit to be companions of the angels who want to come and dwell with us. Do not think that by accident angels came to Abraham’s house. They came because it had a pure atmosphere. Let us approach God more and more. I am always praying to keep a pure conscience. It is very hard to do so. To be a treasurer in a church and to keep a clean conscience is not easy. Are we praying to keep a clean conscience? What a gain it is! When you call on God, immediately He is there to help you. You will have no fear. God will be with you always. Why? Because you have been trying to keep a good conscience.

St. Paul was like that. When the sorcerer tried to spoil his work with the deputy, Sergius Paulus, St. Paul said, "Be thou blind." So it happened. He was so bold. He was declaring before the magistrate, "I have always kept a good conscience." When your children return from school let your house be pure. Then the powers of darkness will flee. We should not have any hidden sin. Our parents hid sin, that is why our homes are full of darkness. But you are now purifying your homes. You have learnt to live in a clean atmosphere. Prayer and Bible study creates that atmosphere. Sanctify the Lord. Let there be always a good conscience within you.