Part 11 of 16 -
A Remedy for Self-Conscious Sin Against Ones Held Faith
God has also provided an answer for those who have sinned against their held faith, their own self-consciousness, against their own sensibilities, or against what they think to be a wrong thing, even while it is actually not wrong, per se’. I use the Latin term “per se” because it means something “in itself.” Such a perceived sin is “not actually a sinful act in itself,” but it is considered sin by a believer who is weak in his faith.
Example: A believer, who is weak in his faith and perhaps ignorant of the grace gospel for today, may erroneously think it is sin if he does not “attend church on the Sabbath.” Of course, we as grace believers know that Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, makes it clear that we are not to be subject to the Sabbath - Colossians 2:16 (KJV) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Such a believer, who goes against his held faith and belief that missing church on the Sabbath is sin, then thinks himself to be sinning even though it is not actually an act of sin “in itself.” As a result, that believer then may have a clouded conscience that may hinder his union with the Lord. His self-consciousness is bothered.
That remedy that God has provided for such a weak believer may be seen here below.
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true (right) heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil (poneros, hurtful) conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Paul here addresses any lingering sense of self-guilt that may hinder one from approaching God with a heart of “full assurance of faith” toward God our Father. Paul tells us we may then need our “hurting heart” and “hurtful conscience” to be washed and refreshed with the “pure water.” That pure water is of the flow of the “Spirit of life” (see John 4, 7:38). When we are refreshed by the Lord in this way we may then have a restored fellowship with God; with a better inward assurance that all is okay between us and the Lord.
Note however that the actual forgiveness of any sin was accomplished once and for all by the eternally effectual shed blood of Christ – shed for past, present, and future sins, including “sins of ignorance,” once and for all time. This verse speaks of pure water, not blood, as the remedy.
Paul here addresses the condition of a part of our being called our self-consciousness. It’s our mind in the light of our conscience. We may have consciousness in our soul’s heart that has become hurtful to us. The cleansing we receive when we turn to the Lord comes not by the blood of Christ, but rather by the washing of the “pure water” of the Spirit of life. This then is a cleansing and refreshing by the Spirit – a renewal and restoration of our self-consciousness.
This is somewhat similar to the metaphor applicable to “foot washing” with water. When we fellowship with others who refresh us by the words they may offer us by the Spirit within them, we are refreshed and then able to keep on walking with the Lord.
As we draw near to the Lord with our hurtful heart, our conscience is cleansed by the water of the Spirit of life. Who else could we have turned to? Our caring Lord has provided remedy for all our situations of life.