«Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another» (Romans 14:19).
PAUL PLACED believers who have more experience in the faith, and are therefore Stronger, at a higher level of responsibility than those who are new or weak in the faith. Believers should not despise or condemn one another; they should not judge others or lead them to error. They have to help them mature and grow, even though individual responsibility cannot be avoided or replaced. Everyone must have their own conviction in the light of God’s Word.
In this chapter, Paul also emphasized personal accountability before the divine Court, declaring that «everything that does not come from faith is sin» (Rom. 14:23, NIV). This clearly differentiates what is right—which depends on God’s will—from what is wrong, independently of our personal opinion.
A little girl was once asked what the conscience was. She replied, «It is something I have inside me that tells me that what my little brother is doing is wrong.» Beyond childish innocence, quite a few people think that every voice that comes from our conscience is correct. In reality, the conscience must be trained; each of us cannot be our own model or parameter of what is right.
If each person defined the number of centimeters in a meter, how many meters would we have? It is necessary to submit the conscience to the perfect will of God so that He can be the infallible reference.
Warren Wiersbe, a writer and professor of theology, said that the conscience can be compared to a window that allows the light of knowledge and the truth of God to enter. If we persist in our personal ideas, the window gets dirty and the light no longer comes in (see I Tim. 1:3). Paul told Titus that the conscience can be corrupted; he told Timothy that it can be cauterized; he told the Hebrews that we can have an «evil conscience» (Tit. 1:15; 1 Tim. 4:2; Heb. 10:22).
The conscience depends on the knowledge and light that enters through the «window.» As believers study the Word of God, they understand God’s will better and their consciences become more sensitive to good and evil.
Luther bound his conscience to the Word of God.
A «good conscience» brings peace, strength, courage, and security.
Lord, guide my conscience daily according to the GPS of Your Word so that my life may sail steadily to the safe harbor.