“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” John 6:44
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Timothy 4:1-5
When man fell in the garden, manhood fell entirely; there was not one single pillar in the temple of manhood that stood erect. It is true, conscience was not destroyed. The pillar was not shattered; it fell, and it fell in one piece, and there it lies along, the mightiest remnant of God’s once perfect work in man. But that conscience is fallen, I am sure. Look at men. Who among them is the possessor of a “good conscience towards God,” but the regenerated man? Do you imagine that if men’s consciences always spoke loudly and clearly to them, they would live in the daily commission of acts, which are as opposed to the right as darkness is to light? No, beloved; conscience can tell me that I am a sinner, but conscience cannot make me feel that I am one. Conscience may tell me that such and such a thing is wrong, but how wrong it is conscience itself does not know. Did any man’s conscience, unenlightened by the Spirit, ever tell him that his sins deserved damnation? Or if conscience did do that, did it ever lead any man to feel an abhorrence of sin as sin? In fact, did conscience ever bring a man to such a self-renunciation, that he did totally abhor himself and all his works and come to Christ? No, conscience, although it is not dead, is ruined, its power is impaired, it has not that clearness of eye and that strength of hand, and that thunder of voice, which it had before the fall; but has ceased to a great degree, to exert its supremacy in the town of Mansoul. Then, beloved, it becomes necessary for this very reason, because conscience is depraved, that the Holy Spirit should step in, to show us our need of a Saviour, and draw us to the Lord Jesus Christ.
For meditation: Our consciences need to be cleansed by the blood of Christ, like every other part of our being (Titus 1:15; Hebrews 9:9,14; 10:22). The Christian now has the ability to seek to maintain a good conscience (Acts 24:16; 1 Timothy 1:5,19; 1 Peter 3:16).
Sermon no. 182
7 March (1858)