... The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7b-9
A good conscience, a healthy conscience is a wonderful thing.
The truth of that sentence was recently shown when an elderly man stopped by a Sears store in downtown Seattle. Asking to see the manager, the older gent presented the shopkeeper with an envelope. Inside was a note and a $100 bill.
The note explained that the man had stolen $20 to $30 from a cash register a number of decades ago. According to the manager, Gary Lorentson, the man's conscience has been bothering him for the last 60 years.
Yes, a healthy conscience is a good thing.
And, in case you're wondering, my experience has taught me there are two kinds of unhealthy consciences.
The first sick conscience is one that fails to accuse an individual of guilt. That kind of malady is most often found in unbelievers and occurs when an individual has ignored that internal voice so long and so often it can no longer can be heard.
But there is another malady of the conscience that is confined to Christians. This kind of illness continues to accuse and nag even though a particular sin has been recognized, confessed and absolved. This hyperactive conscience is being used to convince a person he is guilty, even when the blood of Jesus Christ has washed him and made him clean.
Not surprisingly the same cure -- the cross of Christ -- is effective for both maladies.
Standing before the cross, the silent conscience must once again be awakened to proclaim that God's Son is suffering and dying for the sin of humankind, of which his owner is a part. Standing before the cross, the overactive conscience must acknowledge Jesus has done all that is necessary for every sin, that is every sin to be washed away.
To save us from our sin: that is why Jesus was born, and it is why this month we celebrate the great, saving grace of God.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may those who feel they have no sin be awakened to the violations they have committed -- that endanger their souls. Similarly, may those who have seen the crucified and risen Savior rejoice in the forgiveness He has won. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries