You are free from your conscience being governed by your past. You are free from your conscience being governed by the old covenant law. You are free from your conscience being governed by your culture.
You are now free to have your conscience governed by the Holy Spirit. Your conscience does not have to be informed by your past, your failures, your church tradition, or your culture.
If you had been strategically killing people — thinking that you were serving God - as Paul the Apostle did (when he was called Saul) — you would have to master this idea of a cleansed conscience to be able to live and function normally as a person. For Paul, this wasn’t a matter of spiritual maturity, but a matter of being able to function normally. He discovered the secret that his conscience was not to be informed by worldly thinking but in fact informed by the Holy Spirit – by God’s grace. His human spirit (in fellowship with the Holy Spirit) informed his conscience. Look carefully at what he says in 2 Corinthians 1:12, ”Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.”
PLEDGE TO STAY FREE
When we come to Christ, we make a public declaration of our decision to follow Jesus by being baptized in water. This action declares that we were once dead in our sins, were buried with Christ and we were raised in newness of life in him.
It was also a pledge to keep our conscience clear before the Lord. Peter reminds us of this in 1 Peter 3:21, “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
THE BIG RED BUTTON
Imagine a counter that clocks up every time we commit a sin. As the sinning continues, the condemnation grows, the shame builds, the counter rises higher and higher. One day we encounter Christ and our lives are transformed forever. On that day, Jesus hits the big red reset button on your conscience. He resets it to zero. No longer can the past accuse you and cause you shame. The counter has been reset and all its previous entries forgotten and forgiven.
You still have the same conscience but reset — cleansed. Now your conscience needs to be informed by the Lord and not by the things that previously informed it before you came to Christ. The things that caused it to count before have been canceled. Those things have been replaced by a person — the Holy Spirit.
Your job is to keep the counter at zero. When the wrong things influence your conscience you can remind yourself that Christ hit the big red reset button and that you are no longer condemned.