Have you ever just felt bad? Bad about yourself, bad about not honoring God, and bad because you don’t know what to do about it? God does not want us to hang on to these feelings. He is not a God of guilt, but he is a God of conviction. He calls us to always keep a “clear conscience,” moving away from our sin and feelings of guilt, and moving towards him in freedom.
When I don’t have a clear conscience, I can’t serve God and others joyfully. I can try and try to keep doing right and follow God, but I’m just spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. There’s no freedom there.
Acts 24:16– So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
Having a clear conscience means being free of guilt and sin, living an honorable life before God and man. It means striving in every way to follow God, making sure you are above reproach before men (meaning that when others view your deeds and view your life, they can’t accuse you because you are in Christ).
When we are hanging on to sin, we will not have a clear conscience and we will have that feeling of guilt. But when we are imitating Christ in every way and quickly repenting of our sin, our conscience will be clear because we are following Christ freely, not hiding anything.
I believe God convicts us of our sin in order to “clear our conscience,” and continually bring us back to him in a way that we are wholly and fully surrendered to his will.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).