Is it possible for someone who claims to have the Holy Spirit inside go about never bothered by conscience?
Hi @Terviks, kindly help understand well what do you mean by, “Never bothered by Conscience?”
I ran into people who claimed to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit, yet persist in sinful acts, and I keep wondering how possible is that without judging them?!
From your interaction with them, are they comfortable with their sinful habit?
One example was a brother i spoke to about his life of adultery. He was visiting this strange woman often. I asked him what would happen if he died during the illicit sexual act. He told me he was not going to hell because his salvation is secured.
Many times, I met people who find no problem with lying to have their way on issues.
God says in His word, that His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are indeed His Children. When we have faith in what He has done for us in Christ Jesus and we are walking In obedience that is the case.
Back to your question. It is not possible.
The one who claim to have the Holy Spirit, it is possible for him to be deceived. Believing that it is possible for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit and continue in sin as he used to.
The Holy Spirit is our counselor He teaches and enebles us to obey the Father.
But God has warned us in His word that it is possible for us to grieve and quench the Holy Spirit. That our conscience can be seared as with a hot iron and we become insensitive.
Therefore when the Holy Spirit is TRULY indwelling in a believer he or she can never go about not being bothered by conscience.
Family, anyone else with additional insight it will be helpful.
Thank you brother
@Terviks Great question! I really appreciate what @Patrick_Mungai shared and I agree it is dangerous to continue in sin once we are aware it is wrong. I would add a bit of nuance to the discussion by discussing three types of people who might be disobeying God while claiming to be Christian.
- A self-deceived person who does not truly know God and has seared / silenced their conscience
- A baby Christian who is still learning to renew their mind / walk in righteousness
- A Christian who is fighting a physical addiction
A person in category (1) has rejected the faith or simply never accepted it. A person in category (2) is still learning to distinguish good from evil. A person in category (3) may have been fighting an addiction so long they are near giving up.
A person in (1) may need to recognize the reality of God’s existence and their need of Him so they may come in humility and repentance. A person in (2) may need to be taught / instructed and to grow in righteousness. A person in (3) may need to be exhorted and encouraged.
A baby Christian may not yet be able to distinguish good from evil because their conscience may still be in training. Scripture teaches that it is part of maturing in our faith to learn to distinguish good from evil. So as we seek to understand God, pray to be filled with the Spirit and obey the commandments we already understand, we will grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus.
Hebrews 5:14 - But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil .
Hope that bit of nuance is helpful
Thank you @SeanO For the insights.
I’m wondering about a fourth category:
4. Christians in rebellion
Of course this could be just a subset of a baby or immatured Christian, but I believe Christians, much like a radio station, can tune out the Holy Spirit to the point that they are acting out of their own feelings and steam. You see this a lot in Christians with burn-out. They stopped relying on the Lord’s strength and joy and the leading of the Holy Spirit and exhausted their own energy. The exhaustion leads to no longer caring and that leads to open rebellion.
@Jennifer_Judson I would have to think on that one. Perhaps rather than the word ‘rebellion’, I would use a word more like disillusioned. The word rebel automatically makes me think of the adversary, who is no friend of God. But yes, I think Christians can experience times of darkness, doubt and disillusionment where they become exhausted and begin to wander. Then sometimes Jesus finds the wandering far afield or caught in a thicket and must extricate them as the Good Shepherd and lead them back to green pastures.
@Jennifer_Judson. In my experience, the relationship with the Lord is about growth. Like any sound relationship, we are constantly learning, we continue to follow on to know Him. Hosea 6:3. I see from my own life that immaturity may be present at the beginning of my walk with GOD. But every day He continues to challenge my assumptions, my conclusions, often summations that make me comfortable but cloak the victory He has planned for my life. I believe it is possible to live beneath privilege if we are given to having our own way; instead of relying upon the Lord. But it has been my experience that even in my stubbornness His Love will not let me go. John 14:26.
@Terviks. I wrote recently about such an assumption that is found in the church. Once saved never lost. But the condition of the Prodigal son is a real and tangible thing. A condition brought about by an heir who followed his own desire and found himself in the pig pen. We act as if people can’t die in a pig pen. He could have made himself content to eat the slop the pigs consumed. Free will makes that a real possibility. " Romans 8 offers the assurance of GOD’s presence. It does not offer the assurance that my behavior won’t carry me far from the home I love and need." We may not be able to be “born again”, but the sacrifices of GOD require a broken spirit and contrite heart. Psalms 51:16-17. If we could never be lost, why should we repent?
Wow! Great contribution. I request that you give me a deeper material that deals with the relationship between emotions and conscience, please.
Very helpful! Thank you.
@Terviks One picture of the conscience that has helped me is that of a judge. Our conscience is like a judge who declares a verdict as to whether or not each choice we make is good, evil or neither. This internal judge must be trained by knowledge from God’s Word and by the Holy Spirit in order to be reliable. The conscience is not static - like a muscle the conscience can be trained; either for good or ill.
When we first accept Christ, our conscience may be a bit out of whack. It takes time to align our conscience with the truth of God so that we can accurately discern good from evil. And when we encounter entirely new situations in which our conscience has not been trained, we likely need to seek wisdom from godly people and from God’s Word and through prayer in order to make a wise decision.
Here are a few more resources you may find helpful. Christ grant you wisdom
Thank you so much
Doesn’t the Bible say that there does not remain an atonement for sin for those who habitually sin after coming to faith?
This man needs to be told that his salvation is not at all secure if he thinks it is ok to do wilfully break Gods commands. The first step to salvation is repentance from sin to God. If he has not done this first step he is not saved. It sounds like this part was not explained to him yet in the Bible the Gospel preached was one of repentance.
The second step is putting your trust in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. One demonstrates commitment to that faith through baptism and then discipleship. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that comes to a person whose heart is right towards God.
This man is simply under a deception, thinking he is right before God while he acts against Gods commands.
I think we as Christians often put too much emphasis on whether someone is saved/unsaved. From my study of Scripture (with the help of these notes), it seems more obvious that it is not our role to judge one’s salvation, but only God’s. (There’s a note in there that says - quite rightly I believe - that only that person themselves and God can know whether they are truly saved or not).
Rather, our role should be confront, correct, and rebuke, but always with great care, wisdom, and self-control (Of course, it should not be an attack on the person, rather to correct their egregious behavior). Certainly, we should not leave a brother in sin if we happen to see it. Whether he is truly saved or not is and should not be the main point; we should always be making everyone, especially professing Christians, to see the need for repentance.
Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:1-13) seems to fit the situation that you’ve described perfectly. Our Lord gave us three ‘steps’ to discipline brothers and sisters with sinful behaviors. The last and fourth measure is given by Paul to “remove the evil person among you” is the strongest disciplinary action to be taken if all else fails. The notes on this section (as I linked above) are quite good in its interpretation and explaining the practical application in mind for this passage. (A special note should be that the Corinthian Christians in this context were actually proud of their fellow brother’s sinful behaviour! The notes linked above give a good analysis of the situation. It would be overly presumptuous to say that none of these were true Christians. Certainly, Paul did not say anywhere in his letter that they needed to get saved again i.e. not indwelt with the Holy Spirit.)
@jonathan1 I believe you’re quoting Hebrews 10:26-27? I do not believe that is the correct interpretation of that passage, based on context and in these notes:
(There seems to be a majority consensus among interpreters that that particular passage is not to be interpreted that way, though it is often mistakenly interpreted in the way you described).
I think it is possible for genuine Christians to willfully sin - and our Lord has promised that our salvation and security is eternal. Undoubtedly, a person who willfully lives in sin and takes advantage of their salvation will receive some harsh words from our Lord in the time of judgment. The objection to this being possible is the common ‘problem of easy belief-ism’ - what will stop a person from continuing to live in sin after being saved? (Infamously, this problem has led many sects and denominations to add works + faith = salvation in both the past and present). Paul deals with this very issue in Romans 5, quite strongly as well. I would recommend anyone who believes that they can continue in sin to read this very chapter.
(As a further note, the context of Romans 5 seems to be that it is addressed to genuine believers - the loss of salvation is not mentioned at all as a consequence, and as I believe, Scripture does not teach this concept of ‘loss of salvation’ anywhere. I think the result of sin from a genuine believer will be the loss of rewards in heaven. This is no license to continuing sinning though - one certainly should not think that they can get away with sinning against the Lord. Scripture teaches that there will be harsh discipline against such persons, either in this life or during the time of judgment - it could be instant death in the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) or other forms of discipline.)
If anyone reading this is currently sinning or has something to confess, I suggest that you turn to the Lord, repent, and ask for forgiveness. Do not turn away simply because of fear for His punishment. Our God is a God of love - he will take you back if you truly repent. Ask for strength, wisdom, and the will to resist your temptations. Whether He will discipline you or not is His prerogative, but remember that whatever He does, it is for the benefit and improvement of you and your person. You have the hope of eternal life, being graciously saved by the sacrifice of our Lord, so do not use to satisfy sinful desires. In the end, it is neither good for you or in sight of the Lord.
Honestly, I have learned to see that there is really nothing good at the end of any sinful desire, no matter how attractive it may seem at first. There is nothing out of the things that the Lord has cordoned off for us that is not cordoned for our own good. If you’re struggling to see these things, as I once did, pray that He will give the wisdom to see these with your own eyes. (I will also admit that many of Ravi’s sermons helped me to see the folly of going after sinful things).
@Terviks Pray that our Lord will give you wisdom to deal with and correct brothers and sisters who are doing sinful things. I believe it is possible for genuine Christians to go about sinning un-bothered by conscience - the more often one sins seems to be able to destroy/sear the conscience quite a bit (based on Paul’s epistles and careful analysis of Scripture. It was possible during NT times, so there’s no reason why it should not be possible now). My belief is that our goal in judging should not be judge whether one is saved or not, but rather to judge their behavior, carefully correct, exhort, and rebuke, pray and hope that they will turn away from their sins.
(As a further note, I think the issue is often the result of ignorance of what is written in Scripture as well as what our Lord expects of us after receiving salvation. Growth in maturity + teaching of godly knowledge is certainly needed after one is saved - to not proceed in the process of both seems, to me, to result in the situations that you describe - freely committing adultery, lying, and doing other things. This seems to be exactly what happened to Corinthian Christians, resulting in the need for Paul to correct them in his first epistle. The Holy Spirit does not do everything - certainly not instantly - which is why godly teaching, the apostles, and elders in the Church were needed during NT times - as well as in the present Church today. I believe even Paul had to study for 3 years before beginning his ministry.)
If I am mistaken about anything written above, please do correct me.