555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

412. Is the Voice of Conscience That of the Holy Spirit?

The facts of experience do not bear out the conclusion that conscience and the Holy Spirit are the same. Conscience is a faculty of the soul which approves or Condemns according as one has or has not done what he believes to be right. By study of the Bible, prayer and the counsel of Christian friends one often finds that what seemed formerly to be right was in reality wrong. Paul believed he was doing right while persecuting the Christians. The Hindu mother throwing her babe in the Ganges believes she is doing right, and her conscience approves; but when she becomes a Christian she knows that such a sacrifice is wicked. In all nations and times certain souls have been alert and humble enough to hear the direct messages of the Holy Spirit, but it is through the written Word, the message of the Gospel and the knowledge of Jesus that the Holy Spirit comes to be a positive and constant fact of experience. The Christian tests the messages that seem to come from him by the Bible, by the personality of Christ, by the advice of Christian friends (see I John 4). The messages of the Holy Spirit are clear and positive, not hesitating and confusing. In the enlightened Christian, the voice of conscience and the voice of the Spirit will always agree.