John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
It is extremely important for everyone to have a functioning conscience. According to Romans 2:15, the conscience works in man to either accuse or else excuse his thoughts. His thoughts further affect his actions. The more often a conscience is ignored, the sooner it loses its capability to work upon man. The same holds true for any conscience defiled by sin. In John chapter 8, as the Lord dealt with the scribes and Pharisees, the desired inner workings of the conscience can be seen. In this instance, the religious leaders brought a woman before the Lord, accusing her of sin. In response, the Saviour suggested that he that was without sin should be the first to cast a stone in judgment. One by one the consciences of the religious leaders convicted them as they turned and walked away.
- (For children): Read Genesis 37:18-33 and Genesis 42:21-22. Which son of Jacob had a convicting conscience? What did he do to lead you to believe he had a conscience that could bring conviction? How did the other brothers demonstrate their weak consciences?
- (For everyone): Has your conscience been corrupted so much that it can no longer convict you of wrongdoing? What steps would you need to take to mend your conscience?
- The conscience of the religious leaders worked in response to the words of the Lord (John 8:7, 9). How will your conscience best serve you?
- Ask God to use your conscience to convict you of wrong.
- Ask the Lord to use His word to help your conscience.
SONG: TAKE MY LIFE, AND LET IT BE