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All Your Conscience – The Rule of Law: Government of the Soul (4)

Thursday, May 5, 2011, 0:01
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All Your Conscience

The Rule of Law: Government of the Soul (4)

Living by God’s Law must be our highest priority.

“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:8, 9

The third component of the soul is the conscience. The conscience is the seat of the will, the locus of our highest values and priorities. The conscience thus functions something like a “referee” of the soul, arbitrating between affections and thinking, mediating impulses of the heart and ideas of the mind in order to achieve a response of the soul consistent with the teaching of God’s Law.

So important is the conscience to the right functioning of the soul that God has, by some mysterious means, written the works of the Law on the consciences of men—even the unredeemed. By so doing He has, out of the enormity of His grace, provided a means for us to know a measure of His blessings even before we acquire the new heart which is essential for covenant renewal (Rom. 2:14, 15).

But even in the redeemed of the Lord the conscience is vulnerable to the law of sin. It must be guarded, reviewed, honed, tuned, and exercised according to the Law of God and the priorities of His Kingdom, or it will become hardened, seared, and encrusted with wicked values. We must “bind” ourselves to the Law of God, both in every aspect of our outlook and all the works of our hands. The Law of God must be put in place as the determining value of our home life and culture, as well as of the communities in which we live. We must “bind” the Law and “write” it, intentional acts designed to establish, declare, and defend the priorities by which we are called to live.

When the teaching of God’s Law is the determinative force in our consciences, it will keep in check the fickle sentiments of the heart and the flighty soaring of the mind, so that we may truly submit to God’s rule for our lives from the inside-out.

For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the life of faith, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Bookstore, then Church Issues.

In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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