b. Maintaining the habit and spirit of secret prayer
1) In which your personal communion with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is renewed and increased
2 Pet. 3:17-18
2) In which your perspective of reality is kept in focus
2 Cor. 4:18
3) In which your own sins are seen in their true light
4) In which your pardon and acceptance are sealed afresh to your heart
1 Jn. 1:7-9
5) In which grace for His work is attained
c. Maintaining a good conscience before God and man
Introduction: The two previous exercises must find concrete expression in an increasing ethical conformity to the will of God.
1) Meaning that you have no controversy with God in terms of
a) A sin committed but not confessed
b) A duty known but not performed or determined to perform
c) A truth brought to the understanding but rejected
2) Meaning that you have sought biblically to resolve any area of abnormality with your fellow man: wife, children, fellow workers, the flock of God, and the world.
Conclusion: The importance of a healthy conscience cannot be overemphasized. A defiled conscience will take away relish for the Word and cause estrangement from the throne of grace.
James W. Alexander, Thoughts on Preaching (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), pp. 110-111.
Charles Bridges, Psalm 119, pp. 165-172 and four references to “conscience” in the Index and Robert P. Martin, “The Conscience” (code RP-O-1- 14), Trinity Baptist Church, Montville, NJ.
For a further development of this subject see sermons on the conscience in “Perseverance of the Saints” by Albert N. Martin, (code TP-L-15-24), Trinity Baptist Church, Montville, NJ.