The spirit of man” shows that human beings have a spirit. In fact, we know that humans have a “spirit and soul and body” from 1 Thessalonians 5:23. The body has mainly to do with our five senses, the soul has mainly to do with our emotions and the spirit has to do with God consciousness. In other words, God has instilled in us an awareness that He exists. Part of that awareness is an awareness or conscience about right and wrong.

Our conscience is spoken of in Romans 2:14-15, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” These verses describe how Gentiles, or non-Jews, who were not given the law, naturally knew the law because of their God-given conscience. Therefore, Proverbs 20:27 means that our conscience is God’s light that searches our innermost being and tells us if we are doing right or wrong.

It is a wonderful gift that God gave humans a conscience. However, we should remember that it is possible to have a seared or ruined conscience. This is spoke of concerning unbelievers in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 which says, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.”

We should also keep in mind that we all have wicked hearts. We know from Jeremiah 17:9-10 that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” We are all sinful people who can deceive ourselves into thinking that we are doing right when we are actually doing wrong. Therefore, instead of relying solely on our conscience, we need to let the Lord search our hearts through His Word, the Bible.

Psalm 119:9, 11 tells us “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word. Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” May we, as believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, search the Word, let it cleanse us and obey it with His strength. (157.7) (DJ)