In Psalm 119 we find a most eloquent statement about our need to be committed to God, and our Father’s Laws of Guidance. This is must reading for anyone who has any doubts. Do you want peace? Keep your thoughts on and trust your God. With God we can know perfect peace even within the midst of turmoil.
This testimony exalted the Word of God – the complete and perfect standard of truth, values, reality, and behavior. God’s Word is wholly sufficient for godly living. By grasping its powerful message, God’s children can be pure.
We need sound doctrine. The Spirit of holiness is also the Spirit of truth. Truth and righteousness go together….
Why? Why is sound doctrine necessary for sanctification? For real sanctification to occur in the Christian life at least three absolute changes are necessary. There must be a change in our consciousness. There must be a change in our convictions. There must be a change in our conscience. Consciousness, conviction, and conscience – these three are all vital to our sanctification.
Consciousness involves knowledge. Before we can willfully do what God commands and what pleases Him, we must first understand what it is that God requires. From the law comes a knowledge of sin. Also from the law comes a knowledge of righteousness.
A person could “accidentally” obey the law without doing so consciously. But such an action would have no moral virtue to it. Suppose a man enjoys driving his car at fifty miles an hour in fifty-five-mile-per-hour zones and in fifteen-mile-per-hour zones. When he drives in the fifty-five-mile-per-hour zone, he is within the speed limit. He is obeying the law. But when he goes fifty in a fifteen-mile-per-hour zone, he is a menace to those around him.
Suppose our mythical driver systematically refuses to look at speed limit signs. He averts his gaze from any sign that even appears to mark a speed limit. He keeps himself purposely unconscious of speed limits. At times he “happens” to obey the law, but purely by coincidence. If the man wants to achieve moral virtue as a driver and always drive within the speed limit, he must first become aware, he must become conscious of the law.
But consciousness is not enough. We all have seen people who are quite conscious of the speed limits while they are violating them. We don’t have to look beyond ourselves to discover the culprits. For our behavior to change we must move beyond consciousness to conviction.
Conviction is a matter of depth and intensity. It is one thing to be aware that a certain action is right. It is another to have a conviction about it. It is a lot easier for us to compromise our knowledge than to act against convictions. A conviction is knowledge that is settled. It has a firm hold on us. It goes beyond our brains and penetrates the conscience.
Our conscience acts as a kind of governor upon our behavior. It is the inner voice that either accuses or excuses us. It monitors our behavior by way of approval or disapproval. The problem is that our conscience doesn’t always tell us the truth. We are adept at training it in the direction of self-approval….
For the conscience to function in a godly convictions. To gain godly consciences, our consciousness of what is right and what is wrong must be sharpened. This involves the mind. It is a matter of doctrine.
(From Pleasing God by R. C. Sproul)