Pray for us - Even the success of apostles depended, in a certain way, on the prayers of the Church. Few Christian congregations feel, as they ought, that it is their bounden duty to pray for the success of the Gospel, both among themselves and in the world. The Church is weak, dark, poor, and imperfect, because it prays little.
We trust we have a good conscience - We are persuaded that we have a conscience that not only acquits us of all fraud and sinister design, but assures us that in simplicity and godly sincerity we have labored to promote the welfare of you and of all mankind.
To live honestly - Εν πασι καλως θελοντες αναστρεφεσθαι· Willing in all things to conduct ourselves well - to behave with decency and propriety.
For we trust we have a good conscience - see the notes on Acts 24:16. The apostle here appeals to the uprightness of his Christian life as a reason why he might claim their sympathy. He was conscious of an aim to do good; he sought the welfare of the church; and having this aim he felt that he might appeal to the sympathy of all Christians in his behalf. It is only when we aim to do right, and to maintain a good conscience, that we can with propriety ask the prayers of others, or claim their sympathy. And if we are “willing in all things to live honestly,” we may expect the sympathy, the prayers, and the affections of all good people.
When We Can Trust the Conscience—But one says, “My conscience does not condemn me in not keeping the commandments of God.” But in the Word of God we read that there are good and bad consciences, and the fact that your conscience does not condemn you in not keeping the law of God does not prove that you are uncondemned in His sight. 1MCP 323.4Read in context »
This pretense of conscientiousness has been pretty thoroughly tested and proved. I speak understandingly when I tell you that I have very little confidence in his conscientiousness. There is a good conscience and a bad conscience, and the man is most thoroughly deceived in himself. Under this deception he will do many things in his own spirit that are not in harmony with the Spirit of God. Yet he will be as immovable as a rock to counsel or to any way except his own way.—Letter 48, 1892. 2MCP 725.2Read in context »
Some were making the matter of dress of first importance, criticizing articles of dress worn by others, and standing ready to condemn everyone who did not exactly meet their ideas. A few condemned pictures, urging that they are prohibited by the second commandment, and that everything of this kind should be destroyed. 2SM 319.1
These one-idea men can see nothing except to press the one thing that presents itself to their minds. Years ago we had to meet this same spirit and work. Men arose claiming to have been sent with a message condemning pictures, and urging that every likeness of anything should be destroyed. They went to such lengths as even to condemn clocks which had figures, or “pictures,” upon them. 2SM 319.2
Now we read in the Bible of a good conscience; and there are not only good but bad consciences. There is a conscientiousness that will carry everything to extremes, and make Christian duties as burdensome as the Jews made the observance of the Sabbath. The rebuke which Jesus gave to the scribes and Pharisees applies to this class as well: “Ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God” (Luke 11:42). One fanatic, with his strong spirit and radical ideas, who will oppress the conscience of those who want to be right, will do great harm. The church needs to be purified from all such influences. 2SM 319.3Read in context »