And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”
Paul, before the council, claims to have lived before God in good conscience everyday of his life. This is a stunning claim, especially since Paul used to persecute the church of Jesus. He actually, in good conscience, was attempting to separate families and punish people, who in his mind, were disobeying God. This claim was not only shocking but true. It angered the council. They thought he was exaggerating.
Man, I wish I could say that. I don’t know if I have ever lived a day in totally good conscience before God. Paul claimed to live his whole life that way. My days tend to be consistently inconsistent. However the gospel is the story of how my sins have been paid for and therefore I am righteous before God. With this being said, I can have clear conscience before God because I am no longer guilty in his presence. Though I fail and fall short, I am not guilty of wrongdoing. God doesn’t overlook or ignore my sin, instead he has already punished it through Christ. Regardless of the consistency of my behavior as a believer, I don’t have to walk around condemned anymore. I can, as Paul, claim to have a clear conscience before God.
I am not perfect Lord. Oh, how you know that more than anyone. However I stand clean before you because of what you have done! May I respond to your conviction when I fail, but not live in condemnation because of my failures. I stand today in good conscience before you because of the gospel.