The conscience is the place where standards of right and wrong are stored in a person’s soul and spirit. The word is συνειδησις suneidesis (Strong #4893). The idea is knowledge with oneself. Paul, in Acts 23:1; 24:16; Romans 9:1 illustrates the value of a conscience, and in Romans 1:19; 2:1,14-15 indicates the conscience is a basis for God’s judgment.
The conscience operates on what it is aware of and so needs to be educated. Spiritual growth builds the conscience. (1 Corinthians 10.25; 1 Timothy 1.5).
The conscience provides the standard for right and wrong thinking and acting. It feeds the thinking (Romans 2.15; 9.1; 13.5; 2 Corinthians 1.12; 1 Peter 3.16).
When the conscience is not trained it is a weak conscience and then prone to give wrong information. This wrong information causes pain to the individual (1 Corinthians 8:7,10,12; 10:27-29).
Strong believers need to be aware of the weak conscience of immature believers. Strong believers are to be alert so not to give pain to a young learning conscience of another (1 Corinthians 10.27-29).
Believers are to follow the Bible taught conscience. When believers follow this Bible taught conscience they are said to have a good conscience and a clear conscience. This is one that does its job by feeding the thinking. The good benefit is freedom of pain in the thinking (1 Timothy 1.19; 3.9; Hebrews 13.18; 1 Peter 3.16).
The conscience can be scarred over and defiled so that it does not feed the thinking the way it should (1 Timothy 4.2; Titus 1.15).
The death of Christ for sins gives the conscience a new start. Grace forgiveness removes the old pain and Bible doctrine gives a new standard (Hebrews 9.8-15; 10.22).
The application of this doctrine is to teach and train the conscience according to biblical standards and then to follow the trained conscience as Paul did (Acts 23:1; 24:16).