Proverbs 20:27,  The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

God gives each person a spirit and that spirit is assigned the duty of being a candle of the LORD.

All men have a spirit so therefore all men have a candle of the LORD.

What is a candle but a tool to spread light in the darkness?

A candle is used to dispel darkness where no discernment is exercised because all is dark.

Things in the dark cannot be discerned because there is no separation between them.

The candle brings light which provides the opportunity for discernment between things necessary to seeing the things.

Without the light all blends together and nothing can be seen of itself.

Why can't you find the light switch in the dark?

Because the light switch is dark and the wall is dark and the ceiling is dark and the floor is dark.

There is no discernment without light to outline and define the switch on the wall.

So without a candle searching the inward parts of the belly man cannot have discernment about what is right and what is wrong.

Without the candle of the LORD man will not have the ability to judge his own actions against a standard.

The word "inward" in this verse comes from the Hebrew, cheder, kheh'-der; meaning an apartment, bed chamber, or parlor.

So the spirit of man is that which is designed by God to search all the intimate places of the belly or heart and to compare what it sees to a standard.

This is what we know as conscience!

Thomas Jefferson in 1787 said:  The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree.

The conscience is real and given to all men.

1 Corinthians 2:11 says,   For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

I don't know the things of you. I don't know what your spirit judges you for.

I don't know what causes your conscience to alert you.

I don't know what your conscience has been taught.

I don't know the standard your conscience compares your actions to.

But I do know you have a conscience because you have a spirit and the spirit of man is the candle of the LORD searching all the inward parts of the belly.

This does not say that the candle will reveal actions that are against the word of God.

For that is not how the conscience of the natural man has necessarily been taught.

Conscience is simply a moral consciousness which compares the actions of a man with his standards.

Any standard! The standards are taught and they are different depending upon who is the teacher.

Conscience simply judges actions according to the given standard.

You can be taught that it is right to sacrifice your new born baby to the god of fire.

And the candle of the LORD which is your spirit will prick you if you do not sacrifice your new born baby to the god of fire.

The candle of the LORD simply compares your actions to the standard that you have been taught.

If the standard is imperfect as compared to the word of God then the decisions of conscience will be imperfect.

Paul, when he was Saul, was a conscientious wrong doer. But he was conscientious!

Paul had a twisted interpretation of the Old Testament and his conscience alerted him to whether or not his actions conformed to his interpretation.

Paul listened to his conscience. He did not sear his conscience.

His actions matched his standard and therefore he had a pure conscience.

Because the conscience is given of God as a moral anchor it is important to teach our children the right standards so the conscience can do its work to the glory of God.

God intends for the candle of the LORD, that is the spirit of man, to compare actions against the standard of the word of God.

This is the most effective use of the candle of the LORD.

This is the most conforming use of the candle of the LORD.

The candle will then be used to conform the actions of the man to the word of God.

A conscience that is taught otherwise will not be used in the way God intended for the conscience to be used.

The conscience is to be used to bring glory to God and it can only bring glory to God if it compares the actions of man to the standard of the word of God.

Therefore we conclude that the conscience is a gift of God for use by man for man's betterment.

Your conscience is given to be your guide to compare your actions to your standards and to convict when the standards are not met.

The Word of God as interpreted by the Holy Spirit is the only true standard for the conscience.

When other standards are used the decision of the conscience is not infallible; but when it judges according to the scriptures its conclusion is infallible.

The candle of the LORD, the conscience, is designed to bring a painful reaction when the standard has not been met.

This is regardless of the standard.

Therefore Paul could say that he had lived in all good conscience even during the time he was killing Christians.

Why, because he had obeyed his conscience; he did not go contrary to his standards.

He did not go contrary to his beliefs.

He obeyed his conscience, the candle of the LORD

It was effective in doing the work that God intended for it to do.

A person can react wrongly because of wrong information, wrong environment, or wrong habit.

Yet Paul would counsel that in spite of these liabilities, a person's conscience must be obeyed.

The conscience is not the problem because that is God given.

The problem is the standard that the conscience is given to compare actions with.

That is why Christ desires for his children to abide in him that they may have the same mind as He.

If they have the same mind as he they have the right standards in which the conscience can be fully effective in bringing glory to God.

Conscience judging right actions against right standards will please God.

The conscience does its work as a servant of the LORD but its full effect is only realized if the actions that it measures itself against are standards based upon the Word of God.

Proverbs 20:27,  The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.