Theologian, Reformer and Priest, Martin Luther, is quoted as saying: “You should not believe your conscience or your feelings more than the word.”
Is Luther correct? The Holy Spirit teaches a different perspective concerning the New Covenant and the redeemed conscience.
The redeemed in Jesus Christ, possessing the Holy Spirit by covenant promise, walk, discern, live, thrive, survive, through the redeemed conscience (2 Corinthians 5:17) seeking obedience to the indwelling Holy Spirit as He enlivens the natural law written upon our heart at conception (Romans 2:14-15) and makes that law applicable to every facet of our life and accomplishes this with divine wisdom, knowledge, discernment, making the “Law of the Spirit of life” (Romans 8:2) infinitely superior to the Law of the Covenant AKA “the Law of sin and death.” Allow me to explain,
The Holy Spirit’s initial responsibility in the Realm of Time is to woo, draw, one to faith in Christ pre-salvation (John 12:32) but once covenant is established by faith in Jesus as one’s Messiah (John 3) the Holy Spirit takes-up residence within the redeemed (Ephesians 1:13-14) and begins a new work within them as the Holy Spirit enlivens the “law of conscience” (Romans 2:14-15) (law written upon our heart at conception) via the redeemed conscience (2 Corinthians 5:17) and methodically walks them in the Father’s will via the daily process of sanctification (Galatians 5:16).
It is the Holy Spirit’s work through the conscience of the redeemed that is an infinitely superior form of behavioral modification compared to the old Law Covenant demanding, coercing, obedience by the sin-nature (Romans 5:12) to Laws and edicts published, etched in stone and scratched upon parchment, a written code having manifest to define sin void any hope of atonement yet mandating perfection from that sinful nature inherited from Adam (Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:10; James 2:10; Romans 8:1+; Romans 5:12); therefore, the Law Covenant, its written code, curses anyone seeking righteousness (a right standing) with the Father through obedience to same due to the sin-nature that could never adequately comply (Galatians 3:10).
The Superiority of the Law of the Spirit of Life working through the redeemed conscience,
The Law of the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2) working through the redeemed conscience is able to divinely address every point of discernment, every moral decision, in a man or woman’s life and does so with efficiency, with rapidity and holiness; something the written law could never do as the written law, its elements defining sin, are weakened by subjectivity, indecisiveness, obfuscation by a seared or defiled conscience and ultimately culminates in failure, damnation of the soul in sin.
These failures of the “written code” defines why “letters kill but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6); this is why the redeemed in Jesus are “not under law (written code) but under grace” (Romans 6:14); this is why the redeemed in Jesus are not enslaved to letters but live daily by the Spirit and His teaching, tutorship, in sanctification (Romans 7:6); this is why the New Covenant of Grace established, ratified, in Messiah’s blood (Matthew 26:28), a New Covenant administered by the indwelling Holy Spirit, is infinitely, eternally, superior to the Old Covenant of Law (Hebrews 8:7); this defines the righteousness, the imputed righteousness of Jesus, “apart from the Law” made known by the Holy Spirit via the redeemed conscience (Romans 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:21); therefore, contrary to Luther’s observations, the redeemed conscience governed by the indwelling Holy Spirit in the New Covenant is the focal point of sanctification and preparedness for service in the New Jerusalem.