1. inner sense of right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, governing & impelling one toward right action.
2. the complex of ethical and moral princiles that controls, regulates or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.
3. an inhibiting sense of what is prudent
The conscience is a universal faculty of moral insight bestowed upon human beings by their Creator.
All human beings have a guilty knowledge of God as Creator & an awareness of the moral Law of God (the ten commandments) written on their hearts. They also know that they have sinned and are answerable to God and deserve to be punished. The biblical doctrine of General Revelation explains this. Here are excerpts from a definition of general revelation by J.I. Packer
...what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. ROMANS 1:19
Scripture assumes, and experience confirms, that human beings are naturally inclined to some form of religion, yet they fail to worship their Creator, whose general revelation of Himself makes Him universally known...
Scripture explains this state of affairs by telling us that sinful egoism and aversion to our Creator’s claims drive humankind into idolatry, which means transferring worship and homage to some power or object other than God the Creator (Isa. 44:9-20; Rom. 1:21-23; Col. 3:5). In this way, apostate humans “suppress the truth” and have “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man...” (Rom. 1:18, 23). They smother and quench, as far as they can, the awareness that general revelation gives them of the transcendent Creator-Judge, and attach their ineradicable sense of deity to unworthy objects. This in turn leads to drastic moral decline, with consequent misery, as a first manifestation of God’s wrath against human apostasy (Rom. 1:18, 24-32)...
Human beings cannot entirely suppress their sense of God and His present and future judgment; God Himself will not let them do that. Some sense of right and wrong, as well as of being accountable to a holy divine Judge, always remains. In our fallen world all whose minds are not in some way impaired have a conscience that at some points directs them and from time to time condemns them, telling them that they ought to suffer for wrongs they have done (Rom. 2:14ff.); and when conscience speaks in these terms it is in truth the voice of God.
Fallen humankind is in one sense ignorant of God, since what people like to believe, and do in fact believe, about the objects of their worship falsifies and distorts the revelation of God they cannot escape. In another sense, however, all human beings remain aware of God, guiltily, with uncomfortable inklings of coming judgment that they wish they did not have. Only the gospel of Christ can speak peace to this distressful aspect of the human condition.
In our mission to speak to abortion-minded women (who are often sexually immoral) we know that as we use the commandments prohibiting murder and fornication we are reinforcing what she already knows by general revelation. Because she has been suppressing the truth in unrighteousness and has often had others approving of the sin of sexual immorality and murder by abortion, we are blessed to be properly informing and educating her conscience to look at herself in truth and unto God as the One to whom she owes her life, her breath and her precious baby.
When we ask a mother who is planning to murder her child, "what do you think about God's commandment 'You shall not murder'?' she often responds honestly. Most women admit that they know it is wrong and sinful to shed innocent blood. We can see the look of legitimate guilt and shame in her eyes. God's perfect moral Law strikes a chord deep within us. Truth is like that. Our conscience is geared to directly respond to the commandments of the Lord. When we speak the demands of the Law plainly to abortion-bound women we increase the guilt, shame and anxiety she is trying so hard to suppress. This is a very good thing.
The second use of the moral Law of God is the restraint of evil. When we increase the knowledge of of evil this can and often does, result in the woman experiencing a healthy fear of the Lord. She becomes more aware of the wickedness of her sin and rightfully recoils at the knowledge that she is willing to kill the child who is growing in her womb in spite of the fact that her baby is absolutely innocent and does not deserve to be the victim of what amounts to domestic violence.
We must always defer to jesus Christ with regard to truth and justice - NOT to the aborting mother. We must never prefer the mighty over the weak. We must never try to please the woman at the expense of her child. Rather, we must remind ourselves that the little orphan in her womb deserves our loving defensive actions in both word and deed.
So, we advise that you remember three things when speaking to a woman who is going to murder her baby (or who has already murdered her child):
1. Establish the supreme place of authority of God FIRST. Do not be apologetic about the fact that you are a Christian and that you wholeheartedly accept the Word of God as the final authority in all matters of life and godliness. Expect no blessing upon your life if you suppress this truth. Failure in this very first rule of love is to show that you are ashamed of Jesus Christ. Jesus wants us to confess Him before women. In Matthew 10:32-33 the Savior says, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven." Again in in Mark 8:38 our Lord declares, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when he comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
2. Establish and reinforce the dignity, sanctity and extrinsic worth of every individual child through scriptures. Teach the women that God Himself has designed, created, is sustaining and ruling over both HER and the life of her baby. Be sure to show her that the Bible plainly teaches that children are ALWAYS a gift from God. Tell her that she was a gift to her mom and dad and the child she is carrying is a gift to her.
"Behold, children are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalms 127:3
“The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” Genesis 33:5
"He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!" ~ Psalms 113:9
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." Jeremiah 1:5
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well” ~ Psalms 139:13-14
3. Address the conscience of the aborting woman with God's commandments regarding both her sexual sin and murder.
"For this you know, that no sexually immoral...person..has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." Ephesians 5:5
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither sexually immoral...will inherit the kingdom of God." I Corinthians 6:9
"Marriage is honorable among you all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge." Hebrews 13:4
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, sexual immorality...murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21
"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers..." 1 Timothy 1:9
"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man." Genesis 9:6
"You shalt not murder" Ex. 20: 13 Deut. 5: 17; Matt. 5: 21-22
Jesus said, You shall not murder, Matt. 19:18.
"Murderers.. shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone" Rev. 21: 8.
Tell the aborting or post-abortive mom that Jesus reveals the awful truth, that lust and evil thoughts of murder originate not from her circumstances, but within in her own wicked heart. In Matthew 15:19 the Savior explains: "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications..." In spite of her circumstances or any pressures from others, the sexually immoral woman involved with abortion must take responsibility for her own sin and not use justifications or excuses for her sin, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. In good conscience, she must obey God's commandments.
Now you can share the way of salvation through repentance and faith in Christ with the mother. Here are a few wonderful biblical resources on repentance and faith:
Please listen to the following teaching by Ray Comfort on biblical evangelism:
For an excellent description of the 3-fold use of the Law by R.C. Sproul, go here: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/sproul/threefold_law.html