Cleanse Your Conscience of Guilt

1 Peter 3:15–16

Guilt over sin makes for quiet Christians. Feeling shame can keep us silent when we need to speak. How can we cleanse our conscience? In this lab, John Piper liberates the guilty from sin and shame, and equips them to share their hope with the world.

Principle for Bible Reading


Meaning can often be discovered in the relationships between sentences or ideas. For instance, one relationship includes an action statement or command, along with a statement clarifying how that action should be performed. This relationship is often introduced with the words, in that, by, or with adverbial participles. Adverbial participles usually end in “ing” and modify a main verb (e.g. I went to the store, running the whole way there.).

For more on action/manner.

For Example

A father may tell his son to go clean his room. After an earlier incident, the father might clarify exactly what he expects: “James, it’s time to clean your room (the action). Pick up your clothes from the floor, make your bed, and organize your closet (the manner).”

In This Lab

Pastor John identifies an action/manner relationship between Peter’s call to be prepared to make a defense and give a reason for your hope (the action) and how to do this; namely, with gentleness, fear of God, and a good conscience.

Study Questions

  1. 1 Peter 3:15–16 gives instruction not only for what we are to say while giving a defense (see previous lab), but how we are to give it. Which ways can you identify from the text?
  2. What are we called to fear at the end of verse 15? How do you know it’s not the fear of man?
  3. What guilt over personal sin has weakened your boldness for Christ? Is there anything currently? Reflecting on 1 Peter 3:15–16, how can you begin cleansing your conscience?