convicted by their own conscience
8:9 convicted by their own conscience. This is the first of thirty-two occurrences of the word “conscience” in the New Testament. God has given us a conscience to guide our behavior in matters not specifically covered in the Scriptures. But conscience can only be a reliable guide if it is a “good conscience” (Acts 23:1) and a “pure conscience” (I Timothy 3:9). If not followed as guided by the Scriptures (Acts 24:14,16), the conscience can become “weak” (I Corinthians 8:7,10,12), “defiled” (Titus 1:15), “seared” (I Timothy 4:2), or even “evil” (Hebrews 10:22). The conscience is a reliable guide only if constrained by Biblical principles. Note Acts 24:14-16 in reference to how Paul expressed his conscience.