As Christians, we are to be law-abiding citizens, obeying authorities for they are appointed by God (Rom 13:1-7; Heb 13:17).  The laws that are made are normally for the well-being of society in general and the observance of them benefits the whole community and nation. However, if the authorities direct you to do what is banned in Scripture you “must obey God rather than man”, while being prepared to suffer the consequences of not complying (Dan 3:13-28; Act 4:19, 5:28,29,40-42).

Some things are considered legitimate and legal according to governments yet are not appropriate for Christians to do – permissible but not beneficial for the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:12, 10:23). A clear conscience is the result of living with integrity and God-honouring standards (Act 23:1; 2 Cor 1:12). 

What is done illegally is normally hidden, carried out with deception and not open for all to see, as there is a guilty conscience.

See also: authorities, conscience, disobedience, forbidden, legal, obedience.

Is there any area where my conscience convicts me?