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CONVICTION!


Geoff Daniels

The Bible says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). What exactly is conviction? We usually think of conviction in terms of someone found guilty of a crime in a court of law, and the jury returns a guilty verdict. On the other hand, conviction is used broadly in various other situations. Another definition of of conviction is “a firmly held belief or opinion” meaning the quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes.” Herein is christian or Biblical conviction. Professor Howard G. Hendricks (1924-2013) of Dallas Theological Seminary, puts it this way, “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for.” Convictions define who we really are and what we believe. Strong convictions don't quit or give in to worldly pressures or demands but remain firmly in place for our lifetime at all costs, because the christian’s endeavor is to “pattern” our lives after our Lord and Master. The Apostle declared his heartfelt conviction this way: "It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20-21). If more christians had this type of conviction, the world would not keep trying to "mold" us into its ways and practices. We are motivated by our convictions as to how we think, speak, or act in certain ways. In today’s topsy-turvy world, more times than not, “right is wrong and wrong is right.” For some, “Political correctness” seem to manipulate their way of thinking. Also, there are those who stand for absolutely nothing and fall for just about everything. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). "Life Principles Bible" author Dr. Charles Stanley, writes, “Transformation begins with our thinking and with our consciences that are committed to listening and obeying God. Our minds are renewed as we study His Word, and our hearts are changed as we submit to Him.” This should easily fit into the christian’s lifestyle. During His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ “did always those things that pleased His Father” (John 8:29). Jesus also said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night comes when no one can work” (John 9:4). Note these two words: “I must,” which clearly indicate that Jesus was “bound by an imperative requirement” to carry out His Father’s will and purpose. There is the Biblical record of those whose convictions made them stand out in various circumstances. For example: Abraham’s faith, Job’s patience/perseverance, Noah’s faithfulness, Daniel’s purpose of heart, Isaiah’s majestic eloquence about God’s glory, Paul’s commitment to the gospel. And there are many others who wholly feared God even under difficult circumstances. These examples clearly indicate these men lived the way they did because of their God-fearing convictions. Biblical conviction is absolutely essential to live a courageous God-fearing life and not compromise our faith. It also enables us to take a stand in opposing doubt, ridicule, and skepticism by those who would challenge our faith. This type of conviction indicates a definite commitment to the authority of God’s Word and the courage to apply its truth with unwavering faith.

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