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Defined in Conviction (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Last weekís lesson examined two points regarding conviction.
1. The definition of conviction
a. A firmly held, fixed belief
b. The opposite of doubt and uncertainty
2. A directory of convictions
a. God exists.
b. God created all things, including man.
c. Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
d. Jesus died, was buried, and rose again for the sins of man.
e. The Bible is Godís Word.
f. In the Bible, there is a plan that will save man from his sins.
g. The church is the eternal plan of God.
h. Evangelism is the primary work of Godís people.
i. Worship must be conducted by Godís people.
j. There will be a day of final judgment.
B. In this lesson, we will look at two other points about conviction.
1. The Displays of Conviction found in Godís Word
2. The Demonstration of Conviction in our lives.
I. THE DISPLAY OF CONVICTION
A. Noah:† Convicted about Righteous Living
1. Noahís world was filthy, morally corrupt, and violent (Gen. 6:5).
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
2. Noah was different.
a. Genesis 6:9
These are the generations of Noah:† Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
b. Noahís convictions remained firm.† He built the ark, and saved himself and his family (Heb. 11:7).
By faith Noah, being warned of God of thing not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house by the which he condemned the world, and became the heir of righteousness which is by faith.
B. Abraham:† Convicted about Godís Promises
1. God gave Abraham a son after a long period of waiting.† This son grew up in his household and Abraham loved him dearly.
2. God, then, issued Abraham a very difficult command (Gen. 22:2).
Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3. Abraham did not balk at the command (Gen. 22:3).
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and cleaved the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4. Abrahamís convictions were manifested in many ways.
a. In his thinking (Heb. 11:19)
Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead.
1) Abraham knew God was faithful to His promises.† This son would help in bringing the Messiah into the world.
2) He reasoned that even if he killed him, God would raise him up to bring His promise to pass.
b. In his words (Gen. 22:8)
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide for himself a lamb for a burnt offering:† so they went both of them together.
c. In his actions (Gen. 22:10)
And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
C. Joseph:† Convicted about Morality
1. Joseph was put in a place of prominence in the house of Potipher after being sold into slavery by his brothers.
2. Potipherís wife desired Joseph.† Constantly, she pled:† ďLie with me.Ē
3. Joseph was convicted and refused her advances.† He chose moral purity (Gen. 38:8-9).
But he refused, and said unto his masterís wife, Behold, my master wotteth not is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; there is none greater in this house than I, neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife:† how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
D. Joshua and Caleb:† Convicted about Godís assistance
1. Ten of the twelve spies did not believe Israel could take the Promised Land.
2. Joshua and Caleb believed in Godís power and assistance in conquering the land (Num. 14:6-9).
And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:† and they spoke unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we have passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.† If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.† Only rebel not ye against the Lord; neither fear ye the people of the land; they are bread for us:† their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us:† fear them not.
E. Deborah:† Conviction in Battle
1. We are introduced to Deborah in Judges 4:4.
And Deborah, a prophetess the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at this time.
2. She encouraged Barak to fight the enemies of Godís people (Judg. 4:6).
Hath not the Lord God of Israel, commanded, sayingÖ
3. Before Barak would go, Deborah had to agree to go with him to the field of battle (Judg. 4:8-9).
And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go:† but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.† And she said, I will surely go with thee:† nothwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.† And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kadesh.
4. Once at the place of battle, Deborah again exhorted Barak to fight (Judg. 4:14).
And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand:† is not the Lord before thee?
F. Many more examples are in the Bible:
1. David:† Convicted about Godís deliverance (I Sam. 17:45-46)
2. Amos:† Convicted about Godís mission (Amos 7:16-17)
3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:† Convicted about Godís honor (Dan. 3:16-17)
4. Elijah:† Convicted about Godís Law (I Kings 18:18-19)
5. The apostles:† Convicted about preaching the gospel (Acts 4:19-20; 5:29).
G. The convictions displayed by these godly men and woman should cause us to stand, to have courage, to be steadfast.† Convictions kept them true to God.† Remaining firm in our convictions is one of the keys to eternal security.
II. THE DEMONSTRATION OF CONVICTION
A. Every child of God must develop conviction.
1. Conviction is rooted in our thinking processes (II Cor. 10:5; Phil. 4:8; Prov. 23:7).
2. Our convictions are expressed in our words.
3. Our convictions are expressed in how we live our lives.
4. Our convictions are seen in our service toward others.
5. Our convictions are seen in our worship.
6. Our convictions are seen in the stands we take.
7. Our convictions are seen in the suffering we are willing to bear.
8. Our convictions are seen upon our death bed.
B. Convictions bring wonderful benefits to our lives.
1. Convictions give meaning and purpose to our lives.† We arise every day with a mission before us.† We are holding to beliefs that make a difference in the lives of people.† These things never change.† They are right!† They are needed by all people.
2. Convictions give us courage.† We possess beliefs that are based upon solid evidence.† We have not built our lives on sinking sand, but upon the bed-rock foundation of truth.† Truth will always stand and never be defeated.
3. Convictions give us passion.† Our passion is displayed in the energy and effort we put forth in our service to the Lord.† We are tireless.† We are not ďon again, off againĒ in our labors.† We do not procrastinate.† We know we must work while it is yet day.
4. Convictions enable us to stand.† The world will oppose our convictions.† They will drag us before their courts and leaders in order to defeat us.† But we cannot be overcome.† Truth is like an anvil that will never be worn down by the blows of the enemy.
5. Convictions enable us to endure.† We may suffer more than once for the things we believe.† We could be persecuted, imprisoned, or killed for our convictions.† Come what may, we endure.† We persist.† Trials and tribulations do not stop us.
6. Convictions cause one to grow.† Convictions are based upon knowledge.† The more knowledge we have, the stronger our convictions.† The more knowledge we have, the more mature we become.† When our convictions are challenged, the experience itself of the conflict causes us to mature.† One trial makes us ready for a great challenge in the future.
7. Convictions give us hope.† Some of the convictions we hold are not seen; they are not present realities.† However, we are certain about the things we believe.† We know the invisible is out there.† We know the invisible will be seen and will be ours to enjoy in the future.† Today, we patiently wait for our hope to be fulfilled.
A. We live in a post-modern society that seeks to destroy conviction.
1. Truth is said to be relative, flexible, contradictory, and constantly changing.
2. We must be tolerant and condemn no one.
B. Those who hold to convictions look foolish in the eyes of the world.
1. We are told that our convictions are irrelevant.
2. We are said to be mean, cruel, and unloving.
3. We are told that we need to be quiet.
C. Will you stand with conviction?† Or, will you be like the leaf that is blown in the wind?
D. Letís close with two passages of Scripture.
1. Matthew 7:24-25
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:† and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not:† for it was founded upon a rock.
2. I Corinthians 1:23-24
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.