THE KIND OF CONVICTION WE NEED
Text: 1st Corinthians 8:1-13 (vs.13)
The apostle Paul had two great desires in life;
(1) To live his life wholly for the Lord and thus bring honor and glory to his God,
(2) To help others.
This is the essence of Christianity.
Paul was a man who left his mark on human history because he had proper convictions and he lived by those convictions.
Convictions — “A strong persuasion or belief” “a fixed or firm belief” “the state of being convinced.”
When is a Belief a Conviction?
• Convictions Are Self-Determined:
If you need other people to stand with you, your belief is not a conviction.
A conviction must be self-determined, not influenced by what others do or by what others ask of you.
• Convictions Are Non-Negotiable:
If you are willing to entertain the option of changing your belief, your belief is not a conviction but only a preference.
• Convictions Are Victorious:
Victory is standing for what you believe is right, regardless of the cost. If you need earthly victory to remain true to what you believe, you do not have a conviction.
• Convictions Are Lifestyles:
The court held that if a man holds true to his beliefs, those beliefs will evidence themselves in a life which is consistent with those beliefs.
Copied (Kevin Burden)
Everyone has some convictions; some are right, some are wrong, and some are weak.
We must have …RIGHT CONVICTION — Bible based, putting first things first.
Proper convictions will result in proper character.
Character may be defined as the will to do what is right as defined by God, regardless of cost. Therefore, in order to possess a God honoring, God defined character you must adopt God honoring, God defined convictions. Acts 2:40-47.
They were convicted to put their spiritual welfare above all else, this led to putting God first in their daily lives (they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrines), then God blessed them and they enjoyed the fellowship of one another and a steady and rapid growth in their numbers.
SO MANY TODAY HAVE…
WRONG CONVICTIONS — Achan (stole gold at Jericho), Judges 7. Annanias and Sapphira (desired recognition without sacrifice). Acts 5
WEAK CONVICTIONS — Judas, Pilate.
There is a kind of conviction that we need…
This morning I want to share with you five convictions…
The first is…
I. Personal Convictions!
Paul said, “I will eat no flesh while the world standeth.” (vs. 13) I will not do anything that will cause my weaker brethren to stumble. I will not offend my brother. The growth and attitude of his brother was important to him.
1. Paul had a personal conviction here against causing a weaker brother problems. He was willing to give up something for that conviction.
2. True conviction are not just worth fighting for; they are also worth sacrificing for.
3. Our convictions must be personal as opposed to corporate. Many people have convictions about what others should do and be. These are improper convictions.
The convictions we have from God will always be personal convictions. Because God chooses to work with each of us in a personal manner.
1. Salvation is personal. God will speak to your heart personally. Your experience in grace may be different than mine but that makes one no more or less real than the other.
2. The call to service is personal. God may call you to preach; or He may burden your heart to teach or work in music or visit the shut-ins or any number of other things that He knows you are suitable for. Your field of service is a personal calling and conviction between you and the Lord.
The Bible is filled with men and women who left evidence of their convictions:
1. Joseph — He preferred purity to popularity. His convictions cost him his coat of many colors but not his character. (Genesis 50:20) — “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good, to bring to pass as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
2. Daniel — Purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s meat or drink. Daniel 6
3. 3 Hebrew Children — They would not bow, bend, or budge from their convictions. Daniel 3
4. Joshua — “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, but as for ME and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
5. John the Baptist — Before Herod, John stood for the convictions that marked his ministry: “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.” Mark 6
6. Simon Peter — “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
7. Apostle Paul — Refused to do anything that would hinder a brother. Are you a hinderer or a helper, a stepping stone or a stumbling block?
II. Permanent Convictions!
Some folks have convictions that are like the so called, “permanent waves”. They are nice to see for a while but they are not permanent. They have to be renewed. We need convictions that will stand throughout our lives. As Paul said, “while the world standeth.”
1. Preachers, missionaries, evangelists, workers, and teachers, quit because of weak convictions
2. Many saved people quit coming to church, stop teaching or giving because of weak convictions.
3. But strong convictions will not let you stop. Jeremiah tried to quit preaching but he couldn’t, his convictions would not let him. (Jeremiah 20:7-10)
4. We need strong convictions that will stand to sustain us. Like Job had, “I know that my redeemer liveth.” (Job 19:25)
III. Practical Convictions!
Convictions that deal with daily living.
1. The Bible will give you convictions that will make you different from the rest of creation.
a. You are not a tree or river.
b. You are not a cow or horse.
c. You are not a child of Satan.
d. You are born again child of the living God. Romans 12:1-2.
2. Study the Word of God and let your convictions be settled by the Bible. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2:15)
3. Believing the Bible (which is in itself a conviction) will bring you victory over…
b. The world
d. and Death. I John. 5:4-5
Christians need practical, Bible based convictions that will not stop just because the door gets slammed in our face or our feelings get hurt. A chip on the shoulder means wood higher up. Any dead fish can float down stream; it takes a live one to swim against the current. Thomas Edison tried 5000 times before he perfected the electric light bulb.
IV. Pleasing Convictions!
Not man pleasing but God pleasing. “For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
1. He told Timothy, “Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2nd Timothy 2:3) We are commanded to please the commanding officer.
2. We mostly think we must please mom, dad, preacher, school mates, employer, husband or wife. I Thessalonians 4:1
3. It is said of Enoch in Hebrews 11:5 that he was translated so that he would not see death because He pleased God.
4. If your convictions please God that is all you need. “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)
V. Powerful Convictions!
Convictions are powerful only if they are Christ centered. They will make strong Christians and save homes and families. Christ centered convictions will turn us from sin and compromise and will make us faithful to God and His service.
Without conviction we can never bring honor to God. Salvation cannot be had until you recognize a strong conviction about sin.
Baptism, tithing, or whatever you do for the Lord will never be observed until you get convicted that you are being disobedient to the commands of God.
Convictions about service must be personal. Your rewards, your satisfactions in worship and service, and your belief in yourself all depend on your conviction toward God.