From the Pastor

 

 Pastor Mike Burns

 Victory Church

 903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002) 

 MBurns@wordofvictory.org                                   

Monday, September 23, 2013 4:45 AM

How are Convictions Different From Standards?

Monday, September 23, 2013 4:45 AM
Monday, September 23, 2013 4:45 AM

What are some biblical examples of individuals with godly convictions?

1) In Romans 4:21, Paul says that Abraham was "fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." In other words, Abraham had a strong conviction that God would keep His promise.

2) The Apostle Paul expressed a similar conviction himself in 2 Timothy 1:12b, "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day."

3) Joseph stood strong against an Egyptian temptress, because giving in "would be a great sin against God" (Gen. 39: 9).

4) Daniel refused to compromise his convictions in the face of an antagonistic Babylonian culture (Dan. 6:3-5).

5) Hebrews 11:25 says that Moses "chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time."

How are convictions different from standards?

Teaching standards and developing convictions are similar but different. Clearly parents are called to teach their children (Deut. 6:7). We all need to teach spiritual standards, but we can never directly command convictions in others. In order to develop convictions, a person needs to "see" the truth of what is being taught and he also has to "own" that truth. In other words, there needs to be: instruction, understanding and assimilation and application of the truth. Standards are something that are taught and learned; while convictions are something that are both owned and applied (Rom. 14:22-23).

What is the source of Christian convictions?

Convictions are based on the truth, but where does truth come from? Jesus clearly answers the question in John 17:17b where He said, "Thy [God’s] Word is truth." The Psalmist assures us, "Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven." Truth is that which corresponds to reality. God is the supreme realist and we are realistic insofar as we see things from His point of view. God’s Word is the blueprint of reality. Reality is that which exists. If reality can’t be relative then truth can’t be relative. Only the perception of the truth can be relative. God is the only valid source of morality; He is the only one who has the right to bind the conscience. For Christians, the Bible has always been our final authority for faith and practice. In 2 Thessalonians 2:15, Paul said to "stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter." Teaching had to be followed by internalization.

Christian convictions, based on the Word of God, are of varying types. We may become convinced concerning a given interpretation, a specific application, a general principle, and an application of a principle. Some Christians argue against holding convictions that go beyond direct commands of Scripture. We should be thoroughly convinced when the evidence warrants and should act accordingly. Not every Christian will share the same convictions.

Next Week: Where do Christian convictions come from?

 

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