From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
How are Convictions Different From Standards?
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
Next Week: Where do Christian convictions come from?
Published on Monday, September 23, 2013 @ 4:45 AM CDT