Summary: There is a great need, in this world, for Christians with biblical convictions.
THE KIND OF CONVICTION WE NEED
I Cor. 8:1-13 (vs.13)
INTRO. 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 the Christian religion. Paul wept over others. (Rom. 1:14) -- "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise;"
(Rom. 10:1) -- "Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."
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" Everyone has some convictions; some are right, some are wrong, and some are weak.
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.
WRONG CONVICTIONS -- Achan (stole gold at Jericho), Annanias and Sapphira (desired recognition without sacrifice).
WEAK CONVICTIONS -- Judas, Pilate
There is a kind of conviction that we need...
I. PERSONAL CONVICTIONS.
A. 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.
B. 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.
C. 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. (Gen. 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.
3. 3 Hebrew Children -- They would not bow, bend, or budge from their convictions.
4. Joshua -- "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, but as for ME and my house, we will serve the Lord."
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."
6. Simon Peter -- "We ought to obey God rather than men."
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.
A. 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 quit because of weak convictions - missionaries, evangelists, workers, and teachers.
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. (Jer. 20:7-10) He tried to quit preaching but he couldn’t, his convictions would not let him.
4. We need strong convictions that will stand to sustain us. Like Job had, "I know that my redeemer liveth."