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What is Conviction?

1 Corinthians 16:13–14 ESV
13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
300 Sermon Illustrations from Charles Spurgeon Wear the Uniform of a Christian (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34, 38; Luke 9:23, 26; Romans 10:13)

What would Her Majesty think of her soldiers if they should swear they were loyal and true, and were to say, “Your Majesty, we prefer not to wear these uniforms. Let us wear the dress of civilians! We are honest men and upright, but we do not care to stand in your ranks, acknowledged as your soldiers. We would rather slink into the enemy’s camp, and into your camps too, and not wear anything that would mark us as being your soldiers!”

Some of you do the same with Christ. You are going to be secret Christians, are you, and slink into the devil’s camp, and into Christ’s camp, but acknowledged by none? Well, you must take the chance of it, if you will be so. But I would not like to risk it.

Everyone in this room has been convicted of something. The Bible says that all have fallen short of the glory of God. There is no one righteous! No not one! All have done evil. All have been convicted of sin. All of you have been convicted of a crime. That is why you’re sitting in this room. That is why you’re wearing white. There was a judge who saw evidence enough to say that you were guilty of whatever they said you were guilty of. Brothers I wonder if the same could be said about your Christianity. If I were to accuse you of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence? A lot of men claim to be Christians, but if you are going to be a man that stands firm in the faith, if you are going to be a man that is steadfast and immovable, if you are going to be a man who does all to stand against the wiles of the devil where’s your proof? Could you, today, honestly stand up and say I’m a follower of Christ and here is the evidence? Let’s find out.
I first want to define what conviction is. First it is “a formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offense, made by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law.” That is what happened to you that made you come here. The second definition, the one we’re really going to focus on today is “the quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says.”
Proverbs 11:19 ESV
19 Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die.
1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Ephesians 6:10–13 ESV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Five Ways to be a Man of Conviction

Diffuse Situations Effectively

Ephesians 4:31–32 NLT
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Proverbs 15:1–2 NLT
1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. 2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
Matthew 5:5 ESV
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:9 ESV
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

You Defeat Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
James 1:12–15 ESV
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
1 John 4:4 ESV
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

You Direct Others to Live the Way You Do

Matthew 5:16 ESV
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 7:16–20 ESV
16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Proverbs 1:5 ESV
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

You Deliver Help

Luke 10:29–37 ESV
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

You Discern Right from Wrong

Hosea 14:9 ESV
9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.
Philippians 1:9–10 ESV
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
James 1:2–4 ESV
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
A conviction is not truly a conviction unless it includes a commitment to live by what we claim to believe.
Jerry Bridges
A lot of Christians have preferences. Preferences are flexible. They can change. Convictions don’t change. Stick to the convictions of God’s word. Stand your ground men! Be immovable! Be steadfast! Abound in Christ and stand your ground no matter what!