Step one: Conviction.
Conviction is often misunderstood, or mistook for man judging man, or for man causing offence. However, The Holy Spirit alone is capable of convicting a man of his iniquities and helps him accept this first step of repentance.
However, Conviction is vital, without it, change can not occur! Often people will refer to Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit,” when confronted with conviction. This verse is too commonly used to negate the requirement of conviction in the walk of a Christian. This misuse spreads a ‘feel-good’ message of half truth, especially when only the first part, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” is quoted.
Open to Hebrews 12:4-6. Now we read this about our Father in Heaven: “You have not resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’”
Now, it is true, and Thank God it is, that we do not receive condemnation, now that we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. This does not mean that we can continue to live life just the way we were when we were first saved. God loves us, and He rebukes, convicts, those He loves in order to change us. Conviction through the Holy Spirit comes through the boundless Love of God to put us on the path of repentance and effectively lead us, by hand, to becoming more like His sons and daughters.
We need to understand just how important it is to be able to receive conviction with a thankful heart. Not only does God want to change you, He wants to use your obedience and your decision to change to help convict and change others around you. Look at Titus 1:7-9. “For [an elder] must be blameless, as a steward of God.” Stop there. Who is this elder being a steward of? Us. The body of Christ. God’s sons and daughters. That’s who God has made the elder a steward of. Why is he our steward? Continue reading: “not self-willed.” Now stop and think a moment… If we reject conviction, how can we call ourselves stewards of God? Regardless of what God places before us to be stewards of, we can’t watch over it without handing Him our will and doing His instead. Lets keep reading: “not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”
Verse 9 in the amplified says this: “He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error].”
How many of us know that if we’re not accepting God’s discipline, we’re contradicting and opposing the Word of God? God has established stewards among us who serve God though exhortation of those who are in line with God’s will and plan for their lives, AND to convict those who are out of line with God’s will! This second part is not referring to those who do not know Christ, those who are not free from condemnation as stated in Romans 8:1. There is a duty of conviction within the body of Christ, that’s what God’s saying in Titus 1:9. We can choose to heed God’s call and convictions, be it during prayer and coming directly from Him, or be it from one God sends as a steward over our lives.
We know that Jesus has already sent us a councilor, The Counciler, the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). “and when he had come, He will convict the world of sin.” (John 16:8a). Through the Holy Spirit, which can include a brother lead by the Holy Spirit, God delivers His conviction of our sins, so that we may accept His punishment and be refined, with His love pouring out of us.
We need to receive conviction with joy. Change comes from Confession, Confession is inspired by Conviction, Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit speaks only what He hears from God. Finally, God sends His Holy Spirit out of Love for us! To see us change and serve Him with all we are!
Thank you God! Thank you for your love! Thank you for your conviction of my ways that wrong you! Thank you for enabling me to confess them to you and you will listen! Thank you for giving me the strength I need to change for you! Thank you for loving me! Lord, make me yours, and make me like you! In Yeshua' Name! Amen!
"And God spoke all these words, saying:God's first words to Israel were His ten commandments! Why? Because they were not readied to see and accept His Grace! See, we need to be aligned to God in our hearts to truly hear grace from Him. God can speak to us, "Go, and exalt the poor!" Then we can either do one of two things:
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s." (Exodus 20:1-17)
"Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was." (Exodus 20:18-21)They feared Him! They "trembled and stood afar off." God had demonstrated that He was real, He was there, and He was powerful enough to save or destroy them. They had been lulled by Egyptian gods, and they, until then, still had not seen God in the miracles that saved them. The didn't realize how terrible and great the Lord is. And so their hearts were not ready for grace.
Graduated college with a BA in Graphic Design. Married my wonderful wife on July 30th of the same year (we met in college) after over 2.5 years of courtship. Always been interested in computers and web sites. Computers always seem to like me too, either that or I just tend to time my arrival to help people right when the problems resolve themselves :P Accepted Christ as my personal Savior Nov. 14th 2002. Still growing best I can in my faith.