Do You Embrace Conviction?
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 8:1
Texas history is full of heroes, but Sam Houston is one of my favorites. At one time, while actually governor of Tennessee, he was known as “The Old Drunk”. It wasn’t until much later that he became the great hero of the Texas revolution when he routed General Santa Ana’s Mexican army. Houston’s battle cry, “Remember the Alamo!” helped win independence for Texas. Much later, still, he married the daughter of a Baptist preacher and trusted Christ as his Savior. His was a drastic conversion, as he purposed to live a life of righteousness. Still, like all of us, he battled some of his old-life tendencies.
One day, as he rode along a trail, his horse stumbled. Houston spontaneously cursed, reverting to his old habit. Immediately he was convicted of his sin. He got off his horse, knelt down on the trail, and cried out to God for forgiveness. Houston had already received Christ, but God was teaching him to live in fellowship with Him moment by moment. As soon as the Holy Spirit made Sam Houston aware of his sin, he confessed it, and repented. And this was the process of his new life.
I don’t often talk about guilt, shame, or conviction. I believe many of us get enough of that from memories of our past or legalistic Christians around us. The idea of conviction is a major theme of scripture, though—although the word is rarely used. The agent of conviction is the Holy Spirit (John 16:7–11), and the means of conviction is either the Word of God or God’s general revelation through nature and people’s inborn consciousness—a sense of right and wrong (Rom. 1:18–20; 2:15). The purpose of conviction is to lead people to repent of their sins (Acts 2:37–38) and to turn to God for salvation and eternal life through forgiveness and grace. This grace—an unmerited favor—is God’s free gift, and it wipes out all condemnation!
True Christianity is something that isn’t added to our lives for name identification or social status. It is in fact something that becomes our lives. If we have a real passion for God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to embrace our hearts, we will periodically feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts, prompting us to change. It’s comforting to know that God isn’t through with any of us yet. We are all in a process of refinement.
And so my friends, I give praise to God for the conviction that motivates us to repentance, God’s grace, forgiveness, and change…without guilt and condemnation. There is actually life in conviction! And it is a new life, as in Sam Houston’s drastic conversion.
The Power of Truth:
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6
Suggestion for Prayer:
Let’s thank God for sending His Word and the Holy Spirit to convict us, correct us, and direct us, shaping us into the men and women God created us to be. If the Lord is convicting you even now, allow it to lead you to repentance, forgiveness, grace, and a changed life!