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Date: Sunday, 15th of July 2018
Otakada.org Christian Content No. 13,874
Self-Assessment – Where Do I Really Stand In God? Conversion + Conviction + Commitment = Christ Likeness
A Word for Today – In this part of eternity, examination is an ongoing exercise. Sometimes exam questions are set by outsiders, sometimes, they are set by insiders. Today, we want to self-examine ourselves to see where we stand in God and maybe, we would self-correct after self-assessment on CONVERSION, CONVICTION and COMMITMENT.
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Key Verses To Study, Meditate And Obey:
II Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (English Standard Version)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (New Living Translation)
Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Luke 9:23 English Standard Version (ESV)
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Matthew 7:21-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.
Questions: What are the truth you are learning from the above scriptures? If this is true, what commitments can you make to obey in keeping with the truth in the scriptures above? Who would you share these truth with and your commitment for witnessing and accountability purposes?
Introduction: Self-Assessment – Where Do I Really Stand In God? Conversion + Conviction + Commitment = Christ Likeness
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Obviously, you see your reflection. Every day, we look into the mirror to examine ourselves, look for faults we need to fix, and ensure we look presentable. However, do you know that we also need to look into the spiritual mirror to help us examine ourselves?
Self-examination is a crucial part of our spiritual growth. When we look at our spiritual mirror, what do you see? Do you see mostly your carnal and worldly attitude? Or do you see the character of God the Father and Jesus Christ reflected back to you?
To make this process as simple as possible, let us look at three stages of our Christian experience, explore what the mean and how we stack up to the requirement.
Regeneration and Conversion
The human side of regeneration is conversion. Many people have different ideas about conversion. Fortunately, we are not bound to the ideas and opinions of others. The Bible describes the doctrine of conversion by written explanations of what we can expect and a detailed example of how people come to know God in the Scriptures.
The apostle Paul described the conversion experience to the Romans when he wrote, “Ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Rom. 6:17). Conversion does not involve learning a catechism or knowing the doctrine of Christ. It embraces the total person, which means conversion is related to all three powers of man: the intellect, the emotions, and the will. A person muse know certain things to experience conversion, but a knowledge of these facts alone will not save him. Conversion also involves the emotions, but it is far more than an emotional experience. Conversion is not complete until an act of the will has taken place, but even an act of our will is not enough to save if it is done in ignorance or without a heart desire. The intellect. The conversion of a man to Christ is different from a conversion to another religion or commercial product.
Knowledge of the Gospel
To be saved, a person must know the gospel. There is only one gospel (Gal. 1:9) but it contains two sides of the same truth. Just as a door has two sides, so the gospel is propositional and personal truth. The gospel is propositional truth which means it is a formula that is accurate. The gospel is the account of the death of Christ for our sins, his burial and resurrection from the dead on the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Only Jesus could provide for us salvation. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
Personal Truth of the Gospel
A second aspect of this gospel is personal truth. When Paul came to Corinth to preach his gospel he “determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). The gospel is not complete in its presentation until it focuses attention on the Person of Christ. Jesus said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14, 15). If a person does not trust in Christ, that person is not saved. It is important that we know both the content (doctrine) and the Person (Jesus Christ) of the gospel to be converted.
The world needs people who have convictions. We look up to people with conviction, people with immovable beliefs who change societies, who are willing to suffer, to wait and to persevere. We don’t have to agree with them or what they are doing to respect and admire the personal conviction they have that produces change.
Sometimes their passion makes us feel small, make us feel ashamed that we live such small lives, and makes us realize that we lack that kind of personal conviction ourselves.
Personal conviction is something everyone can have and needs to have and needs to develop. God wants personal conviction, not robotic follower-ship. He wants us convinced deep in our bones. He wants this oozing out of my pours and out of my skin. He wants us fully persuaded, not just obedient.
It matters how the Gospel message of God comes into your life:
- Not just with words – listening to a sermon or Bible study
- Power – changing your life
- Holy Spirit – no human explanation for what is happening
- Deep conviction – Deeply held beliefs.
Deep conviction does not fluctuate based on emotions, circumstances, opinions, who is around, what is happening in life. It is a motivation that cannot be taken away.
Conviction is shown in how we live. Often we don’t understand our lives – Why do we burn through marriages, boyfriends, decisions, or jobs? This can happen because we have convictions that are wrong, or we don’t have any. We are like jellyfish without them – carried along by life. We don’t stand for anything and don’t believe in anything.
The Conviction-less Person is…Indecisive
Indecisive people have a hard time making decisions and are constantly second-guess themselves. They are often unstable in dating, jobs, relationships because they lack anchors that guide their decisions.
People who are immature are easily tossed back and forth. They constantly move on for new starts because they have not developed to perseverance go through something to the finish. They don’t have any deep roots (convictions) and lack depth in relationships.
Vulnerable people get seduced and enticed easily because they do not believe in anything and do not stand for anything.
The hypocritical person is hyper focused on the outside looking good and never develops the inside. This leads to emotionally breaking down when the pressure gets too high. Hypocritical people can also lack passion because they are not driven by something personal to them, only what other people think of them.
So How Do I Build A Conviction?
We must be convicted to get a conviction
What does it feel like to get convicted? It is our conscience awakening. It is to have feelings like, I can’t believe that is me. I can’t believe I am like this.
It is to be stopped, arrested, to start asking questions like Paul: Who are you Lord, Who am I? What have I done? Who am I affecting? I have killed all of these people? What does God really think about that? Could I be wrong? What should I do?
When was the last time you got convicted?
We must be convinced to get a conviction
Read Acts 9:17-22.
We have to be persuaded and convinced. We have to be taught. We have to be willing to see and embrace the truth. We have to ask:is this worth it for me? Why is it worth it?
This is why we need to read and study the Bible. When we believe in something really strongly we want to convince others. We don’t worry about looking foolish.
Am I …
- Convinced every person needs to live by the Bible?
- Convinced I need to pray and need God’s help?
- Convinced that this is best way to live, best life?
- Convinced that life without God is empty?
- Convinced that God will be with me in hard times?
Do you want to become a Person of Conviction?
The best way to become a person of conviction is to get in relationships where you get convicted and read your Bible and get convinced yourself
Commitment is like a catalyst; it pushes people to go an extra mile in what they do. You cant be committed without conviction which flow out of trust and love to whom we must give account.
Commitment is a tool towards discipleship : – Looking at Luke 9:51-62 and our own life experiences, many of us sincerely want to follow Jesus today until we find out what is actually involved. Firstly, there was a group of those who were interested to follow Jesus and yet uncommitted in Luke 9:51-62. Not being committed always opens a room for personal excuses. Being committed to Jesus always means denying oneself that which normally comes as personal excuses stopping one to be fully committed and follow Christ. Discipleship is about weighing priorities and making the right decision to put Jesus first.
Secondly, there was a group of disciples, whose personal commitment to Jesus had to take priority. They shared Jesus’ homelessness while travelling around Galilee such that even family responsibilities had to take second place. It is a group of people who did not think either or kind of a thing. Their mind was immediately made up and they committed their lives to Jesus. We know of how these disciples; fishermen by profession; left everything and followed Jesus. We will also recall when Jesus called Matthew the tax collector for instance, Matthew did not hesitate but left everything there and followed Jesus.
We see here the commitment of those who followed Jesus based on the choice they made. On the same token one can argue that some people’s discipleship is ruled and governed by worry and doubt. Questions like what will happen if…? Is it going to be safe? It is going to be very early or too late always surface. There is some doubt and perhaps we need to be reminded that as far as being a disciple goes no excuses for the delay in following Jesus are tolerated. And there can not be a turning back in the service of Christ; any more than a backward looking ploughman can expert to plough a straight furrow.
Having read above blog from otakad.org team, where do I stand? Where do you stand? Where do we stand? Are we are lagging behind, it is time to pray that the Lord will help us as we are willing to move a notch further. Grace flows only to the willing. Are we willing?
Heavenly Father, Help us to be mature Christians who can stand against anything that the enemy, the environment throws at us. That will be the last girl, boy, mother and father standing when everyone else have packed up and gone home. Help us to be people of sincere conversion, with unwavering commitment necessitated by a conviction that you allow through experiences, encounters, trust and love in Jesus name. Schedule an encounter for somebody reading this blog today in Jesus name, amen
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