Wednesday, March 2, 2016

“Opinions? Convictions!”

  "Opinions?  Convictions!"

   Opinions skate on the surface of our mind.  Convictions settle deep in the heart.  Faith, as defined by Scripture, involves the latter.

   "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10).

   The Christian life begins and continues in the deepest sanctum of our being, even as the Apostle Paul declared, "I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son" (Romans 1:9).  Walking with God in Christ involves an inside out process of the Holy Spirit dwelling and working within us, our response thereunto, and the subsequent expression of godliness in our thoughts, intentions, words, actions, and relatings to God and people.  This stands in stark contrast to the law of Moses, which constituted an outside in work of God's spiritual and moral code written on first on stone tablets, and ultimately, on the pages of Scripture.  

   "Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart" (II Corinthians 3:3).

    This truth of grace in the Lord Jesus calls us to the aforementioned determination regarding conviction.  Living from the heart, that is, God's heart as revealed in our own, involves our commitment to a faith of deeply held beliefs based upon consistent exposure to the Scriptures, the Spirit, and the saints.

    "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).
    "The Spirit of truth… He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).
    "The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Timothy 3:15).

    We read and ponder the Scriptures with earnest seriousness.  We prayerfully and personally walk with the Lord, as enabled by the presence and working of the Holy Spirit.  And we fellowship with Christ-loving and Bible-centered believers who rejoice in the love of God, and who seek to love Him in holy response.  Thereby the opinions that merely skate become the convictions that govern.  We find ourselves making more and more conscious decisions to live by what we believe.  "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).  Again, under grace, we live inside out rather than the outside in futility experienced by Israel under the law.  We live from our Lord in order to live to Him and for Him.  What does God say in His Word about Himself and the matters of our lives?  What do I believe about Him and them?  Living from the heart involves keeping these questions at the forefront of consideration so that our beliefs become consequential convictions.

"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."
(Proverbs 4:23)
"Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord."
(Colossians 3:23)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
(Psalm 31:24)

No comments: