1/. <<confidence, certainty>>
It is a mental assurance built up over time, through the consolidation of reliable supporting evidence (2 Tim 3:14). However, having a firm belief and being convinced about the merits of something is not the same as being committed enough to act on it. This includes standing against popular opinion and peer pressure to compromise rather than obey God’s Word (Dan 1:8; Act 5:29). Faith is the belief that this is of God, ‘a witness in the Holy Spirit’ and ‘I will act on the inner witness’. Step out in faith on what you feel in your heart is from the Holy Spirit or your conscience will be tested – there will be times when it doesn’t make sense, things are turning to mush, and the dream seems to go up in smoke. Satan would try to wreck your vision, witness and effectiveness in the Kingdom of God. Especially at these times don’t look at the waves which are coming against you but call out Jesus “Save me” (Mt 14:30). Faith ultimately is rewarded, “receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet 1:9).
Act on your convictions
without judging those who have a different stance (Rom 14:1,5). Although he suffered so much, Paul was fully persuaded that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:38,39). Later he also wrote, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day” (2 Tim 1:12). He was so sure of these and numerous other facts he was prepared to give his all for the gospel as have countless martyrs who refuse to renounce their allegiance to Christ.
2/. <<being found guilty>>
Can I readily pick the difference between conviction and condemnation?
of restored fellowship with God and calmed conscience, or try and justify our wrongdoing with a further distancing ourselves from God
(Gen 3:12,13; 1 Jn 1:9). God’s purpose for conviction and correction (discipline) is not punishment for the wrong committed but rather to bring us back to Himself (reconciliation) so we will walk in increasing truth, usefulness and relationship. Conviction specifically addresses a particular situation while condemnation from Satan is much more general. Conviction is a positive thing – we are offered an opportunity to change, whereas condemnation is a negative ‘you are guilty’ verdict with subsequent punishment and no chance of redress. The conviction of the Spirit leads to freedom if we obey His touch by repenting and asking for forgiveness.