Friday, August 26, 2005

Developing Convictions

The only way we develop ministry convictions is by bringing God’s Word to bear on specific situations that arise in our lives and determining God’s will in that situation from the Word. Many issues of life are clearly addressed in the Bible, and we would do well to memorize verses that speak to those issues. But there are always issues in life that are not specifically spelled out in the Scriptures. Many people have never considered that God does give us guidance in the gray areas of life. Even though something may not be wrong in and of it self - it still may be wrong for me or for our church. Individually there is no gray regarding right and wrong - God does have specific will for each person. God convicts us individually in these areas. When I first became a Christian, I read what I call: “The Formula: How to Know Right from Wrong,” (Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness) which has help me tremendously. The following questions are adaptations of his basic questions that i continue to use:
“‘Everything is permissible for me’ - but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Question 1: Is it helpful - physically, spiritually, and mentally?

“‘Everything is permissible for me’ - but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
Question 2: Does it bring me under its power [or enslave me]?

“Therefore if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall” (1 Corinthians 8:13)
Question 3: Does it hurt others?

“But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not [coming] from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)
Question: 4: Am I doing it because of my faith in God?

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Question 5: Does it glorify God?

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17)
Question 6: Can you do it with thanksgiving in Jesus’ name?

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable: think on such things." (Philippians 4:8)
Question 7: Does it result in mental purity?

Government (Romans 13), Employers (Ephesians 6:6-8), Parents (Ephesians 4:1-3), Church (Hebrews 13:17)
Question 8: Does this action show respect for constituted authority?
Treasuring Christ,
Glenn

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