“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by the craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”——Ephesians 4:14-16
Our lives are constantly filled with pressure from every side to conform. We are expected to live up to a certain standard set by those around us. And with so much pressure, we face the continual temptation to compromise our beliefs and actions to simply fit in with people.
As the world moves further away from God and the Truth of His Word, it is becoming more and more difficult to remain faithful to the Lord. We all struggle to stand strong in faith in certain situations, and at the same time, try to stay away from confrontation. It is one of the most difficult things when we know we have to do what is right before the Lord, but also know that it is going to cause tension with others.
For far too long, professing “Christians” have been taught to tolerate and simply “love” people. We have been told not to “rock the boat”, be “judgmental”, or be “divisive”. But what are we to do when we have to make a decision that isn’t popular, but must do so to be obedient to God?? Are we to obey man rather than God?? (Acts 5:29)
What is troubling is that we have been led to believe that when we make a stand in obedience to the Lord, we are being self-righteous. This is often a wrong belief. As Christians, we can make clear decisions to walk in obedience to the Lord, while still maintaining an attitude of humility toward others; even if others may see it differently.
One of the biggest struggles we have in churches today are Christians living with Biblical conviction.
In order to be living with Biblical conviction, we must know what we believe and why we believe. And to believe the Truth about Christianity, we must be reading and studying all of the Bible and not being led wherever and by whomever the wind takes us.
Since there are a growing number of people not being given a heavy dose of Biblical preaching and teaching these days, it is no wonder that most professing “Christians” compromise their beliefs and often have vastly different understandings of Christianity. Or worse yet, many end up being hypocrites in how they live or even look no different than the rest of world. If we don’t live with Biblical conviction, our beliefs and actions end up taking on whatever shape each situation dictates.
Biblical conviction begins with seeking Truth. Truth is found as we go through the Bible, asking questions and working through what we are to believe according to Scripture. While we don’t all have to agree on every point of theology, we should be able to relate to others on how we got to those conclusions from the true context of all of Scripture. When we read, study, or are confronted by wrong beliefs and actions in the Bible, we must quickly acknowledge those things and adjust our beliefs and actions accordingly.
If we are not preparing ourselves and making stands in the little things, why do we think we will on the big things??
Christians tend to be very soft when it comes to social issues. With such a great fear of offending people, it is much easier to just go along with whatever. This leads to giving approval to the sinful beliefs and actions of others, as well as even participating in these things.
Passive participation is equally as sinful as active participation.
Passive participation is essentially going along with those making sinful decisions. This doesn’t mean that we have to go around calling everyone and everything out, but does require us to respond in the situations we find ourselves in. And while we may not actively be a part of those decisions, sometimes our mere presence along side people can show our support. We must be careful that just because we love and care for people, we don’t allow our passive participation to become sin in us.
There are many difficult situations that Christians find themselves in these days. Christians are asked to be part of weddings where the couples, who are professing Christians, are clearly living contrary to God’s Way; living together before marriage, engaging in sex before marriage, who are divorced and are now remarrying, and so on. Believers are being asked to bake cakes, take video and photos, and other things for homosexual weddings. At work, Christians are asked to make unethical and sinful choices in how to do business. In other situations, there are temptations to join in gossip and talk bad bad about people. Believers are even asked to join in other activities that would require setting aside obedience to the Lord. These things are not easy to always make a stand. And these are just a few of the growing list of areas that challenge what we believe as Christians today.
When it comes to churches, almost anything anyone preaches, teaches, blogs, posts on social media, writes a book about, and so on, is embraced within the confines of “Christianity”. This shows how far we have gone that many are so gullible to be following anyone and anything done in the name of “Jesus”. Isn’t this what Paul was warning about in the book of Ephesians and many other places in the Bible??
We have to realize that our obedience to God far outweighs the praise of man.
In order to live with Biblical conviction, we must know that it is going to cause conflict. Even though we all want to be liked and accepted, it comes with a great cost. When it comes to deciding between honoring the Lord or being a part of something sinful, we must make our stand for the Lord.
We must know that when we do make a stand in obedience, there will be fallout. We may lose friends, family members may be upset. We may not get the jobs or promotions we had hoped for, or worse yet, we could actually lose our jobs. But as believers, we must be preparing ourselves for these things now, so that we don’t find ourselves compromising later.
Jesus never said that life would be easy. As we grow in faith and obedience, things often get worse and not better. But God is with us. Even in the midst of difficult circumstances and the consequences of seeking to be obedient to the Lord, our reward is in heaven and not here on earth. Once we begin to shift our thinking to pleasing God and not man, it gives us great hope in knowing we are doing what is right before the Lord.
Living with Biblical conviction is difficult, but it is right. As believers, we must return to living in a way that honors and glorifies God in all areas of our lives. We must make sure that we are not being “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine”, and are truly grounded in our beliefs from the Bible alone. There will be some, even professing “Christians”, who will take offense. But for the sake of our faith in the Lord and our hope of eternal life, we cannot compromise ourselves to try and make others happy.