The Power of Conviction

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.  Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.  When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord.

Acts 7:51-57

When Stephen was brought before the council of priests, scribes and elders, instead of defending himself, he preached to them.  He told them about Jesus, the Just One they had crucified.  He told them the truth about who Jesus was, and who they were.  He knew he was telling them the truth, and they knew that he was telling them the truth.  They were deeply convicted: “they were cut to the heart…”

When confronted with the truth, especially a truth we are not obeying, we get convicted.  We all know the feeling of being “cut to the heart” by some truth.  When we find ourselves in this position, we have a decision to make.  We have two options: we can accept this conviction and change what we need to change or we can rebel against it.  These men chose to rebel against it.  When they were “cut to the heart,” they “gnashed on him with their teeth.”  They attacked him.

Conviction is a powerful thing.  And conviction comes from the truth.  It’s an important and powerful thing.  We need to use it wisely and pay attention to it.

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