I.         A brief study of the idea of conviction

            A.        The word carries three meanings

                        1.         The effort of convincing someone of something.

                        2.         Being convinced of something

                        3.         A strong belief that affects how we live

II.        The effort of convincing someone of their sin

            A.        Nathan’s talk with David - II Samuel 12:1-14

                        1.         Without Nathan, David would have continued to hide his sin

                        2.         He would have become use to the guilt, convincing himself that this was normal.

                        3.         Nathan’s role was just as critical as David’s repentance

            B.        This is the task of every prophet of the Old Testament and every preacher and elder of the New Testament

                        1.         The apostles sent to convict the world of sin - Jn 16:8

                        2.         A bishop must be able to exhort and to convict - Titus 1:9

                        3.         This is what Peter did in his first sermon - Acts 2:36-37

                        4.         This is what Paul did for three years among the Ephesians - Acts 20:25-31

            C.        Unless people are convince that they are in sin, there is no motivation to change

                        1.         Why change something that is not “broken?”

                        2.         Unless a person realizes they don’t know it all, they will not be ready to learn

                        3.         Look through the gospels and see how often Jesus first shows a questioner how much he doesn’t know or how wrong he is before he then answers the question. - (example in Luke 11:37-52)

            D.        Reproof is a blessing to the sinner - Ps. 141:5

                        1.         Anything that rescues the lost is a benefit, even if it is painful at the time.

                        2.         Who wants to be lost in Hell for all eternity?

            E.        But reproof is not often appreciated

                        1.         The wicked will turn against the reprover - Pr 9:7-8

                        2.         But in the long run, those who listen will appreciate the effort - Pr 28:23

            F.        It is essential that we reprove the lost - Ezek 3:17-21

III.       Being convinced of one’s own sins

            A.        Each sinner must be convinced of his own sins.

                        1.         To fail in this is to self-destruct

                        2.         David could have raged against Nathan and killed him

                                    a.         But in doing so, he would have killed himself

                        3.         Instead he said “I have sinned against the Lord.” - II Sam. 12:13

            B.        Examples of conviction

                        1.         Nineveh repented at Jonah’s teachings - Matthew 12:41

                        2.         The Jews were cut to the heart at Peter’s teaching - Acts 2:37

                        3.         Saul’s reaction to the Lord with fear and trembling - Acts 9:8

            C.        Conviction opens the heart to instruction, but not everyone is so affected

                        1.         Not everyone who is convicted will turn from his sins

                        2.         Felix was struck with fear, but he dismissed Paul - Acts 24:25

                        3.         The Jews who stoned Stephen were cut to their hearts - Acts 7:54-58

                        4.         Prov 15:32 - Conviction is a start, but one must then heed the instruction

                        5.         Prov 10:17 - Heeding instruction leads to life

IV.      A strong belief that shapes our lives

            A.        Another word for faith

            B.        Rom 4:20-22 - Abraham’s faith is what carried him through

            C.        Paul was convinced of God’s love - Rom. 8:38-39

                        1.         It was that conviction that enabled Paul to endure so much - II Cor 11:22-29

            D.        It was Peter and John’s conviction that allowed them to boldly stand before the Jewish council - Acts 4:19-20

V.        What about you today?

            A.        Are you convinced of your sinfulness? Do you understand the reality of the waiting judgement if you do not leave your sinful life?

            B.        Have you been fulfilling your duty in convicting the world of their sins?

            C.        Are you convinced of God’s love? That He is able to save you from your sins?