Noun \ Con * vic * tion \ ‘ kən-ˈvik-shən \
Conviction is strong belief or persuasion. It is the state of mind of a person who is sure that what he or she says or believes is true. No great movement or accomplishment has ever occurred or been achieved without conviction. Conviction is the current of influence and the catalyst for change. Winston Churchill once said, “One man of conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions.”
Martln Luther King, Jr. was certainly a man of conviction. He held to an enduring conviction that humanity would progress toward the “Beloved Community”, an achievable global vision where humanity lives together for the good of the other. This would be a community where poverty, homelessness, and economic inequality were not tolerated because human decency would not accept these things as the norm. His vision for society was such that racism and all forms of bigotry and prejudice would be replaced by an all-inclusive brotherhood and sisterhood. His was a vision where love and trust triumph over hatred and fear, where the pursuit of reconciliation and peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution was preferred over military might. In short, King had a vision of a world where we all would truly seek to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
We know King was a man of conviction because of the many obstacles put in the way of his pursuit of what he believed was right – the physical violence he suffered, the trumped up charges of disorderly conduct leading to imprisonment, the numerous death threats to him and his family, the apathy among so many whites and blacks who should have been at the forefront of the fight against racial injustice, the scope and depth of racial discrimination in society, and the maligning criticism he faced from other civil rights leaders.
What we learn from generational leaders like Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as others such as Margaret Thatcher, Thomas Paine, Martin Luther, and more, that conviction is more than strong belief; it is belief in action. It is belief tested by fire that is not found wanting. It is being so persuaded of your convictions that they shape all aspects of your personal life and the life you desire for others.
Beginning February 11, we are going to explore the core convictions God tells us should shape all aspects of life in this family of redeemed sinners we call Community Bible Church. As we examine the first-century Jerusalem church, we will discover how six convictions transformed not only the lives of the early church, but the Jerusalem community and the entire world.
It’s my desire for God to so grip our hearts for Jesus and the gospel that we would be willing to endure and overcome, by His grace, any obstacle to seeing God change lives and advance the mission of God among all people. I hope that you will plan to be here all six weeks as we seek God’s face and ask him to make us a church of conviction, a people eager to proclaim, pray, worship, serve, belong and multiply, no matter the cost.
It’s a joy and privilege to lead you on this journey, as we devote, disciple, and deploy in 2018.