Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Awesome Restraint of God - Part Three Restraint of Conviction

The third Restraint we can list is that of Conviction.  Using the Holy Scriptures, the invisible attributes of God (Rom. 1:20), or the proclaimed message of the gospel the Holy Spirit will move upon the heart in His office of restrainer.  It is active restraint, in that it involves how believers act or react in any given circumstance throughout their lives.  The scriptures teach us that the Holy Spirit has a job to convict or convince of sin, righteousness, and judgment:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged (John 16:7-11).

Simply put, Jesus is saying He, the Holy Spirit, will always allow us to know what is sinful and what is not, what the consequences of sin is, and what is the right thing to do in any given situation.  Other passages tell us He will illuminate us with the understanding we need as we read the scripture and move through our daily lives. 

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (John 14:26).

He also is used by the Father to draw the lost to Himself (John 6:44).  When a lost person comes into contact with the Holy Spirits conviction via the General Revelation of God, he is restrained to make a decision, he or she must freely act either for God or for self.  A choice must be made.  God uses this restraint to literally constrain the lost to come unto Himself for salvation.   He will then use the Holy Spirit as described above, which results in righteousness and righteous actions toward our fellow man.

Underlying every action there is a cause.  In the case of the conviction of restraint that is experienced by believers we are compelled by God to act in the most  moral and expedient ways for His glory.  If we ignore this conviction we begin to backslide.  But because of the greatness and the depth of God's love for His children He then, restrains us from this evil by His Holy Spirit.

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

 “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives."

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Heb 12:3-7).

So then the Lord in His goodness restrains believers from sin via the restraint of conviction and in doing so, He moves us toward spiritual maturity.   We come stronger in our faith, more empowered in our walk, and illuminated to truth all by the restraints the Holy Spirit places upon our lives. 

Praise God He knew that by ourselves we would be like orphans wondering where our sustenance and protection would come.  This constraint is a constant reminder that He is indeed with us.

Praise Him



Vic said...

Good word ><>

God Bless,