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“ ...for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” — 2 Timothy 1: 12
The Apostle Paul was a man who was fully persuaded about the importance of the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Though he was facing execution for his proclamation of the gospel and his faith in Jesus Christ, he knew that “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1: 21)
Acts 18:4 says that Paul "... reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." Verse 13 of that same chapter records the complaint of some religious leaders concerning the Apostle Paul . "This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law." Acts 19:8 says that Paul “… went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Without question, the apostle Paul was a man of intense conviction! Those to whom this apostle spoke were never left trying to guess what he stood for. Paul made no attempts to "razzle dazzle" people with ambiguous rhetoric. No double talk, no evasive dialogue to side skirt the issue. When this man spoke, all who were present soon knew of his allegiance to Jesus Christ.
How refreshing! Especially in a day were so many who profess to follow Christ are so unpersuaded about what they believe, why they believe it and their commitment to live it out. Some of the blame for that may be that many pulpits are rather ambiguous when it comes to a clear presentation of who Jesus really is and why He came. The purity of the gospel of Christ is being exchanged for a kind of psychological counseling session or it's cheapened by today's pop theology into a gospel that promises you the moon if you just know the proper "keys" to getting what you want from God. This distorted version of the gospel has grown rapidly in popularity over the years even though much of what is being taught does not mesh with the clear teaching of scripture.
Today what is needed in the body of Christ, are clarion voices that will not give way to these seducing doctrines. Jesus ’ church needs believers who are absolutely persuaded about who Jesus truly is, what He truly is like and what He came to accomplish. His church needs men and women who have a deepening knowledge of Whom they have believed and are absolutely persuaded to keep that which they have committed to do for the great cause of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! People who not only know what they believe but are committed to living it out in every strata of life.
Too many congregations today are top heavy with tag-a-long, do as you please believers. Never really persuaded about, nor committed to, anything in particular. They never live out their faith in such a way so as to persuade a lost person about their need to trust Christ. These people are salt that has lost its saltiness (Luke 14: 34), candles that are hid under a basket (Luke 11: 33). They are characterized by shallow convictions which stem from a shallow understanding of the Person of Christ and the work He came to accomplish.
The writer of the book of Hebrews urges all believers to “ draw near [to Christ]…in full assurance of faith…” We are to be confident, absolutely persuaded, of who Christ is, what He is like and what He desires in terms of our commitment to His kingdom.
Paul prays for the church at Ephesus that “the Father of glory would give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him [the Person of Christ];and that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened; that they would know what is the hope of his calling...[the work of Christ].”
Find someone who is absolutely persuaded about the Person and work of Jesus Christ, and you ’ll find someone who is committed to His calling upon their life.
Pastor Frank Caudell has served as an associate pastor at South Valley Church in Lemoore for over twenty years. You can contact him at [email protected] .
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