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Conviction

“Our Christian faith requires conviction. One of the reasons that we celebrate and often remember the martyrs, those who die for their faith in Jesus Christ, is because of their courage and conviction. They believe in Jesus Christ with unshakeable belief. They have conviction in their faith. They believe firmly that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He was crucified and that He defeated death itself and rose again from the dead. That is part of the Christian faith. We have to have this as a firm conviction.” (Fr. James Guirguis)


“I will assume that our deepest and dearest conviction is equal to that of the Apostle Peter—that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the Living God.  This is what distinguishes us as parish communities – a shared conviction that unites us as the local Body of Christ.  Here conviction is synonymous with the content of our faith.  This is what we believe, a conviction about Christ expanded in the Nicene Creed that we confess at every Liturgy, and beginning with the words, “I believe.”  As our faith hopefully deepens through the years, we become further convinced that the convictions we hold are true.  Since these convictions are about God, then we are touching upon “ultimate reality.”  What this demands is seriousness and sobriety of both our minds and hearts: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God” [Hebrews 10:31].” (Fr. Steven Kostoff)


“Looking closely at life, one can see in it a constant struggle between two principles: darkness and light, truth and lies, good and evil. In seeing this, one cannot help but pray for the victory of light over darkness to be manifested in our life and for the Kingdom of God—a Kingdom of righteousness and goodness—to triumph. In the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we pray for the will of God to be realized in the life of men, just as it is in the world of Heaven above. The Christian consciousness tells a person firmly and with conviction that trusting in the Will of God is not only our duty, but also genuine wisdom and truth in life. Our Heavenly Father knows what is necessary and beneficial for each of us, and in His infinite love and goodness, desires what is good for us and our salvation more than we do ourselves. This is why the Apostle says: Cast all your care upon Him; for He careth for you (1 Peter 5:7).” (Metropolitan Philaret Voznesensky)


“If people truly believe in the Risen Lord, they prove it by battling against sin and the passions. And if they strive, they must know that they’re doing so for immortality and eternal life. But if they don’t strive, then their faith is in vain. Because if people’s faith isn’t a struggle for immortality and eternity, then what is it? If faith in Christ doesn’t bring people to immortality and victory over death, then what’s the point of it? If Christ didn’t rise, this means that sin and death haven’t been defeated. And if these two haven’t been defeated then why would anyone believe in Christ? But those who, with faith in the Risen Lord, struggle against all their sins gradually strengthen within themselves the conviction that the Lord really did rise, did away with the sting of death and defeated death on all battle fronts.” (St. Justin Popovich)


“The love of God so captivates Paul that he has no choice but to proclaim the Gospel of the revelation of God’s self-giving love in Christ. The divine love that has taken hold of Paul is not a sentimental feeling. It is not an emotional affection that comes and goes…Rather, it is based on a deep conviction, an unshakeable certainty.” (Fr. Basil)


“How can we gain that same confidence in the certainty of all that Christ is, does, and teaches? Conviction comes from experience. To obtain it, we must get to know Christ deeply and fully. We must hear His Word, obey His commandments, receive His Body and Blood, pray constantly and fervently to Him, take part in the fellowship of believers, and practice His presence in every moment of our lives. Then from all these encounters with Christ, we will grow in unwavering and resolute faith in Him who died and rose again for all.” (Fr. Basil)


“…when a person seeks to follow the Lord, every fall can become a greater victory. The process of falling and getting up again can bring greater conviction and seriousness about living a committed Christian life. It can bring deeper humility and acceptance of our dependence on God.” (Neal Lozano)


“God can be sought only by those who have known Him and then lost Him, because any search for God presupposes an earlier taste of Him. So it’s a ray of hope for us and for those who are interested in us, if, even once in our life, we have experienced the certainty, granted by the Holy Spirit, that God loves us in our sinfulness, as we are and not as He would want us to be. This conviction activates our desire to return, that is to live in the way He wants us to. Not in the sense of His superiority, but because we realize that this is what we, too, want in the depths of our being. Then the divine will and our own personal will are united and produce ‘exceeding great joy’.” (Fr. Andreas Agathokleous)


“…the Lord Jesus desires to free us from the fear of men, and to anchor our spirits in God the Father. Christ understands how fear defeats us and inhibits the mission of the Church in the world. How can the fearful disciple preach from the housetops and tell the world what he has learned from Christ? Only when God provides grace to our hearts do we develop certainty and confidence. God’s grace is neither a feeling nor an understanding so much as the very presence of God moving within us and strengthening our feeble spirits.” (Dynamis 6/25/2020)


“[Spiritual growth] is the work of a lifetime and often involves some great hardship and struggle… all of us must struggle hard to get past our own lazy inclinations and seek God with all of our effort because, due to the sinful inclinations within us, it does not, at first, come naturally… we must live sacramentally to know God and to keep our struggle fresh and alive because spiritual growth and an eventual sense of conviction come through persistence and struggle.” (Sacramental Living)


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