Persuasion and Conviction

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There are two ways of being convinced. You can be convinced by argument or by experience. Of the two, experience is the more powerful. Someone once said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still,” and I think that applies more to persuasion by argument than by experience.
The fact is, no one has ever been argued into the kingdom of God. Faith is not without its reasons, but reason alone is insufficient to produce faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God. Salvation can only occur in a heart (and mind) made alive to the possibilities of the kingdom of God. This living faith comes from hearing the Word of God, but it does not stop with hearing. The hearer is brought inexorably closer to the presence of God. Once in His presence, he or she can only bow down and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. The experience of God’s presence brings a conviction that mere words cannot supply.
If in our testimony about Christ we use only persuasion we will fail to penetrate the veil of darkness that surrounds the hearts of those who are being held captive by the god of this world. But if we proclaim the truth in the power of the Spirit, then the Spirit will pierce the veil and bring conviction to the hearts of those who hear. Such conviction more powerfully convinces them, and they repent from their sins and turn to the living God who is able to save them.

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