"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen."
These words may well be familiar to you all, and I am sure that some of you know them quite well.
These are the words of Martin Luther, said before the diet of worms.
Martin Luther believed that what he taught was true, you might say that he was convinced of conscience.
What does that mean, to be convinced of conscience, you may well be wondering.
To be convinced of conscience means to know something in your mind, in your heart, and even in your soul you might say. In the case of Martin Luther, He knew in his mind, in his heart, and in his soul, that what the Roman Catholic church was teaching was wrong.
Having studied the Bible, he knew that contrary to the Roman Catholic church's teaching, it is by faith alone that we are saved, among many other teachings as well.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. - Ephesians 2:8,9
I am sure that many of you reading this would agree with me, and Martin Luther in this point. The reason I have brought this up is to get you to think, and to question within yourselves, "am I convinced?". Maybe not about Salvation, although that is a very important thing about which you should be convinced, but also about other things as well.
God gave us our conscience for a reason, He put in us already, a desire to question things, to search for answers, and not to desist until we have found, and are convinced of the truth. I am certain that this alone has caused at least some people to look toward the Bible for the truth, that seemed to be a highly contributing factor for Martin Luther.
For the Christian, God has also given us the Holy Spirit, that I believe works hand in hand with the conscience.
Are we using our conscience?
To fully utilize our conscience, we must do a few things, one of which is search for the truth.
One of the ways that God works, through our conscience, and the Holy Spirit, is by bringing to our remembrance the things that we have read in the Bible, heard at church, and seen in other believers. We should be filling our hearts and our minds with the scriptures, so that we too may be convinced of the truths contained therein.
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: - Proverbs 3:3
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefor the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. - Psalm 1
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
We see in these verses the importance of studying, and knowing God's word. We should study, not to merely know what is said, but to know that it is true, to be utterly convinced of the truth. When we are utterly convinced, then will we more fervently act on it, because we are convinced that it is true. When we are convinced, we are also compelled more fervently to spread what we are convinced of to others. We should be spreading the truth, because we are convinced that it is true.
If someone is going to try to pass out a bill they know to be counterfeit, they are not going to give it to just anybody, because they know that it isn't real and that someone might spot it. If it is a real bill on the other hand, there is nothing to be concerned of because they know that the bill is real. I believe the same is true with the Bible, people don't tell others, because they don't believe that it is real, but when someone is utterly convinced, they will spread God's word like nobody's business, to use the colloquialism.
Are you convinced?
If you aren't, I dare you.