Conviction in the Holy Spirit
Yet when that one I have spoken to you about comes--the Spirit of truth--he will guide you into everything that is true.
~ John 16:13
You often hear nonbelievers who don't understand Christianity — or even people who call themselves Christians — thinking that Christianity is about condemnation. They simply do not understand the difference between condemnation, which is the desire of Satan, and conviction in the Holy Spirit.
Conviction is a firm belief based on one's acceptance of an outside authority. When we accept Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, its cements us in the firm conviction of Christ's saving grace and forgiveness
I did this graphic to illustrate the differences between how Satan wants to see us handle sin, and how conviction in the Holy Spirit leads us to handle sin.The Holy Spirit never encourages our carnal nature--the flesh. The truth is, our carnal desires and nature must die. We are wicked people. Since we long to fellowship with an utterly holy God, somebody has got to change, and it will not be God.
God offers eternal encouragement by the way of the Gospel: death, burial, and resurrection. The starting point is the truth. The truth convicts: we are guilty of sin. Conviction is the first step in the cycle of sanctification, and we should expect it and welcome it as it does its deadly work on our old self.
“If we refuse to admit that we are sinners, then we live in a world of illusion and the truth becomes a stranger to us. But if we freely admit that we have sinned, we find him reliable and just--he forgives our sins and makes us thoroughly clean from all that is evil. For if we say ‘we have not sinned’, we are making him a liar and cut ourselves off from what he has to say to us. (1 John 1:8-10)”
Lord, let me know my past sin, that I may be forgiven and may be renewed. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer