John 16:8–11… “And when he is come, he will reprove [convict] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (KJV).
“No, I will not,” said an elderly man in response to an invitation to accept Christ into his life. “I’m waiting for stronger feeling.” The preacher asked, “Have you ever felt like going to the altar before?” “Yes, many times,” said the elderly man, “but the feelings were stronger then.” The preacher thought to himself, “There are thousands like this man, sinners and Christians alike, who wait for stronger conviction before moving towards God.” He said to the man, “While it is true you may have had stronger conviction in the past, it is also true you may never have as much again. You must move on the conviction you have now in order to be saved.”
It is dangerous to refuse the appeals made by the Holy Spirit. The devil has convinced thousands of people, both sinners and Christians, to wait for stronger feelings (conviction) before they move forward in God. It’s sad, but hundreds come to church and remain “unmoved” by the messages because they wait for “stronger convictions.” The word “conviction” means “to be admonished, to be convinced, to be reproved, to be shown a compelling truth about yourself, a strong persuasion, to be overcome by evidence, to reveal a need in your life.” The word “convict” comes from two words, “con-” which means “thoroughly” and “-vict” which means “to conquer.” Conviction then is a work of the Holy Spirit showing an area in your life that needs conquering. The Holy Spirit will present evidence with which you are familiar for the purpose of making your life better. He will use the three means as listed in the opening Scripture text. There is a difference between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation works hopelessness and guilt and has the tendency to draw you away from God. Conviction gives you hope because God’s grace, mercy, and compassion are at work.
John 16:8-11 tells us that the Holy Spirit will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin… i.e., He will bring a revelation of what’s in your heart. He will deal with unbelief, faults, sins, and with the purpose for which Christ came. Sin brings death, but Christ redeems from death. It’s hard for many to accept the truth that Christ died to save them from sin and death. Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit appealing to your conscience and reinforming you of what you already know. Of righteousness… i.e., He brings to your heart a revelation of the righteous heart of God. The Holy Spirit points to Jesus Christ, who handled sin on the cross and who is able at this moment to save your life. Of judgment… i.e., the Holy Spirit brings to your heart a revelation of the root cause–the devil, the father of sin. He is the cause of the many problems that control people. Simply put, the Spirit says, “Here’s your sin. Here’s what I can and will do. Here’s the root cause, the devil, and he has been defeated.”
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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