Holy Spirit Conviction          

John 16:8-11


     Holy Spirit conviction is essential to saving faith in Christ. I do not say that Holy Spirit convic- tion is a prerequisite, or condition that must be met before a person can trust Christ. That is a dreadful mistake in the thinking of many. Our Lord never calls upon sinners to be convicted and then believe on him. You must simply trust Christ. Trust him, and you are saved,forgiven of all sin, and have eternal life. There are no conditions to faith. There are no prerequisites for you to meet,doctrinally,experimentally, or emotion- ally, before you can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

     However, our Lord does tell us plainly that one distinguishing characteristic of saving faith is that it is always accompanied by Holy Spirit conviction. Where there is no conviction, there is no conversion. Where there is no conviction, there is no faith. Where there is no conviction, there is no knowledge of and union with Christ. Wherever there is true, saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is Holy Spirit conviction. And wherever there is true Holy Spirit conviction, there is true, saving faith in Christ. The two always go together.

     The question that must be answered is this: What is Holy Spirit conviction? I have heard and read many answers given by men to that question, which have no foundation in the Word of God. Most people think that Holy Spirit conviction is a feeling of deep remorse for sin, a dreadful sense of one's lost condition, a terrifying fear of God's wrath, and an ardent desire to be saved. These things may, and very often do, accompany Holy Spirit conviction. But nowhere in the Word of God is conviction described in such terms.

     If we would know what Holy Spirit conviction is we must look to the Word of God alone, putting out of our minds the opinions of men. What you, or I may think and feel about the matter is of no importance. We only want to know what God says. And this is the way God our Savior describes Holy Spirit conviction. "When he is come, he will reprove 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; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." So Holy Spirit conviction deals with these three things: sin, righteousness, and judgment.


Don Fortner