I encourage you to be people who listen to conviction for Jesus Christ
The subject of conviction is spoken of little now-a-days. Never-the-less, conviction remains a primary activity of the Holy Spirit, whether recognised and acknowledged or not. Jesus, explaining to the disciples about the workings of the Holy Spirit said; “he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Here, the Greek word used for ‘convict’ in the original Bible language means to admonish, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, or reprove. It’s the function of positively applying negative persuasion.
Here Jesus explained that the primary areas of interest for the Holy Spirit in this work are; “sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). So, Holy Spirit conviction has nothing to do with that new item you want to buy, the holiday you would like, the promising financial investment being offered, or gaining popularity and acceptance with people. Conviction is a spiritual work, addressing spiritual realities, with spiritual solutions and goals.
The writer of Hebrews tell us that; “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Here, the word used for ‘conviction’ means to give proof, evidence, and reproof. Faith in Jesus Christ is not grown in the vacuum of ignorance. Rather, the growing persuasion of evidence brings the weight of responsibility upon the soul, requiring a response. Thus, conviction usually works in conjunction with God’s Word (The Bible).
While conviction may engage the conscience to amplify its message, they are two different things. Yes, the human conscience is a spectacular mechanism built into everyone by God, but it does not and cannot produce conviction. Conscience is human based while conviction is Holy Spirit based. Conviction is a whole other level of spiritual engagement by the Lord. You see, the conscience can be wrongly educated, misinformed, even deceived; but the Holy Spirit is not susceptible to any of these weaknesses.
Remember, Jesus said that when “the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). When the Spirit of the living God engages someone through conviction, there’s no mistake, no misrepresentation of Scripture, and no inaccuracy in the expression of divine truth. The recipient has no doubt as to the life changing seriousness of the matter at hand. The human participant is gripped by the realisation of sovereign intervention, and the responsibility to respond in surrender to the will of God.
The apostle Paul explained to the Thessalonians; “our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). As Jesus informed the disciples “the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me” (John 15:26). Proclamation of, and exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ is the central purpose for the Holy Spirit’s ministry. Likewise, Paul encouraged believers to “reach all the riches of full assurance (Conviction) of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ” (Colossians 2:2).
This is, after all, the work of God’s Spirit, to transition people from disbelief to belief, from disobedience to obedience, from indifference to submission, and from mediocrity to excellence. None of which comes natural to mankind. Without the penetrating voice of motivating conviction, we would most likely do and change little, if anything, for God.
I encourage you to listen to, and act upon the conviction of the Holy Spirit that grows out of the Word of God for the glory of Jesus Christ.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz