This is obviously a highly sensitive subject, but a very important one. Your answer to this question will influence your view of God and your relationship with Him immensely. For some reason, many teachers of the Bible have taught that when Christians sin, the Holy Spirit will convict them of their wrongdoing, giving them the chance to repent and over time they will learn to sin less. This goes against so many scriptures it’s just not funny. There is actually not even one scripture that says the Holy Spirit convicts Christians of sin. One comes very close but it is often taken out of context.

John 16:7-8 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (NKJV)

At first glance you might read this verse and come also come to think that the Holy Spirit convicts Christians of sin. I mean, it says it right there, “He will convict the world of sin…” The first rule of Bible interpretation is to read scripture in context. The context of this passage is Jesus talking to His disciples about what is going to happen at the cross and after the cross. The whole conversation is recorded over about 4 successive chapters from John 14 to John 17. Jesus said something just a few verses earlier that will give John 16:8 some context.

John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (NKJV)

Jesus just explained to His disciples that once born again, a person is no longer considered to be a part of the world. This is because we are then considered to be citizens of heaven, reborn as new creations, the sons of God. So if a Christian is not part of the world, and the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, that would mean Christians are not included as the focus of John 16:8. The second support for this is found in the very next verse. At the end of verse 8 we find a colon, “:”, which means the next part is going to explain the preceding part.

John 16:8-9 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; (NKJV)

The conviction of sin is because “they do not believe.” If person is a Christian, it is because they believe. If they believe, there is no need to convict them that they don’t believe. That would be both stupid and redundant. Do you see where I am going with this? Not believing is the only sin unbelievers are convicted of too, not every wrong thing they do. In John 16:8 the word sin is used as a noun and not a verb. That means the sin a person is convicted of is the state of unbelief, not the action of breaking a law. Christians who believe are called believers, meaning them people who are in a state of belief in Jesus. Since we believe in Him, we are not being convicted of not believing in Him. Fourthly, the conviction-of-Christians-teaching contradicts a few basic scriptures:

John 3:17-18 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (NKJV)

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (NKJV)

Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. There is also no condemnation in Christ. To condemn means one person judges another person guilty of wrongdoing or bad behavior. Since Jesus was clearly not sent to do this, why would His Spirit do it? Easy, He wouldn’t. For there to be no condemnation in Christ, there also needs to be no conviction of wrongdoing. If there were conviction of wrongdoing in Christ, it would mean there would also be condemnation in Christ.

Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin. (NKJV)

2 Cor 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them (NKJV)

Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. (NKJV)

These are just a few of the scriptures that tell us God is not keeping score of our sins and that He actually in His almighty power has made Himself forget our lawless transgressions. If God is not keeping score and doesn’t remember our wrong doings, the Holy Spirit would be acting in rebellion against God by convicting us of sin. Lastly, if faith is the only thing that pleases God, how does He expect us to have any morsel of faith if the guilt and condemnation from constant conviction of wrongdoing and missing the mark is robbing us of any shred of confidence we have to believe? Your capacity to believe is directly related to your ability to realize God is not judging you, but that He has judged Jesus in your place. God decided to treat Jesus the way you deserved to be treated, and to now treat you the way Jesus deserves to be treated. That is the basic definition of undeserved favour and unearned grace.

So in closing, the Holy Spirit doesn’t convict you of sin. It is the devil who is trying to get you to doubt the goodness of God. The next time you hear that conviction whispering in your ear, tell it to shut up because you are the righteousness of God in Christ and thank Him for Jesus’ sacrifice!

God is always AWESOME!

Cornel

 

 

58 Responses to Does The Holy Spirit Convict Christians Of Their Sins?

  • Here is something Fabian Grech recently wrote

    “Beloved, I write this with God’s love in my heart. We desperately need the conviction of sin in our personal lives, in our homes, in our witness to others, in our preaching and in our gatherings (church services). Conviction is a beautiful and powerful expression of God’s love towards us and towards sinners. The Holy Spirit convicts because He loves! ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom He delights.’ Proverbs 3:11-12
    I am blessed to see God working and moving though some of us, but we are nowhere near to where we need to be in our shining so brightly in this dark world. God is not surprised when sinners sin, but He is surprised and grieved when those who have tasted His love live in compromise, give in to sin, and let their godly convictions get lower instead of higher. Many Christians are backsliden and do not realize it, or lukewarm and do not know it. That’s why we need strong conviction of the Holy Spirit. That’s why we need Revival Fire! That’s why we need disciples who love Christ so much that are grieved by what grieves Him and are willing to speak and preach the truth! The Holy Spirit deeply longs to bring conviction, but He needs us to pray and preach the truth without holding anything back. The Holy Spirit is starving for people who preach the truth that He can use to convict of sin. I have seen preachers who try to see conviction, but they love preaching more than they love people! Our longing for the conviction of sin, must be out of love for God and love for people. Anyone of you who knows what it feels like to feel so clean and pure after you respond to the Spirit’s conviction know how important conviction is and what the difference is between conviction and condemnation. So test yourself with God’s Word to see if you have gone forward or backwards. Are you more on fire for Jesus now then you ever been? Are you witnessing to the lost because you are so full of God’s love that you have to tell others? Have your convictions gotten higher or lower? Are you watching things (on the net, t.v., other places) that Jesus would not and you know it is not increasing God’s fire in you? How are you using your time? Are you too busy to spend time alone with Jesus and witness? Are you redeeming the time and making the most of it? Is your life bringing a challenge to those around you. I encourage you to read the Word! Read scriptures that would bring conviction! (Ephesians 5:1-18; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; Colossians 3:1-10; 1 Peter 1:15,16; 1 Peter 2;1-3; James 4:4; 1 John 3:1-9; James 1:21-25. Then tell others and preach it with compassion and conviction!”

    I realize scripture refers to conviction toward the ungodly. I also realize that we as Christians need to become more aware of the grace of God, and as we become more conscious of Him, we would or should love Him even more!

    John 13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (kJV)

    He will guide, amen. But is there not an inward awareness of sin because of the Holiness of Him that we are convicted if you will to change. It is simply a play on words, but the idea of conviction I do not see as negative. Do you?
    Ronnie

  • Cornel says:

    Hi Ronnie,

    Since conviction brings condemnation and Christ did not come to condemn (John 3:17), then scripture tells me that He is not convicting us. If Jesus is not condemning but the Holy Spirit is, that means they have 2 opposing functions and that their Kingdom is divided and cannot stand (Matt 12:25). Since it is standing, we know Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not working against each other. If I was to bring conviction to a person, I would also be acting contrary to Jesus’ will and purpose, which is to not condemn.

    Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

    The one who convicts is called the accuser of the brethren, or the devil. If you want to call him the Holy Spirit doing God’s work, that is up to you. I will believe the Word of God that tells me over and over that I am holy, righteous, justified, sanctified, perfected forever by FAITH and not by my works. Here is my question to you: What makes a Christian? The acts they do or the Spirit of God in them? If you say the Spirit of God then you are right. I was made a son of God and my right standing before Him is never going to change.

    Gal 3:2-3 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

    Paul asked the same questions and told the Galatians they are BEWITCHED to think they need to work for justification. They are foolish to think they are made perfect by their own actions. Since you think Paul was wrong, why don’t you tear out his 14 books?

    Gal 3:11 no man is justified by the law in the sight of God

    Gal 5:4 you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

    Your Fabian Grech said, “So test yourself with God’s Word to see if you have gone forward or backwards. Are you more on fire for Jesus now then you ever been? Are you witnessing to the lost because you are so full of God’s love that you have to tell others? Have your convictions gotten higher or lower? Are you watching things (on the net, t.v., other places) that Jesus would not and you know it is not increasing God’s fire in you? How are you using your time? Are you too busy to spend time alone with Jesus and witness? Are you redeeming the time and making the most of it? Is your life bringing a challenge to those around you?”

    Witnessing to the lost is good, but does it save you? No. If you don’t do it, do you become unsaved? No. Not doing wrong things is also good, but does it save you? No. And if you do something wrong are you now unsaved again? No. If you are unsaved again, who is going to be the sacrifice for your sin now? The Bible says Jesus is only going to die once. You have a problem now (Heb 10:12-22). Verse 22 in Hebrews 10 is very interesting:

    Heb 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

    How can we draw near in full assurance of faith with our hearts SPRINKLED CLEAN FROM AN EVIL CONSCIENCE if the Holy Spirit is convicting us? If He is convicting you, your conscience will not be clean. God is not a sadistic bully. If He said faith is only thing that pleases Him, and then goes out of His way to do everything He can to keep you from having faith, then He is just barbaric. That is not my Father. That is not Jesus. That is not the Holy Spirit.

    Does God want us to sin? Of course not! Do I advocate going out and just sinning? Never. But don’t tell me God is condemning people when His word is clearly saying He isn’t. How many homosexuals have been helped by the condemning judgment they get from Christians? None of them. In fact it causes them to hate God and Christians more. If convicting them and judging them is what is going to change them then we need to step it up and make sure they know how much God hates them right? And then we shouldn’t stop there, we should go out in the streets and judge the liars, those who lust who are committing adultery, those who hate who are committing murder. Judging and convicting people is the way to go! Please show me where Jesus did it even once?

    There was this woman caught in adultery, and Jesus said He doesn’t accuse her or condemn her. After she realized He loved her and doesn’t condemn her, He told her to go and sin no more. Not because He is letting this one slide or giving her a freebee, because He knows He is going to be judged for her sin and to also judge her would be unnecessary. Why would Jesus not judge people before they get saved and suddenly after they get saved the judgment starts? If this was true it would be better to stay unsaved.

    Does God want us to sin? No. Do I want you to sin? No. Do I approve of sin? No. Do I judge the people who sin? No. You can give me one thing after the other of what I can be doing to prove my love for God. You can list all the good works you want but I only care what the Word says about me. Take all the requirements Fabian made of witnessing, praying more, going to church, helping people etc and tell me what this verse says:

    Joh 6:28-29 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
    To do the work of God is to believe in Jesus? Do you believe in Jesus? If you said ‘Yes’, then you are already doing the work of God. If you are not happy with His requirements, then maybe take it up with Him?

    I love you brother and pray you will see the full revelation of grace.

    Cornel Marais

  • What a powerful message Cornel. The truth will set you free and if people don’t WANT to be free, it is their choice. But we will never be tangled into a yoke of bondage again! [Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage].

    If my Bible says that God doesn’t condemn me, I believe it!! But it is because of the traditions and religion that people hold on to, that this message just sounds too good to be true. The Bible talks about these people: [Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye].

    Who are we to remember our sins if even GOD says He will remember them no more? Are we more powerful than God? I think not.

    A few months ago we wrote a message similar to this one of yours, people can read it here:
    http://www.newcovenantgrace.com/unforgivable-sin/

    Yours in Grace
    Andre van der Merwe

  • Richard says:

    Hey Cornel, hey Andre, I think this was done masterfully by the Holy Spirit in you Cornel, just masterfully. Much of what my response was going to be is exactly as you & Andre already pointed out. Keep revealing Jesus as you are and what else can we say, “As Jesus IS, so ARE WE in THIS world!” ! john 4: 17! That alone closes the gainsaying doesn’t it? Is Jesus being convicted of sin? Neither are we because what righteous person is convicted of unrighteousness unless God is of two minds? Love you both, once again Cornel, awesome!

  • Simon Packer says:

    According to Encarta dictionary, ‘conviction’ can mean ‘firmly held belief’, ‘firmness of belief’ or ‘guilty verdict’. In other words, ‘conviction’ may or may not mean the same as ‘condemnation’.
    I do not believe the Holy Spirit brings about a guilty verdict for the believer.
    However, assuming you believe, as I do, that the Holy Spirit used Paul to write a lot of Scriptures, then Paul writes in a way which exhorts believers as to how to behave, and points out at times how not to behave, e.g. Eph 5v3,4. We could describe passages like these as messages likely to bring conviction, in the sense of bringing a new belief about right behaviour. It is not intended to condemn, i.e. produce a guilty verdict on a person’s whole personality.

    Recently I handled a situation badly and ‘conviction’ came of that and the right way to handle it. I attribute that to the Holy Spirit illuminating my spirit with discernment and wisdom. I did not at any time feel an adverse overall verdict had been passed on me. In that sense of the word, I believe the Holy Spirit does bring conviction. Indeed I believe our ability to take this sort of conviction without it producing condemnation is a sign of increasing maturity.

    God’s intention is to bring us to realisation of the truth (John 8v32). He does this in an ongoing way. We are being transformed. If we choose to use the term ‘conviction’ for the process by which He does this, I do not have a problem.

  • Cornel says:

    Hi Simon

    Thanks for your comments. I just want to clear up something that a few people have brought up regarding this post. I never said conviction and condemnation is the same thing. I know they are two different things. What I meant is that conviction of fault leads to condemnation which removes your faith toward God. The article was also not about conviction in general, I do believe the Holy Spirit convicts us, but of our righteousness in Christ. Sure we can learn from making mistakes, but that doesn’t mean God wanted us to make the mistakes in the first place. I have learned very valuable lessons after making big mistakes, but not because God showed me my mistake, He showed me the right way to do it. It doesn’t take divine inspiration to know right from wrong. The laws are written on my mind and heart and I instantly know when I made a mistake. The moment I do stumble, that is when I need the Holy Spirit the most, to remind me that my sins have been forgiven, that God is not looking at my obedience but at Jesus’ obedience. That gives me the confidence to run into His throne room full of faith and joy. The Holy Spirit is my comforter, not my consciousness.

    Cornel

  • MrX says:

    Jesus said there is no condemation for those IN Christ. The little word IN is very important (please check out the Greek). Jesus also said Abide IN me and if you abide IN me you will bear fruit. Now with that in mind, read the letters Jesus wrote to his churches in Revelation. Bear in mind this was long after the cross. When Jesus said “If you do not repent I will come and remove your lampstand from it’s place”. I just have a feeling they felt convicted. Plenty more examples if you just read the letters. Moreover all the promises made are to overcomers!!!!

    Bear in mind the Jesus John saw in Revelation frightened him as he fell as though dead and this was the disciple Jesus loved. I agree everything needs context. That means the bible as a whole and not just the verses you like or quote to support your view point. I’ve been very humbled many times when I’ve dared to read the whole bible and not just hold to a theory because it was taught that way.

    Grace and peace to you in adbundance

  • MrX says:

    As for your obedience comment, “God is not looking at my obedience but at Jesus’ obedience” sounds wonderful. Could you tell me where you found that in the bible? Jesus said, “19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to OBEY everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Wow! so Jesus expected that obedience could and should be taught. I think Jesus is very interested in our obedience especially seeing asthough he urgues us to overcome just as he overcame or is God not looking at our “overcomingness” but Jesus’. I think I’ll trust the word of God here.

    Grace and peace to you in adundance.
    God gives grace to the humble

  • Cornel says:

    MrX, do you go IN and OUT of Christ every time you sin and after you repent? Do you become unsaved then saved then unsaved again?

    Rom 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Nothing can separate you from the love of God in Jesus. Nothing means nothing. Not even sin. As I said before, I am not saying people should just go out and live in sin. I am saying that God doesn’t get upset when you sin because Jesus paid the price already and now God is not holding those sins against us any longer. Jesus died before you sinned once, God knew everything you were going to wrong before you even did it and made sure Jesus died for it so you could be completely forgiven.

    Removing the lamp stand doesn’t mean you lose your salvation either. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians church about a certain man’s sin, he said to turn him over to satan to that his body might be destroyed and his spirit saved.

    1Co 5:4-5 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

    If his body is destroyed, he no longer has the ability to be the light of the world (Matt 5:14) because he would leave this world. Your body is the lamp stand, the light is Jesus. If your lamp stand gets removed, you go to heaven. That is why Paul said “so his spirit may be saved.” Having your lamp stand removed doesn’t have to mean you die either, it can also mean you are removed from the position where you shined. There are countless stories of ministers who fell into sin and they lost the positions from where they shone. Sin is never a good thing to do, I do not want people to sin.

    As for my obedience comment, I found it here:

    Rom 5:19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

    Are you the one man who was obedient or are you part of the many who are made righteous because of His obedience?

    Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    Were you saved by your own doing? By your own performance? The obedience Jesus spoke of was not the obedience to the law. It was the obedience to the faith.

    Act 6:7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith

    Rom 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

    Rom 16:26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith

    We are to be obedient, but to the faith. The law is not based on faith.

    Gal 3:12 But the law is not of faith

    Rom 3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

    Gal 2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

    You are right by saying God gives grace to the humble. When we humble ourselves and realize we can’t do it ourselves, we give our lives to Christ and He gives us the grace by which we get saved.

    Bless you brother!

  • MrX says:

    Hi Cornel,

    Thanks so much for your rather speedy reply. It’s very rare that the writer of such articles ever replies so I must commend you for that.

    Firstly, just so you don’t get me wrong I am someone who truly loves the grace of God. I owe my life to it. I’m 100% with you that we are not saved by works and we are no longer under law. I think some of your articles are fantastic and what a lot of people need to hear. Legalism is a terrible thing. Something that Paul fought very hard against (letter to the Galatians and his confrontation with Peter). He also fought equally hard against “license”. Unfortunately I believe many well meaning Christians who have realized that legalism is terrible thing have come out of it (or had it taught to them) and gone to the other extreme.

    I believe that we need to have “BALANCE IN ALL THINGS” remembering that those who are legalistic seemingly serve a rather “strict”, severe, merciless, “joyless” God, while those at the “hyper-grace” end of the scale seemingly serve a God who is a kind of “good-times” merchant, freely accommodating lukewarmness and sin- one whom they need have little “fear” of at all. The truth lies in the BALANCE of both extremes.

    In Revelation 1 “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits (or sevenfold spirit) before his throne” That is a reference to Isaiah 11:2 “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of power,
    the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – 3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
    If the early church grew living in the fear of the Lord and if Jesus himself delighted in the fear of the Lord then why is it apparently absent from (or glossed over as a kind of reverence for God) from the “Grace message”? I’m just thinking aloud here.
    Thanks for your comments, really appreciate them. I’ll get to them soon, just got to run out and do a few things.
    Grace to you!
    MrX

  • MrX says:

    Hi Cornel,
    I wrote my first few comments in haste and I think we’ve misunderstood each other on a few points.
    MrX, do you go IN and OUT of Christ every time you sin and after you repent? Do you become unsaved then saved then unsaved again? No, I do not believe this because this is not the teaching of God’s word. I was merely writing in response to the question you raised about sin, I never mentioned salvation, but I guess it’s importance needs some discussion.
    Rom 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Aah Yes, I’ve often had this quoted as a kind of proof text for “Once saved always saved” There is one startling omission from the list – ourselves! The context is a situation in which disciples are under the pressures of “trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or sword” (Rom 8:35), but none of these will either separate them from Christ or overcome them. They will always be “more than conquerors” (Rom 8:37). That is an amazing claim – no Christian will ever go under? It is all based on the premise: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31). But what if we turn away from him and are therefore against ourselves? We must go back in the chapter to get the whole picture. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love [are loving, go on loving](in the Greek it is in the present continuous tense) him” (Rom 8:28). So there are conditions. More of these appear earlier still. “Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Rom 8:17, note Paul’s “if” and compare this verse with Philippians 3:10-11). Even before this he has warned his readers, that to live according to the “flesh” (i.e their sinful nature, as the NIV translates it) would lead to death; but if they deal ruthlessly with “the misdeeds of the body” they will enjoy the life and leading of the Spirit. That he saw a real possibility of believers letting the flesh rule their lives is confirmed by the similar passage in another letter (Gal 5). Can anyone imagine that believers living in this way would be “more than conquerors’ under pressure? The triumphant claims at the close of the chapter surely rest on the assumption that believers are controlled by the Spirit, whose mind is life and peace (Rom 8:6), led by the Spirit, enjoying the assurance of the Spirit (who “goes on testifying” that they are God’s children; Rom 8:16), praying in the Spirit (who intercedes “with groans that words cannot express’; Rom 8:26) All this is “life in the Spirit” is the background to the confident claims that reach such a climax in the final verses of the chapter. Can they be equally applied to believers living in the flesh, letting their old sinful get the upper hand of them? Can they still be confident that no-one and nothing else with get the upper hand of them? Other scriptures (notably the letters to the seven churches in Asia, Rev 2-3) suggest that if the internal battle is lost, the external conflict will also lead to defeat. The rich promises of this chapter assume that “you however, are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by Spirit if Spirit of God lives [is living, goes on living, lives continuously] in you. And if anyone does not have [is not having, has not gone on having] Spirit of Christ, he is not his’ (Rom 8:9; the definite article is missing all the way through in original Greek, emphasizing the power rather than the person of the Holy Spirit). This chapter is full of the word “if” (8 times in 9 verses). If these conditions are fulfilled, then the glorious affirmations follow. If these conditions were unconditional, it is inconceivable that they would be followed, later in the letter, by the unambiguous warning: “…provided that you continue in his [God’s] kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off” (Rom 11:22)
    Removing the lamp stand doesn’t mean you lose your salvation either. I never said it did. (The Lampstand is the church made quite clear in Rev 1)
    When Paul wrote to the Corinthians church about a certain man’s sin, he said to turn him over to satan to that his body might be destroyed and his spirit saved.
    1Co 5:4-5 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
    If his body is destroyed, he no longer has the ability to be the light of the world (Matt 5:14) because he would leave this world. Your body is the lamp stand, the light is Jesus. If your lamp stand gets removed, you go to heaven. That is why Paul said “so his spirit may be saved.” Having your lamp stand removed doesn’t have to mean you die either, it can also mean you are removed from the position where you shined. There are countless stories of ministers who fell into sin and they lost the positions from where they shone. Sin is never a good thing to do, I do not want people to sin.
    Dealing with the scandal of known incest, Paul urges the church to apply the ultimate sanction to this guilty “brother” (and therefore believer) – to “hand this man over to Satan, so that his body may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord” (5:5) His open and defiant sinning must be brought to an end, however drastic the means, not just for the sake of the gospel’s reputation but for his own redemption. If he is not stopped, he will reach the point of no return and lose his salvation. However distasteful it may seem to expose a brother to Satan’s work of disease and death, that is more that outweighed by consideration of his eternal destiny. If the church does not resort to this extreme form of discipline, this “brother” will be lost for all eternity. Better sick or dead than lost in hell. Later in the letter Paul returns to the scandal of sexual immorality in the church and asks the rhetorical question: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (6:9) From his listing of their past sins (“that is what some of you were”), it might be assumed that the “wicked” are sinners, not saints. But why should he say this in a letter to saints? Precisely because they have been slipping back into their old pagan ways, including visits to prostitutes (6:15-16). That Paul believed such “wicked” behaviour could forfeit a future place in the kingdom, even for believers, is confirmed by an even clearer use of the same wording in Gal (5)
    As for my obedience comment, I found it here:
    I think I misunderstood you here. From your writings I thought you were not referring to justification, but rather sanctification in terms of obedience. Of course Christ’s obedience to death bought us life, but saying that to be obedient to Jesus after we have come to know him is not really important as God is looking at Jesus’ obedience is a different story. So my apologies for misunderstanding you.
    Rom 5:19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
    Are you the one man who was obedient or are you part of the many who are made righteous because of His obedience?
    Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
    Were you saved by your own doing? By your own performance? The obedience Jesus spoke of was not the obedience to the law. It was the obedience to the faith.
    Act 6:7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith
    Rom 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
    Rom 16:26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith
    We are to be obedient, but to the faith. The law is not based on faith.
    Gal 3:12 But the law is not of faith

    Rom 3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
    Gal 2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
    If I may encourage you to take a closer look at just one of the letters Jesus wrote to his churches in Revelation 3
    1″To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
    These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
    Bearing in mind this is long after the cross, I’d say Jesus is pretty unhappy about their state “not soiled their clothes”. Quite a different picture you paint of Jesus just continually smiling down at us whether we sin or not. If language means anything then those who had soiled their clothes could have their names removed from the book of life. Also note the call to obey it (received and heard) and REPENT! The wonderful thing about Jesus is that he gives them time to change their ways. That is his mercy and grace, but note that he never forces us.
    If you look at the letters Jesus is very very concerned with a church that has lost it’s love and a lukewarm church.
    You are right by saying God gives grace to the humble. When we humble ourselves and realize we can’t do it ourselves, we give our lives to Christ and He gives us the grace by which we get saved. AMEN Agreed!
    Bless you brother!
    Bless you too!
    Please do not believe anything I write unless you can find it in your bible, but all I ask is that you search all the scripture.

    Grace to you!

  • Cornel says:

    Mr X

    I hear what you are saying, and I agree that modern church in many ways goes out of its way to make sin palpable. My stance is and will always be to any believer: Get clean, stay clean. If you mess up, Jesus is your advocate. Sin doesn’t stop God, it stops you.

    But I personally don’t like to argue to and fro trying to draw a line to judge who is saved who is not. That is not my job. The believer’s job description has not changed in over 2000 years: Preach the kingdom, heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead. I don’t have time to worry about every little thing a person does wrong. If I just keep myself busy revealing the goodness of God to people by healing, setting free and preaching GOOD NEWS, then people will change. The goodness of God draws men unto repentance (Rom 2:4). My job is to reveal the goodness and the goodness will bring about repentance.

    As for inheriting the Kingdom, you are right in saying wicked adulterous and immoral people can’t inherit it. But you stop being that person when you get saved. You are no longer the same person because you are a new creation. You might have to deal with some old habits, and thank God for the grace to change, but you inherit the kingdom based on a gift, not on your ability to get out of sin. If you could get out of sin yourself, Jesus wouldn’t have had to come down to get you out of it in the first place.

    Grace & Peace to you!

    Cornel

  • MrX says:

    Hi Cornel,

    Thanks again for your comments. I think we just about agree on most things, but most important of all we are brothers in Christ and it’s the same spirit that we share.

    May God bless you as you preach the Goodness of the kingdom and continue to set people free!

    Grace and peace to you!
    MrX

  • Ayman says:

    Hi Brothers,

    Dear Cornel, I heard about a man who died anc came back to life after 3 days, when the brothers in Christ were praying for him, this man was taken a visit by an angel into heaven and hell, in hell he saw a christian pastor being tormented in pain and this pastor was there because he stole money from the church and lied.

    this man who came back to life after 3 days, he died because of a car accident, and he also was a pastor and a preacher of the good news, the angel told him that if this was his last day on earth then he would go to hell, because he didn’t forgive his wife, while she was asking forgivness. God intended him to be returned to earth so that he may tell about that there is really heaven and hell, and hell is not made for human beings but for satan and his followers, and no man shall go there, and Christ came to save us.

    below is the link where is what I have mentioned above:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuWz2KaWdyA&feature=related

    you can watch the begining of the story:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OahMqJ-85o&feature=related

    Regards.

  • Cornel says:

    Hi Ayman,

    I also know of a man who died and came back to life after three days. His Name is Jesus. I like His opinion better than man’s. He said He dealt with my sins and I believe Him. Man’s experiences is not what determines truth, God determines truth. Mohammed was also visited by an angel and look what good that did. There are angels out there trying to pervert the gospel, test every spirit to see whether it is of God.

    Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

    1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    Regards,

    Cornel

  • Ayman says:

    I totally agree, that there are fallen angels who try to decieve human beings, and I do believe that we shall test them. by if you please watch the video you would know that.
    My master is Jesus, who is God’s word who came to us in flesh, died for my sins and rose from death in the third daym and sent the spirit of God to dwell in us.

    Dear Cornel, I don’t put man word above the word of jesus, or to be more accurate above the content jesus transmitted to us.

    In the word of God, there are stories about people who made miracles in the name of Jesus and then they were rejected by God, not because he didn’t accept their repentence.
    God is good all the time.
    Jesus died on the cross once and will not do it again, we were saved once and no need for more, but we should be algined in harmony with that truth.
    I am a student in the life. the student can teach and still can learn. I’m not well this is a bliever and he is sick therefor sickness is also for bleievers and such things.
    but man died and rose from dead, and in the story I didn’t find a satanic thing, based on the word of God.
    If you want to tell me a pastor can’t steal or lie, I say no , it can be and it’s by choice.
    And God is good, we have the chance to regret and ask forgivness and God will respond because he is good, and supplied the sacrifice.

  • Caleb says:

    Dear Cornel,

    You said the law is written on our hearts and minds and you do not need divine revelation to know you have done wrong.

    Are you saying it is impossible to sin without realizing it? If yes please explain.

    Even him writing the law on our mind and hearts is a way of revealing sin.

    I do not believe I live under the law anymore but rather relationship. I am no longer a criminal before a judge trying to avoid a consequence, but I still want to know what pleases and displeases him. “if you love me, you will obey my commands”. I don’t want to do right things because I’m scared of him, but I want to show love to him.

    When I do realize I’ve sinned I don’t feel guilty, but all the more joyous because of what Jesus has done.

  • Cornel says:

    Hey Caleb

    Awesome question! Of course you could ‘sin’ without knowing it. There are 613 laws in the Mosaic Laws, some very strange and very specific. Sin is defined by the law, so if you don’t know the law, you might unknowingly commit an act considered a sin by the law. But since sin is not counted where there is no law (Rom 5:13), and since you are no longer under law, you technically can’t sin because there is nothing defining sin and imputing it to you.

    1Jo 3:6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin.

    If you are in Christ, you do not sin. That doesn’t mean you wont do anything wrong, it just means the wrong you do is not imputed as sin.

    What are talking about doing, living a pleasing life, is living in such a way that your earthly condition comes as close as possible to your heavenly position. Doing good or bad doesn’t influence your standing before God, but constantly doing bad will severely influence your condition on earth.

    Sin is the seed of destruction in any person’s life, saved or not.

    Grace to you!

    Cornel

  • Caleb says:

    Ok that kind of make sense, but what is the difference between “bad” or “wrong” and sin? Is “bad” just sin that is already paid for? And how will I know what bad is without the law? Are the NT commands still considered the law?

    If I was doing something my girlfriend didn’t like, but didn’t realize it, wouldn’t I want her to tell me? Wouldn’t it be helpful if God told me when I am doing “bad” so that my earthly life could be as close to heavenly possible?

    Lastly why did John say “…but if anyone does sin” talking to “children”.

    Thanks I honestly do want to understand not just argue:)

  • Cornel says:

    Sin, bad, wrong, amoral, unlawful, transgression, iniquity, lawless whatever you want to call it is directly outside the will of God. Just because it is paid for doesn’t make it all right.

    If your girlfriend doesn’t communicate problems to you there is a lack of healthy communication between the two of you. God doesn’t need to tell you everything you are doing wrong, your own conscious will do that. But to live sin conscious is not good. You are to live Christ conscious.

    In my own opinion John was pointing to the completeness of Jesus’ sacrifice. Not only were your past sins forgiven, but even the ones you are yet to commit in the future. Some believe if you sin again after being saved you can lose your salvation. John just destroys that mindset by saying Jesus remains your advocate. He always fights for you and He always wins. So can we just go sin because Jesus is our advocate? Of course not, sin will always attract death and destruction to your life. Sin will always be outside the will of God. You can be in Christ, yet still act outside the will of God.

  • Mr X

    I wonder if you have considered what it would take for a Christian to lose their salvation? Let’s look at what happens AT salvation (there are many more, but here are just a few examples):

    1) Our sinful nature is removed (it is killed, crucified with Christ – Gal 2:20)
    2) We are placed IN Christ (John 17)
    3) The Spirit is given to dwell in us
    4) We are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph 2:6)
    5) We are forgiven all our sins
    6) We are given SON status
    7) Our names are written in the Book of life

    Now for a Christian to lose their salvation, the following needs to happen:
    1) God has to resurrect our dead, sinful nature and place it back inside us (this in itself poses a problem because the Holy Spirit cannot live in the same place as sin – God and sin cannot co-exist!)
    2) God has to tear us out of Christ
    3) God has to take back His Spirit
    4) We are kicked out of heaven (if God somehow failed to tear us out of Christ previously, He now has to kick His own Son out of Heaven as well, because we are IN Him)
    5) God now has to go against His promise to forget all our sin, and dig them all back up, pondering about them ALL one by one
    6) God has to revoke our position as His own children
    7) God has to blot our names out from the book of life (just to write it back in and repeat all the above steps when we confess our sin).

    Sounds rather crazy doesn’t it??

    Read this awesome article from our other friend’s website, entitled “Does God use a correction pen?”
    http://escapetoreality.org/2010/12/08/revelations-35/

  • C says:

    It’s a lot more clear to me the shame that I’ve felt for feeling like a lowly sinner and walking in the consciousness of sin even though I’ve been forgiven. Living righteousness conscious is much better. I’m reminded though that grace isn’t an excuse to sin (Rom 6:1). Thanks.

  • Felesia says:

    Hi Cornel, I was reading your article and what my understanding of being Convicted is for example: If Im a christian and I know Im not walking inwhat the word of God says like Im a chistian and Im living and Adulturous lifesyle with a married man and the bible says Do not commit adultry and Im still going to church every sunday singing praises to God and my spirit convicts me that Im doing wrong and I need to change it. That’s what my understanding of being Convicted by the holy spirit. What’s your insight

    • Cornel says:

      Hi Felesia

      That is what is generally taught as conviction yes. But I would rather say it is your conscience, not your spirit nor the Holy Spirit that does the convicting. The law is the knowledge of sin. Your mind has knowledge of the law, therefor through your conscience (which is in your mind), the law will bring the knowledge of sin. But even so we are told this in Heb 10:22:

      Hbr 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

      If your conscience is constantly focussed on sin, you will not feel worthy to draw near to God in full assurance to worship in the first place. If your conviction brings with it guilt and condemnation, then it should set off warning bells in your spirit. What the Holy Spirit does convict you off however is how righteous your are in Christ. He is focussed on what you have become. Jesus already dealt with who you were. The Holy Spirit is there to help point you to who you are, not who you were.

  • Rhonda says:

    The Holy Spirit can not work against the finished work of Jesus. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He washed all our sins away – past – present – and future. So how then can the Holy Spirit get by with pointing out something that Jesus has already washed away? Hallelujah, I am forever perfected by my Lord. The Holy Spirit comforts me and convicts me of my righteousness in Christ. He does not convict me of my sins. I do that pretty well good enough myself. But I am learning. Thank you for this message. God bless you always.

  • sharpb3 says:

    Greetings!
    Out of my curiosity and desire for growth, how would/could Christ declare to five of the seven Churches in the Book of Revelation that He had “somewhat against” them and then proceed to point out their errors , as well as instruct them to repent, if He saw them under His blood as flawless? Also, what about the errors of the believers that Apostle Paul specifically called out? I would greatly appreciate feedback because I am a firm believer in God’s grace, but these questions have me hungering for more understanding. Thank you for your time and may God bless you!

    • Cornel says:

      Hi

      I understand those questions, and to answer them all in a comment would take pages and pages of writing. Instead, I am compiling a list of article links for further reading regarding the churches in Revelations. Also, the difference between conviction of sin and correction of destructive behavior are two very different things in my opinion. Conviction of sin involves condemnation and guilt because it carries a punishment. The other has no condemnation and carries no punishment because it involves growth and transformation in love.

      There is a difference between seeing a beggar and pointing out all his faults, shortcomings and filthiness, or taking that beggar and turning him into a king. Becoming a king is a one step process, learning to be a king is a life long journey.

      Grace to you!

      Cornel

      Understanding The Churches of Revelations

  • sharpb3 says:

    Thank you for your speedy response! I appreciate the wisdom and I will check out the link that you have provided. And yes, I do agree that correction unto righteousness and conviction unto condemnation are two separate things. Even as Paul instructed in 2 Timothy 4:2 –”Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” This, of course, being to bring about edification to life, rather than condemnation unto death. Once again, thank you, and may God abundantly bless you.

  • sharpb3 says:

    On a slightly different note, although I think I may have an understanding to some extent of 1John 2: 3-6, I would like more knowledge and understanding concerning these Scriptures. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. ”
    Thank you once again for your time and may God bless you!

    • Cornel says:

      Perhaps compare them with these verses:

      Jhn 6:28-29 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

      Jhn 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

  • Nathan says:

    Hi Cornel,

    I am wondering about the verses below…

    8And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

    Jesus said the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. I realize that in the next verse he says “you” when explaining who is convicted of righteousness, but if there absolute evidence that “world” refers to unbelievers and not to the human race as a whole of which “you” are a part? In my study of the Greek word “kosmos”, its meaning can apply to sinners, but it can also apply to the human race.

    If this were the case, it would be accurate to say that the Holy Spirit convicts both the believer and the unbeliever of sin, righteousness, and of judgment (for different reasons, of course). Any thoughts?

    • Cornel says:

      Hi Nathan,

      Does this help?

      John 15:18-19 (NKJV)
      18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

  • Geoffzie says:

    Cornel, have you ever read the last words of Jesus to His church … the letters to the seven churches?

    Rev. 2:20; “But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit fornication and eat things sacrificed to idols.”
    Rev. 2:21; “And I gave her time so that she might repent, and she does not wish to repent of her fornication.”
    Rev. 2:22; “Behold, I am casting her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, if they do not repent of her works.”
    Rev. 2:23; “I will kill her children by death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”

    Sounds like there are some pretty serious consequences for lack of repentance … even AFTER salvation! … therefore, even AFTER salvation, there MUST be conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life.

    The last words of anyone, always take precedence … over all the words that were spoken prior.

    • Cornel says:

      There must be conviction? Why? You don’t need to be shown what is wrong in order to do the opposite right. Sure you can learn that way, but it is not the best way. I look at Jesus to see right and imitate that. (1 Cor 11:1)

      As for repentance, I have no problem with it, even post salvation. But repentance means changing your mind. Repentance is not a change in behavior. That is called bearing fruit keeping with repentance. If there is any true repentance needed, it from the law. Repent of unbelief in trying to gain self-righteousness and live in faith towards Christ’s finished work.

      As for Jezebel, she was one who stood for antinomianism, which is a total disregard for the law. Do whatever you want, live whatever way you want. That is not my message. That is not Christ’s message. There are some who live like that, who follow her deception. Jude 1:4 says that they were not saved to begin with. Why? Because they also live in unbelief.

      If there were a commandment that could have given life, surely righteousness would have been by the law. – Gal 3:21. No amount of law abiding can impart life. Only faith.

      As for Jesus’ last words, he is not dead. He speaks to me everyday. He will never utter a last word, for he is the Eternal Word.

    • Cornel says:

      There must be conviction? Why? You don’t need to be shown what is wrong in order to do the opposite right. Sure, you can learn that way, but it is not the best way. I look at Jesus to see right and imitate that. (1 Cor 11:1)

      As for repentance, I have no problem with it, even post salvation. But repentance means changing your mind. Repentance is not a change in behavior. That is called bearing fruit keeping with repentance. If there is any true repentance needed, it from the law. Repent of unbelief in trying to gain self-righteousness and live in faith towards Christ’s finished work.

      As for Jezebel, she was one who stood for antinomianism, which is a total disregard for the law. Do whatever you want, live whatever way you want. That is not my message. That is not Christ’s message. There are some who live like that, who follow her deception. Jude 1:4 says that they were not saved to begin with. Why? Because they also live in unbelief.

      If there were a commandment that could have given life, surely righteousness would have been by the law. – Gal 3:21. No amount of law abiding can impart life. Only faith.

      As for Jesus’ last words, he is not dead. He speaks to me everyday. He will never utter a last word, for he is the Eternal Word.

  • Geoffzie says:

    Cornel, my point was that the word “repent” is used 12 times (NKJV) in the letters to the seven churches … and these letters were to His own church, not pretenders. Jesus would not have required an unbeliever to repent from wrong conduct … He would have first required him to be saved.

    If Jesus was requiring repentance … then there HAD to FIRST be conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. To say that there was no conviction of sin … would be to say that Jesus was requiring them to repent in their own strength … a work of the flesh.

    So your statement that “Jesus would never convict a believer of wrongdoing” … clearly doesn’t hold water according to the letters to the seven churches.

  • Sharpb3 says:

    What is your interpretation of James 5:9, “Don’t grumble against each other, BROTHERS, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”?

    Also with James 5:15 &16, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he WILL be forgiven (by God, or the congregation?). Therefore confess your sins (faults) to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

    Thank you for your input-God bless!

    • Cornel says:

      James writes a lot on how to properly treat people. It is not good to grumble against believers, because where there is strife there is every evil work. (James 3:16).

      James 5:15-16 is also about interpersonal relationships. Confession here is one to another, not one to God. If I have wronged a brother, my relationship with that brother is not good. If I go to him to tell him in order to right the wrong, our relationship can be healed/restored.

      Just because the Holy Spirit does not convict us of sins, does not mean we are completely unaware of sin. We can distinguish right from wrong pretty well if we are honest with ourselves. Sin destroys believers and unbelievers alike. But when it is brought to light by GRACE, it can be dealt with. God’s grace teaches us to say no to sin (Tit 2:11-12) and he uses his Spirit and Word to teach us. Condemnation and judgment is not part of his instruction method or teaching arsenal.

  • Larry says:

    The comments are great.As for conviction he convicts us of unbeilef In rev there was a lot of falling away and worship of idols and they needed to repent of it just like we are to turn away.I am saved by grace thru faith not of works lest i should boast.Its all the Lord he even gives me strength to setve him and furnishs the faith to belive.I have changed by reading the Bible nd having the power of the word im me he has changed me a lot.Repent means to turn or chsnge ur mind the word changes my mind.

  • Cindy DeGroot says:

    As usual, another great article, Cornel! Thanks so much for explaining so well by the Word. I have a few friends that are always in my face about this very issue, and you have helped me now by making it all so plain and simple…thank you!

  • Nathan says:

    Hi Cornel,

    I looked up the Greek word used in John 16:8 for “convict”. It is #1651 in Strong’s concordance. I wanted to see where else it appears in the New Testament and discovered that it is used in Heb. 12:5. In this verse it is translated into English as “rebuked” (NKJV).

    5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked (SC1651) by Him;

    6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.

    7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

    8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

    As you can see from the context, this passage of scripture is addressed to sons. Unbelievers are not sons of God, so I can only come to the conclusion that God convicts/rebukes both unbelievers and believers – those who who are not yet sons and those who have become sons through placing faith in Christ.

    This passage explains that God’s goal in all this is not to condemn us for when we miss the mark but rather to see us conformed to the image of His Son. Both in the case of the believer and the unbeliever this conviction/rebuke is an expression of the Father’s love for us. As many as Jesus loves He rebukes/convicts (SC1651) as He says in Rev. 3:19. He makes this statement to His church after He has just rebuked them for their sin of lukewarmness. Then at the end of the chapter (Rev. 3:22) He says “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Attributing the messages to the Holy Spirit.

    So in Heb. 12:5 we see that God the Father convicts/rebukes us as sons (we only need rebuking when we miss the mark – sin). In Rev. 3:19 we see that Jesus convicts/rebukes His church for missing the mark – sinning – by allowing themselves to get into pride and lukewarmness. In Rev. 3:22 we see that the Holy Spirit also convict/rebukes the church, since Jesus says the messages that preceded were messages from the Spirit to the churches.

    This makes sense of course since the Spirit only speaks what He hears Jesus say (John 16:13-15) and Jesus only speaks what He hears from His Father (John 14:10; John 8:28).

    • Cornel says:

      I agree that God corrects us without condemnation. But I stand by the fact that God does not convict us of sins. Why? Because sin is not counted where there is no law. And for God to convict us of a sin means that He would have had to first place a law over us identifying that action as a sin.

      God can and does correct without conviction of sin. I see it as God coming to make homeless dirty beggars into kings. He doesn’t have to point out everything that is wrong with the beggar to do that, because that doesn’t help the beggar. What the beggar needs is somebody that can show him how to be a king. There is a huge difference between correcting and teaching you how to act like son of God and just pointing out all the mistakes you’re making while learning.

  • Geoffzie says:

    Thank you Nathan … I was just thinking the same thing. That the Letters to the 7 Churches were the words of the Holy Spirit Himself based upon Rev. 2:29! Therefore, the Holy Spirit DOES “reprove” us of our sins!

    Rev. 2:29; “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

    And you’re also right Nathan, that the word “convict” is all through the New Testament, but in different word forms. Actually, the word “convict” doesn’t even exist in the KJV Bible … they use the word “reprove” in John 16:8 …

    G1651 – ἐλέγχω – elegchō – el-eng’-kho
    Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: – convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.

    Cornel, you said,

    “But I stand by the fact that God does not convict us of sins. Why? Because sin is not counted where there is no law. And for God to convict us of a sin means that He would have had to first place a law over us identifying that action as a sin.”

    But is it true that there is no law? Jesus Himself said this …

    Matt. 5:17; “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
    Matt. 5:18; “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
    Matt. 5:19; “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Clearly, Jesus is saying here, that the law exists for believers …why? … because in verse 5:19 He says they will be in “the Kingdom of Heaven”. And for how long will the law exist? … until Heaven and Earth pass away (verse 5:18). I don’t think that’s occurred yet.

    So WHERE is the law under the New Covenant? … you already stated that it’s “written upon our minds and hearts”.

    How else could Jesus say in Matthew 7:22-23 …

    Matt. 7:22; “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”
    Matt. 7:23; “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that practice lawlessness (without law).”

    God would be very unjust if He judged Christians for sin (which He clearly does in the 7 Letters) … if He hadn’t first “convicted” us of those same sins by the Holy Spirit living within us. Even within a court of law, there must first be a law to break, before there can be a judgment against the “law-breaker”.

    How is the unbeliever “convicted” by the Holy Spirit? … through the preached Word. And how was the believer within the seven churches “convicted” by the Holy Spirit? … the same way … through the preached word of those seven letters.

    To say that the very Spirit of the living God who dwells within every Christian … who knows the very heartbeat of God … would remain completely silent as He sees us falling into temptation or sin … would be a travesty.

    • Cornel says:

      Hi Geoffzie

      The law does exist, but we are not under the law covenant and thus not bound by it’s curse of death. Jesus did fulfil the law, it’s finished.

      2Cr 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

      The law actually increases sin and makes sin more sinful! So what you are proposing will result in more sin in a person life, not less.

      1Cr 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.

      Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

      Rom 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

      Rom 7:8-9 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

      Below are 8 verses that say God has forgotten about your sin and doesn’t relate to us based on them. If He is convicting you, it means He lied about forgetting, 8 times no less.

      Isa 43:25, Jer 31:34, Jer 33:8, Rom 4:7-8, Hbr 8:12, Hbr 10:17, 2Cr 5:17-19, Psa 103:10.

      Then of course there is God swearing an oath by Himself, check this out:

      Isa 54:9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.

      When you point out a person’s sin, they feel condemned and their focus is the sin. They then start to wrestle with it trying to overcome something Jesus already overcame on their behalf. But when you convict a person of their value in God’s eyes, they realize that they are living far below what they should and they mostly get free from sin effortlessly and without struggle because their focus is now on Jesus and sin.

      The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ, not the bad news of sin.

      You can make the scriptures say anything you want with right or wrong context. But you search the scriptures for in them you think you have life. But they are merely pointing to Jesus. If you’re not pointing to Jesus, you’re not preaching the gospel. If you’re pointing to sin, you’re not pointing to Jesus.

  • Geoffzie says:

    Cornel, you said …

    “When you point out a person’s sin, they feel condemned and their focus is the sin. They then start to wrestle with it trying to overcome something Jesus already overcame on their behalf. But when you convict a person of their value in God’s eyes, they realize that they are living far below what they should and they mostly get free from sin effortlessly and without struggle because their focus is now on Jesus and (not?) sin.”

    Stop and think about your statement. If you feel YOUR way is the best way to make disciples … then why is it that Jesus did the very thing you said we SHOULDN’T DO in the 7 Letters … to point out their sin … as His LAST words in scripture to His own church!

    Why didn’t Jesus say instead, “Now boys, I just want to say, don’t focus on all the sins you’re committing against Me right now … instead just focus on Me! Sure, I know you’re committing sexual immorality … I know you tolerate false doctrine, and tolerate that woman Jezebel … and sure, maybe you’ve left your first love and you’re lukewarm … but it’s OK … “you’re good” with Me!

    Don’t you think Jesus should know what’s best for His own church? And don’t you see the fallacy in what you’re presenting as “Truth”?

    • Cornel says:

      The difference for me is the difference between falling short of the glory, and falling in he glory. One is a sin, the other not. Can I do something wrong? Of course. Is it a sin? Only if I’m under a law that defines it as such, but I’m not. So since I am not under law, I don’t see Jesus’ corrections (yes, I do believe He corrects, I never said He doesn’t) as conviction and condemnation designed to merely change my behaviour. I see it more as a ‘Son, look who you are and what you are, now act like it.’

      Also, your interpretation of Revelation’s letters and mine might not be very similar.

  • CJC says:

    Hey man, read the article, and have a few things in it that kinda bug me. I (after reading the comments+Your article) assume that you believe that once a person is saved, that there is no reason for them to need conviction of their sins that they commit. Correct? If not, I apologize. If so, I would like to ask you for your view on the Lord’s Prayer. In it, it says “”Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Now in this passage, it can be seen that Jesus is telling us to ask for forgiveness for our debts (sins). If the Holy Spirit didn’t convict us of our sins, then how would we be aware of what was wrong. I remember when I was younger that I would do things, and I would feel bad about it. I would then go and ask if doing such and such a thing was bad, to find out that it was. So, had it not been for the Holy Spirit’s convictino, I wouldn’t have known (for a while at least) that what I had been doing was bad. I am not saying that God looks at us and says “You evil, stupid, worthless person! Don’t you know you’ve sinned?!?” I am saying that I believe that the Holy Spirit lets us know when we do something that displeases Him. Now, since this is the internet (and I’ve had past experience with it) I’d like to say that I say this with all sincerity, I am not trying to be rude, or insulting, although it might seem this way. :)

    • Cornel says:

      The Bible clearly says in Romans that through the law is the knowledge of sin. Since the Holy Spirit is not the law, the knowledge of sin does not come through him. Can the knowledge of sin be beneficial? Of course. Because it shows you what an idiot your being, how and where you are hurting yourself and others and it can inspire you change your behaviour. All that can be accomplished without Christ. Salvation is not merely a change in behaviour, it is a change in nature. Don’t confuse morality for divinity. Is divinity moral? Yes. Is morality divine? Not so much.

      Jesus prayed that prayer before He died on the cross. That prayer has to be re-interpreted in light of His all-covering sacrifice of the cross, where He forgave all men of all their trespasses, especially they who don’t even know what they are doing. I forgive not according to Matt 6, I forgive according to how Christ forgave me. He forgave when I didn’t deserve it, when I didn’t ask for it and when I held His arm in place so my brother could drive a nail through His hand.

      I too can sound rude, but 99% of the time that is because people expect me to respond angrily for some reason, so even if I am not angry or offended in the least, they read my response in that tone and make their own preconceived conclusions about me. It happens.

      • CJC says:

        I do see where you are coming from. And, I respect your beliefs, since it isn’t a matter of salvation, I will not attempt to’push” (for the lack of a better word) my beliefs on this issue on you. :)

  • Steve Chab says:

    Cornel, this is a great post!

    I’ve been a believer for over 4 years now, and this is the first time I’ve learned that the Spirit only convicts the world of sin (not believers).

    Questions: if believers everywhere are deceived and attributing Satan’s work (the conviction of sin and the feeling of guilt in believers) to the Holy Spirit, then does that mean many believers are accidentally blaspheming the Holy Spirit? And blaspheming is unforgivable only if the blaspheme is deliberate, right? If someone doesn’t know any better, then can they still be forgiven? Paul was forgiven before he knew any better!

    Thanks,
    Steve

  • Geoffzie says:

    Cornel, basically what you’re teaching is a form of a heresy called “Antinomianism” … which means “against – law” … the word was coined by Martin Luther himself.

    It came to prominence after Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, when some took Luther’s teachings, and distorted them to say that under the New Covenant, we are under no moral law whatsoever … therefore we have no moral restraints. Martin Luther fought against Antinomianism in his latter years.

    Clearly, according to Jesus, the Law has not been done away with … but under the New Covenant, it is now written on our hearts and minds, not stone tablets. (Heb. 10:16)

    Matt. 5:17; “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”
    Matt. 5:18; “For assuredly I say to you, until heaven and earth may pass away, one jot or tittle shall by no means pass away from the law until all things are fulfilled.”

    (Clearly, Heaven and earth have NOT passed away yet … therefore, the Law has not passed away!)

    Matt. 5:19; “Whoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Clearly, the above verse applies to you … Since you’re teaching others that there is no moral Law for Christians!

    You’re views are somewhat confusing … on the one hand you agree that there should be obedience and repentance in the life of a believer … and yet on the other hand, you eliminate the very means that God uses to SHOW us our wrongs … the moral (internal) law, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit!

    • Cornel says:

      I am not against the law, I am very much for the law but only if used as purposed by God, which is to show man that Christ is the only hope of salvation. I am very much against the law if you mean performance righteousness or self-righteousness. I never said the law is done away with, I said it is fulfilled for those who accept Christ.

      The only law written on my heart is the law of faith. There are no 10 commandments written on my heart because God didn’t write the law of condemnation and death on my heart.

      Everything you quote regarding the law was said before the cross. The fulfilment the verses you quoted speak of happened at the cross. The cross changed everything.

      I’m not confused in the slightest.

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