Category Archives: confession

The Holy Spirit Doesn’t Convict Christians of SIN?! (Part 2 of 2)

We saw in a previous post that some Christians don’t believe the Holy Spirit convicts believers of sin.  One FirefoxScreenSnapz509author says that such a “ministry” of the Spirit would contradict God’s assurance of our salvation and His declaration that He has forgotten our transgressions.  His article can be read here.

Here are some thoughts that come to me in response:

1.  First of all, I hope the Holy Spirit doesn’t look  FirefoxScreenSnapz510like the man in the picture with the angry look and his finger pointing in my face!

2.  Second, what about texts that teach that we can grieve the Spirit of God (Eph. 4:30)?  When I grieve another person, the first step in restoring our relationship is my apologizing to that person.  This assumes that I feel convicted about what I have done or said.

3.  Does this writer believe that Christians no longer need to repent of any sins?  It appears to me that I John is partially written to remind believers that they have to constantly deal with sin in their lives, confess their sins (not for salvation, but for cleansing and power), and move on in God’s gracious forgiveness.  I certainly agree with FirefoxScreenSnapz511the writer that “God is not keeping score of our sins” in the sense of an angry Judge, but will we not have to give an account of how we lived our lives at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10)?  To say that there is absolutely no judgment for Christians is not true Scripturally.

4.  Doesn’t our everyday experience show us that we feel badly when we have mistreated our spouse, been unkind to a neighbor, lusted in our hearts, wasted our time, etc.?  Where does that feeling bad come from if not the Spirit of God?  Is it only our conscience?  But who directs and molds our consciences?

5.  I agree that some Christians can live in “constant conviction of wrongdoing.”  But that’s where repentance and confession come in.  The Spirit of God moves us to acknowledge our sin, turn away from our sin, and then live in the freedom and forgiveness we are offered as children of the King.  To say that Christians don’t need the convicting work of the Spirit of God once they are in God’s family implies either that our sins don’t matter to a holy God or that we no longer sin.

6.  Is it possible that the texts about the Spirit’s work of conviction are purposely given to show His work in evangelism and missions, rather than the on-going Christian life?  An argument from silence — that there are no explicit passages about His convicting ministry to the believer — is not a very strong argument.

7.  Is the Spirit’s ministry to the believer only a positive one, reminding us of our Sonship, comforting our hearts, leading and gifting us in our service?  On the human level, isn’t there a place for confrontation, appeal, repentance, confession, restoration?

FirefoxScreenSnapz512Some who are persuaded of this man’s view — that the Spirit does not convict believers of their sins — might say, “So, there is therefore not only no more condemnation, but also no more conviction?”  Is this how we live normal life?  What would happen to a marriage if there were no longer any apologies, repentance, regret, all leading to a change of behavior?

It might be fair to say that the convicting work of the Spirit of God in the life of the believer is more an assumption than an explicit teaching of the Word of God.  But it seems to be a reasonable assumption:  Do we not assume that He works with us, showing us what needs to change in our lives, making us more like the Son?


1.  Has the Spirit of God convicted you of a sin recently? Why or why not?

2.  The term “Comforter” used of the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus in John chapter 14-16 can involve the idea of loving confrontation.  Sometimes the last thing I need is comfort.  How about you?


Posted by on May 8, 2014 in confession


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The Holy Spirit Doesn’t Convict Christians of Sin?!

This is Part 5 in our five-part series on theologically quenching the Spirit of God.   FirefoxScreenSnapz483We saw in our 1st post that we may theologically quench the Spirit of God when we fail to be Berean believers.  In Part 2 we pointed out that we quench the Spirit when we don’t listen to His speaking to us through other believers.  We then noticed that we quench the Spirit  when we confuse our impressions with the Spirit’s speaking through the Word.  In Part 4 we suggested that when we don’t test all that we hear by the Spirit’s primary tool, the Word of God, we quench the Spirit.

The fifth way we may theologically quench the Spirit of God is when —


The Bible teaches that the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, has a variety of ministries to the believer in Christ.  Let’s briefly think about one of these.  (Part 1 of 2 parts)

CONVICTION OF SIN:  Jesus said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16).

One writer argues vehemently against the idea of the Holy Spirit convicting the believer of sin:  He says,

“This is obviously a highly sensitive subject, but a very important one. FirefoxScreenSnapz484Your 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.”  This writer goes on to say (after looking at a number of Scriptures):

“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. FirefoxScreenSnapz485Lastly, 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!”  {You may read his full article here}. (to be continued)


1.  What do you think of this writer’s perspective?

2.  How would you prove from the Scriptures that the Spirit does indeed convict the believer of sin?



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Posted by on May 6, 2014 in confession