June 23, 2016

Holy Spirit, Convictor of Sin

John 16:7-11

“When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.”

—  John 16:8

No one wants to stand in court and hear the words “Guilty as charged” spoken to them. No one wants to be convicted.

And yet convicting or proving guilty is one of the important tasks of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit convicts us of our sins. Although we know in our hearts that we rebel against God, we often have a hard time admitting our sin. Unless the Holy Spirit works in our hearts, we don’t fully know our utter unworthiness before God. The good news is that after he has convicted us, the Holy Spirit plants faith in our hearts to recognize Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord!

Jesus indicates that the Spirit’s convicting work focuses not just on believers but also on the world. The powers, the principalities, the systems, the cultures, the governments of this world are also in rebellion against God. And the Spirit is in the world convicting rebels of their rebellion.

So there’s good news and bad news in the work of the Spirit. The good news is that the Holy Spirit is at work in us and in the world, and that through a change of heart people can be renewed. People come to know Jesus through this convicting work. The bad news, sadly, is that people who continue to reject the Holy Spirit ultimately remain under God’s judgment.

In what ways do you sense the Holy Spirit working in you?

Holy Spirit, convict us of our sin and rebellion against God, so that we may be saved in Christ to live fully in love and service to God in his world. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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