Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Conviction and Condemnation

“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.  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” – John 3:18-21

There’s a fine line between being convicted of your sins and being condemned from your sins.  To put it in terms of this world, you can be convicted of murder, and found guilty.  At that point you can be condemned and punished for your sins, or you can be found justified and freed from your sins.  Spiritually, whether you are condemned or justified is based on how you respond to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 

For those that have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ, the conviction comes from the Holy Spirit.  We’re told in John 16:13 that when the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Truth” comes, he will guide us into all truth.  But what is that truth?  In verse 8-14 we are told that “He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  The ministry of the Holy Spirit is three fold, telling the truth about sin, righteousness, and judgment.

For those that do not believe in Jesus, the first truth He delivers is that we are faulty, we are sinners in need of a savior.  He speaks to the heart regarding the sin of unbelief.  He convinces and draws the unbeliever to God.  John 6:44 says that no one can come to God unless God draws him.  Once the conviction of being a sinner has been resolved, and the unbeliever believes in Christ for salvation, the remaining sins can be resolved. 

The second truth the Holy Spirit delivers is the truth of Jesus’ righteousness.  We are held to His standard, not to each other’s righteous standard.  It is a standard that we cannot achieve without the Holy Spirit’s guidance and intercession.  Romans 8:26-27 says “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  In our weakness we sin, but in His Holiness, He intercedes for us, and provides us with the truth that it is sin.  This is the teaching that is spoken of in John 6:45 says “and they shall be taught by God”.  It is also the teaching that we’re told to not grieve the Holy Spirit through disobedience (Isaiah 63:10, Ephesians 4:30).

Lastly, the Holy Spirit tells of the judgement to come.  That judgement will lead to unbeliever to condemnation.  But there is no condemnation to come for those that are in Christ Jesus, those who have put their faith in Him (Romans 8:1) and live by the guidance of the Spirit. But for those who have believed, the Holy Spirit is the seal of our redemption (Ephesians 4:30).  Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us that “having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession”.  Upon that judgment day, the Holy Spirit in us is the proof of our purchased justification through Jesus Christ. He bears witness that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16, 1 John 5:6).







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