The following question: “I know the Holy Spirit convicts the “unbeliever” of sin but does the Holy Spirit convict the “believer” of sin? If so can anyone tell me the verses?” resulted in this conversation.
Ronnie:Would that be john 16:8?
Louie: Ronnie you are on to something here-John 16:8-11 to be exact. But notice what it says, “he (the Spirit) will convict the world of sin…because of unbelief.” Did you catch that? The “world” because of “unbelief.” You see if you are a believer you’re not in unbelief, right? He goes on to say also “righteousness, because I go to my Father…” I believe the Holy Spirit convicts the unbelieving world of “sin’ but He convicts the believer of “righteousness.” What I mean is without the conviction of sin we can’t be saved, but once we are saved (we become a believer) we are made righteous…because Christ has gone to the Father. You see when a believer commits a sin the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus and reminds us we are righteous. He’ll say something like “My children don’t act like that.” In other words if we, as a righteous believer sins, the Holy Spirit will remind us who we are in Christ. Either way we stop sinning and turn our eyes to Jesus! But my point in this is the Holy Spirit convicts or convinces the believer of righteousness not sin. The Holy Spirit shows us who we really are, either “the sinful, unbelieving world,” or the “righteous believer.” That’s what He convinces us of.
Ronnie: Amen. Thank you for clarification. I am always learning everyday. You are a inspiration
Louie: Ronnie, You are welcome brother. It may sound a bit nit-picky sometimes but I think it’s an important distinction to see how God deals with us as an unbeliever is a bit different than how he deals with us as one of His own.
Tom:The Holy Spirit convicts of all sin, saved or not. Otherwise, there would be no conviction. Without the Spirit’s conviction, no one would be aware of their sin.
Louie: scripture please.
Tom: John 16:8 is a start Louie. If you know how to use it, you can find cross references from there. I’m really surprised you even have to ask the question. Even a casual reading of the New Testament will make it obvious that the only reason man is aware of his sin is the Holy Spirit. It’s an elementary principle.
Ronnie: Its the holy spirits task to convict us of sin
Mike: Looks like we’ve switched the Comforter for the Convictor without evidence….
Tom: Not true Mike, Louie…the Holy Spirit is the convictor and the comforter.
Tom: Try Roman Chapter 8…the entire chapter. That should make it clear what the Spirit’s job is. One of the best scriptures on this subject.
Louie: I don’t see where it says anywhere that the Spirit’s job is to convict the believer of sin. He is our advocate not accuser. We know who the accuser is and in Christ his accusations hold no water. “There is no condemnation for those in Christ!” According to the scriptures the Law (not the Spirit) was given to make us “shut our mouths and be declared guilty.” In Christ we are justified, sanctified, made righteous, holy and blameless. Like I said before, I do think the Holy Spirit convicts us as believers, but He convicts us by reminding us we’re righteous in Him. If we are acting in a manner that is out of bounds with our new nature in Christ, by sinning, the Holy Spirit reminds us by saying, “My children don’t act like that.” The enemy is the one who deceives us into sinning in the first place and then turns right around and accuses us. Thankfully God loves us like a Father.
Tom: Sorry Louie, Your understanding is wrong. The truth is there for you to see, but for some reason you don’t want to see it….and if you don’t, you won’t. The word teaches us that it is the Holy Spirit that brings us awareness of our sin and then moves us to repentance. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Regardless of your misunderstanding, the Spirit will continue to point out the sin that comes between you and the Lord and lead you to turn away from it and find victory. Keep on with your study of the word, he’ll show you when you are ready.
Mary: That scripture is addressed to unbelievers in need of salvation, not believers.
Mary: The Holy Spirit points the believer back to the finished work of the cross. “For by one offering He HAS sanctified them forever….” HEBREWS 10
Mike: Romans 8 is one of my favorite passages…read it once more after your comment. I still see Spirit as the encouraging counselor with no conviction anywhere. Our new nature as saintly ones, and the events outside our nature being unnatural to God’s righteous children, bring that uneasiness of fleshly indulgence with differing levels of repentance and eventual rest as the Holy Spirit eases, heals and comforts.
Louie: Amen Mike!
Tom: All of you, ask yourself this question….If it’s not the Holy Spirit, who is within you to reveal your sin and lead you away from it. I think you are confusing the terms “conviction” and “condemnation.” The Holy Spirit will never “condemn” you, but he will reveal your sin to you daily and lead you away from it But if it’s not him….who is it?
Tom: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”… and John wrote that to believers. The Holy Spirit’s presence within us is grieved when we sin…yes, sin as Christians…but he reminds of that sin – makes us aware (conviction) and leads us to Christ so we can ask forgiveness of those sins we commit daily. But you say it’s not the Holy Spirit that does that?…..then who is it?
Tom: You are to be commended for plumbing the depths of Biblical teaching….keep it up. But I’m really surprised you can make this kind of error. I’m just praying God will reveal to you how he is working in you – THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE BLOOD OF CHRIST…to give you victory daily over the “sin that so easily besets us.” I have confidence he will.
Barb: Folks you are all saying the same thing, you realize? This quote from Louie clarifies that you are: “You see when a believer commits a sin the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus and reminds us we are righteous. He’ll say something like “My children don’t act like that.” In other words if we, as a righteous believer sins, the Holy Spirit will remind us who we are in Christ. Either way we stop sinning and turn our eyes to Jesus! But my point in this is the Holy Spirit convicts or convinces the believer of righteousness not sin….Louie’ Back to me LOL….convicts/convinces what is the difference? It is just another way to look at what the Holy Spirit does…Holy Spirit DOES convince us that we are the Child of God and should not be sinning….therefore we are Convicted and repent…simple.
Louie: Wow! In the original question I asked if anyone could show me verses that showed the Holy Spirit convicts of sin for the “believer.” In John 16:8-10 Jesus clearly defines the answer to my inquiry. If you look at v.9 you will see the Holy Spirit convicts/convinces the world/unbeliever “of sin, because they don’t believe in me (Jesus).” I’m still waiting for even “one” verse about the Holy Spirit convicting or convincing the “believer” of sin. According to Romans 7:7 the Apostle Paul said the Law is what made sin known to him “I would not have come to know sin except through the Law…” Elsewhere Paul said, the Law was given in order to “shut our mouths, make us accountable and give the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20). So it seems to me the Law’s role is to show us sin but the unbeliever has to be convinced by the Spirit. Another thought is what’s up with the Spirit convicting of righteousness because Jesus goes to the Father? (John 16:10) Who needs convicting/convincing of righteousness?
Tom: If you don’t see that it’s the Holy Spirit that continues to convict us of sin and leads us away from it, you missed the whole point Louie. Keep studying…I’m sure the Spirit will lead you to see that his work is not finished in you just because you are a Christian. Ask yourself that question Louie, if it’s not the Holy Spirit…..WHO IS IT? It’s very simple.
Louie: Show me 1 verse then!
Louie: “the work” Jesus did is in fact finished! What he has for me to do before I die may not be but my salvation is in fact very finished!.
Louie: It seems to me when it comes to the unbeliever/world the Holy Spirit has to convince them they have sin. On the other hand, when it comes to the “believer” the Holy Spirit has to convince us we are righteous. Jesus did in fact make us righteous when He moved into us! But because of living for so long in unbelief, even after being born again it takes convincing from the Spirit to remind me.
Louie: Throughout John chapters 14-17 Jesus reveals the role of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will “teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you, He will testify about Me.” The scriptures seem to be saying to me that the Holy Spirit’s main function is to point us to Jesus not sin! In Hebrews 9-10 we discover the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ actually takes away the consciousness of sins, something the Old Covenant sacrifices could not do. In fact the scriptures say “they were a reminder of sins year by year” (Hebrews 10:4). In Hebrews 8:12 we read “I will remember their sins no more.” If God Himself isn’t going to remember them do you think He’s going to spend the time pointing them out to His children?.
Ron: After searching….the Spirit convicts the unbeliever and reminds the believer of their righteousness! As far as I know.
Tom: Here’s a good place to start Louie. From here you can find cross references: Hebrews Chapter 12: 6-10 (It concerns the punishing of Christian that fall into sin and what the Lord does to restore them through discipline. The Holy Spirit is NOT just a comforter. All Christians need to learn that.) I leave you to explore this on your own. Finding the answers for yourself is always far better than someone else relaying them to you.
Louie: Thanks Tom but I think this passage is making the same point I made in an earlier comment. If you start at v. 2 you see where we are instructed to “fix our eyes on Jesus” which is the Spirit’s main job, to point us to Christ not sin. Then if you look at v.7 you see “God deals with you as with sons…” The Holy Spirit reminds us who we are…”God’s son’s” i.e. “righteous” because Jesus goes to the Father (John 16:10). God’s goal is for us to be healed, or made whole, wouldn’t you agree? I am reminded of the story in Numbers 21 about the serpents that bit the Children of Israel. The only way they could be healed was if they looked to the serpent on the pole. Of course we know that’s a picture of Jesus on the cross, right? You see we have to look away from the bite (sin) in order to be healed! Jesus did in fact “become sin so we could become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Some refused to look to the serpent on the pole and died.