October 15, 2013

Conviction or Guilt

If you’re a believer, you can never sin successfully again. Whenever I sin, I feel miserable. The Holy Spirit makes me feel miserable until I confess that sin and receive that forgiveness and return to commune with God.

In John 16:7-9 Jesus tells his disciples, “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 go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me.”

Conviction is very different from guilt. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit and because He loves us He makes us feel miserable in order to turn us from our sin. So the goal is restoration with God. But, guilt can destroy us. Some of you are feeling guilty and weighed down over a sin you’ve already confessed to God. That guilt is not from God, it is from the devil because he wants to destroy your life. “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.'” Revelation 12:10. Satan continues to accuse believers even though in Christ we are blameless. The Holy Spirit convicts, so we can turn and receive forgiveness and be cleansed and go on our way whole again. I’m thankful for conviction, but guilt is often a weapon of the enemy.

Hebrews 10:22 says, “…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”