So, I wanted to go a little deeper in this post, if I can, although I will probably repeat a lot of what I already shared in part 1, on why I don't believe the Holy Spirit convicts me of my sin. You may want to read the original post first.
Here I will mention some of the arguments I have received in light of this question. One person's thoughts were in light of how Paul brought sharp correction to the churches. They believed that since Paul did this that they believed the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write as an instrument of grace to point out sin and bring restoration. So therefore the Holy Spirit also convicts us of our sin. The two are not the same, which I will address later in this post.
Another thought someone had on why the Holy Spirit convicts of us of sin, is the verse in Rev. 3, where is says, "those whom I love I rebuke and discipline", as well as Prov. 3:12, and Heb. 12:6. (Again, not the same as convict.)
Another commenter went so far as to compose his very own parable to help explain why the Holy Spirit convicts believers of sin. His point, I think, was we need the Holy Spirit to show us our sins so we can confess them and then be forgiven. He seems to think we need to be guilty of sin, so we can know we need to be forgiven. Hmm....I guess he doesn't realize he's already forgiven, for all his sins past, present and future. When we realize we are forgiven, we will see there is no need for confession of sins again and again. Since we are new creations and have the very life of Christ dwelling within us, we can walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. When we walk by the flesh we may not see our sin the same way we would if we were walking by the Spirit. It all begins with a mindset and having our minds renewed with the truth of the gospel. So when we do sin or mess up, we may feel a sadness, but not guilt, and say, "Lord, I messed up, I don't want to do that, please help me!" And help he will! It's when we realize we can't do it apart from him, and thankfully we don't have to, that we will want to live right!!
Yet another comment came, that I think was close, but no straw, shared this,"the Holy Spirit is Holy God who abides within us as His Holy of Holies", true, but he goes on to say.....just by His very presence we will be "convicted" of the sin in our lives. (I think he meant what I am trying to say, instead of convicted of sin however, it should say he will lead us into all truth. Which means he is the one guiding and transforming us, because He has taken up residence within us and His life will have to flow out....) He also concluded with this statement, "Jesus bore our shame and guilt on Calvary but we do need to pursue righteousness." There's that phrase, that makes me want to scream,....."we need to pursue righteousness." Doesn't that miss the whole point of the Gospel right there?? As if the cross was not enough! We can't pursue (as in work out), our righteousness, Christ IS our righteousness. What he should have said is, pursue knowing Jesus (or yield to the Christ life within) and get a revelation of our gift of righteousness!!!
So, here's a few of my thoughts on this whole thing. First, let me state, I do not believe "correct", "rebuke" or "discipline" are the same as convict. Convict means to prove or declare guilty of an offense, or, to impress with a sense of guilt. Conviction, however, means a fixed or firm belief, or assurance and a synonym for it is belief.
Correcting can be done without shaming someone, or making them feel guilty. Correcting can simply be showing the truth or what is right, without shaming someone and pointing out their faults. (It's ashame we are all probably more familiar with bad examples of human correction!)
Discipline, or discipling, is best seen displayed in how Jesus related with his disciples, teaching them, telling them parables and modeling walking in the will of the Father. Many believe discipline is associated with punishment, because many of us were brought up being "disciplined" punitively. (that's a whole different discussion for another time!)
Rebuking, this is where the example of Paul with the church comes in. Yes, it means to reprove, sternly or sharply bringing about conviction. (remember convict and conviction do not have the same meaning.) But, nowhere does it say specifically that any of the above means of correcting, rebuking or disciplining are the same as convicting one of sin.
In Revelation 3, which was brought up by one commenter as an argument of why the Holy Spirit must indeed convict us, the words rebuke and discipline are used. First of all, these words do not mean the same thing as convict, and second, does this passage even apply to all those who are in Christ? Let's take a look. Revelation 3. It looks as though this passage is directly addressed to the church in Laodicea. The Laodicean church is getting rebuked for being lukewarm, another way to say that would be, to go back under the law and rejecting the finished work of the cross by trying to live through performance. That is another way to say they were in unbelief. God would rather us be under law completely, which obviously would lead us to grace since no one but Jesus can perfectly fulfill the law. Or under his pure grace completely- Jesus plus nothing - only believe. But not a mixture of the two. So, I do not believe that was a good Scripture to use to try and prove that those in Christ, are convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit.
So, you may be wondering why all the clarifications..........well, I think it's very important to be as clear as possible, especially if we are talking about being made to feel guilty or shamed by the Holy Spirit for our sins. Let me ask you this, how do you feel when you are guilty? Or should I use the word shame or ashamed? What is it like to have a sense of guilt or condemnation?
Let's not forget Romans 8!There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ! NONE! If convict, shame, guilt, and condemned are all synonymous, then when we say the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we are contradicting the truth of God's very Word! Not one speck of condemnation should ever come to a believer! The sad reality is it does come, and it comes due to wrong believing. The church often does not preach a pure gospel. It teaches a mixture, confusion, yin and yang, yoyo -CONFUSION! We hear preaching that teaches us it is by grace we have been saved, Hallelujah, Praise Jesus, but after we are saved somehow we have to work on ourselves, and pursue our own righteousness. THIS IS NOT THE GOSPEL! Was the work finished or not?! This is a half false gospel, one that Paul rebuked the Galatians for and told them they were under a curse and should be eternally condemned for doing so!!
If God is not counting my sins against me, and He is not a fault finding husband, like the law was when we were under it, then why would He give us the Holy Spirit to then come and find our faults and point out our sins to us? He already removed our sins as far as the east is from the west, right? His word says, "their sins and their lawless acts, I will remember no more." If He is not remembering them, then how can the Holy Spirit be pointing them out to us? The Holy Spirit, in the life of a believer, points us to Jesus, and His perfect righteousness, which we have now been given as a gift. If the Holy Spirit is to point out our sin to us, he would be causing us to shift our focus onto our selves, and away from Jesus, His finished work, and perfect righteousness.
If we are hearing a voice that is convicting us when we sin, or is pointing out our faults, we are hearing the enemy trying to get our eyes off of Jesus and cause us to fall into condemnation. Think about this, when someone is on trial and they are found guilty, they are accused or convicted of the crime. When you sense you are guilty of sin, you are being accused and it is not the Holy Spirit accusing you. It is the accuser of the brethren that brings you those convicting thoughts about your sin. God does not find you guilty, he finds you free and clear of any charge because he has justified you through the blood of Christ.
I think it is very important to see these distinctions and truths and embrace them. I think it is crucial to clear up the confusion behind this question of, does the Holy Spirit convict us of our sin? Simply because if we can't see the purity of the Holy Spirit, the comfort He brings to us through leading us into all truth, and the truth of how we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, we will not so quickly long for the Spirit in our lives. And we most certainly do not want to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit will never condemn us. Rather, He will come to us in gentle love and release a wooing to draw us to turn to Him and accept His correction. He will convince us, and lead us into truth persistently and persuasively, but not with any sense of guilt or shame. Remember God is infinitely patient, and full of loving kindness and will relentlessly pursue us. He is in the business of shaping, molding and perfecting us, but it is always done in love. He is the One who will transform and purify us and we can respond. Apart from His loving pursuit of us, we could never pursue Him or righteousness. It is all His initiative!!
It is very important when reading the Scriptures, to read with a Gospel focus. If something doesn't line up with the truth of the Gospel, then you must dig deeper than the surface and find out how it fits with the truth of the Gospel. I suppose I could go on, but I hope this speaks to those who are convinced that God wants them to have shame, because in essence that is what you are saying when you argue that the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin!! Kind of takes away from the really good news, don't you think!