Question, how many of us are under conviction? Answer, if we are a believer, then none of us. Ahhh what is this heretical non sense then? Possibly you had a thought along those lines, possibly not. What I love about Christianity is how we dogmatically hold to some things, but then others blindly follow them. Maybe it stems traditions, concepts, ideologies, whatever the case, I am sure somewhere in all of our lines of thinking there are thoughts or habits we have just went with and never questioned.
About a month ago a friend from the Bible study I participate in emailed me in regards to his hang ups over the concept of conviction. Unable to turn down a challenge I decided to undertake the task of learning about it a bit further. As I began to study conviction by the Holy Spirit in regards to believers I began to find the whole idea of such was nonexistent. Weird!
In Greek the word for convict is “elenchō”. Whenever it is used in the context of conviction of sins it is always in regards to unbelievers. Those who are not in Christ are under the conviction of sin, however acceptance of Christ frees us of that conviction. So if we are no longer bound to be convicted of our sins , what does the Holy Spirit to show us the error of our behavior? The purpose of the Holy Spirit is not to convict us of our sins but to remind us what we are doing is inconsistent with our position in Christ. So instead of shaming us by our sin the Spirit is in place to remind of us righteousness.
Guilt is a hard matter. When we focus and wallow in shame over what we have done we take the focus off of Christ and place it upon ourselves. Yes we should learn from our errors and strive to walk with Him no matter what the cost, however, when we do mess up it is because of grace that we are no longer convicted. Does that mean we should abuse that privilege? Nope not at all. Part of the salvation package makes Christ are eternal advocate exonerating us from all past, present and future sin.
1st Corinthians. We all know the deal here. Paul is replying to them over matters of things going on within this church of ridiculousness. Paul never ever ever in this book convicts them of their sin. Over and over you hear Him telling them of how their behavior is inconsistent with being in Christ, and He calls them out for their sin, but Paul never places them under conviction. Same goes for us. We are still susceptible to the consequences of sinning, but being believers they are intended for positive effects, where for unbelievers condemnation.
Freedom. We have so much freedom in Christ, yet we try so hard to hold ourselves to nonsense there is no need for. Freedom is a wonderful thing. Because of these thoughts I have found a lot more freedom. I think about in my own life how many times I feel guilt and shame over things I myself have committed in my past. Those feelings eventually to thoughts of inadequacy, and with thoughts of inadequacy comes pain of seeing myself as something other than who I am in Christ. Which in turn if not dealt with can lead to deeper things. Challenge what you think. Just because your parents, pastor, mentor, friend, or whoever believers or says something, does not make it true. God has given us minds so we can develop them not so we can just go with the crowds. Make your walk with God something you personally explore and not a lifestyle resting solely on the thoughts and ideas of people surrounding the course of your life.