If you’ve been in church any length of time, you have no doubt heard someone say that the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins, so that we can repent and become righteous in God’s eyes.  On any given Sunday that message is being preached from pulpits across America and throughout the world, and it's safe to say that we are all pretty familiar with the idea.  There’s just one problem, though…

It isn’t true.

And when He has come, 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.  – John 16:8-11

Jesus said here that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of only one sin – not believing in Him.  Christ has already taken all sin onto Himself.  In fact, He became sin and then died on the Cross, so the only sin people are condemned for is failing to trust in Christ and receive His righteousness.

That’s why we preach the Gospel.  It is so that unbelievers will be convicted of their failure to receive Christ.  Once we have done that and have become believers, however, the Holy Spirit no longer convicts us of sin but of righteousness.

I make mistakes as much as the next guy. I have my bad days and my weird moods.  I can be irritable and easily aggravated and have all sorts of other failings of thought, feelings, attitudes and behavior.  Despite all that, the Holy Spirit continues to convict me of righteousness.  No one will ever convince me that I am anything less than perfectly righteous in God’s eyes.

I am absolutely convicted of righteousness by the Holy Spirit.  I encourage you to let Him convict you as well.

Grace and Peace,

Douglas Lidwell