12 comments on “FAITH: Conviction of Sin – John 16

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Dean – and for linking to the original link.

    I don’t have time to directly respond to your points but I’d encourage your readers to read the full article and watch the video on my website – The reason for this is I go into the Greek word ‘elencho’ as well the practical outworkings of conviction.

    Bless you my friend!

    • Thanks Phil for dropping by. If you look at this article here:
      http://v3.blueletterbible.org/lang/trench/section.cfm?sectionID=4

      I think you’ll see how the sense of the Greek word ‘elegcho’ has more to do with a distinction between a rebuke that is either false or fails to convince a person of their fault, and a rebuke that is true and does convince the person of his fault.

      In Matt 16:22, Peter rebukes the Lord, but does not convince Jesus of His error, and thus a different Greek word is used for “rebuke”. In John 8:46, Jesus asks “which of you convicts me of sin?” The Pharisees attempted to rebuke Jesus, but His reply was that while they may have indeed spoken a rebuke, they had failed to convince Him and thus He used the Greek word ‘elegcho’.

      Thus, the word ‘elegcho’ is a stronger form of the word rebuke, with the essential distinction being a rebuke that convinces. And that’s why the word is occasionally translated ‘convince’. It all comes down to which part of the meaning is being emphasized.

      But I don’t think you can say that the word is equivalent to the English word ‘convince’. It is not. Nor would John 16:8 make much sense to say we are merely ‘convinced’ of our sin (along with being ‘convinced’ of our righteousness, or of judgment).

      To me, the verse is saying that the world will be convicted of all three, i.e., rebuked to the point of being convinced not only of their sin, but also of Jesus’ righteousness and their judgement. Here’s how The Message paraphrase puts it:

      “When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment”

  2. Dean Thank You for sharing your views on this topic. I found them enlightening. I’ve been a student of Dr. Brown at F.I.R.E. School of Ministry and I highly respect him. God’s grace is something amazing and wonderful but also something that can be twisted or overemphasized against the rest of what the scriptures have to say. I think finding a balanced understanding in light of all the scriptures is the challenge we all face. Thank You for sharing.

  3. NUANCES MATTER. From a brother in Christ:

    Quoting from above: “Except that I also look at this from a kingdom perspective. Every day we decide what kingdom we will walk in. When we walk in God’s kingdom, then we walk in His righteousness and are not judged. When we walk in the world’s kingdom. Well, I fail to see how a Holy God, by His mere existence, cannot help but to convict us”

    Putting aside the naiveté, at least…, or arrogance.., at worst…, related to your first sentence for a minute (because frankly…, to think or believe that you are capable of ‘looking at this from a kingdom perspective’ is in itself, worthy of repentance in accordance with scripture. ‘For God is not a man that He should lie.’ …, there is more in your writing deserving the scrutiny that I Corinthians says a ‘spiritual man’ has authority to do.

    Isn’t this statement worthy of your re-look? Scripturally…, ‘we’ do not ‘decide’ what kingdom we will walk in. He chose US…, not our decision. This is yet another aspect of the Gospel of Grace. When one is ‘joined to the Lord’ and is ‘one spirit with Him’ (I Cor. 6:17), indeed there is a death to sin in that ones’ life and he is no longer bound, ‘a slave’ to sin. ( or the law, or himself as the center of reference).

    This statement appears to convey that we, as believers in Christ, somehow can…, during our normal day…, LOSE the Righteousness that came at the expense of, and only as a GIFT from…, Jesus. As believers…, we do not ‘walk-in-God’s-kingdom’ one minute…, then somehow lose that STANDING the next when we, in our soulish realm…, sin. We do not STOP walking in the Light, as I John speaks of, when our soul sins.

    IN FACT…, ‘even if OUR(believers) hearts condemn us…, GOD is bigger than our hearts and knows everything.’ What God ‘knows’ about us is that the finished work of Christ, bringing about our new STANDING with Him and making us Holy and RIghteous in His sight is sealed. We, as believers, must RECEIVE the full benefit of the payment and fulfilling of death to death and sin in our lives.
    ******************
    Stumbling…, in the verse you quote…, is operating in fear instead of in FAITH. “For whatsoever is not of faith…, is sin.” Stumbling, therefore…, is not accepting the renewing of your mind regarding one’s STANDING because of the finished work of Christ. “For anyone who says he does not sin is a liar and the Truth (Jesus) is not in Him.’

    Stumbling, as a ‘sin’…, is not acquiescing to the Truth of the full and finished work of Jesus both at the cross and resurrection WHICH He also paid for, for the believer…, according to Hebrews 10. “We are perfected forever, those that are sanctified.”

    NO…, our sinning (verb) as believers can not, according to scripture, separate us from the LOVE (forgiveness, acceptance, new standing as sons,) of God, nor from the Gift (Jesus) of His Righteousness and Holiness and Grace (Romans 5:17)

    Perhaps Christians should be ‘reasoning together’ about whether or not we ARE or ‘have been’ sanctified in His sight, or whether, because we are bound by time (not the Father)…, it is some ‘process’ or ‘yes, but not yet’ theological conundrum.

    Jesus purchased us at justification. Jesus paid for our sin (noun and verb) fully and no one is big enough to ‘put Jesus back on the Cross’. Jesus also perfected our holiness, our SANCTIFICATION and in fact, our STANDING with God is both secured and the ‘earnest’ has been paid. (Holy Spirit indwelling.) We are both justified and sanctified by Christs’ perfect and finished work and not by our ‘confessing regularly’. He sees us as ‘accepted among the beloved’ and IS OUR ADVOCATE, even if we ‘do sin’ (verb) and ‘fall’ while in the light. We do not, and can not, fall out of the Light.

    “For God IS Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” I John

    Are we IN HIM, at Christ’s full payment or not? I suggest that scriptures make it crystal clear that we are….!!

    ************************** Quoting again here…. *****************
    “The grace teachers say we are not convicted of sin because we believe in Him. But I tend to see that many Christians are fairly lukewarm in their belief. The word “believe” in verse 9 (pisteuo) means putting your trust in God, and even having fidelity towards Him. It does not mean believing in Him and yet doing our own thing.”

    Jesus bore the full payment for our sin and we, as believers ARE restored to right fellowship (not relationship! another soul-ish term for a later discussion!) with Father.

    Your statement: “But I tend to see that many Christians are fairly lukewarm in their belief.” Here again, while ‘the Spirit man makes scrutinies (judgements) about all things, yet he himself is judged by no man,” this is chiefly for the SPIRIT MAN to make scrutinies about his OWN honor walk with His savior and Father. What he allows in his ‘eye-gate’, his ‘ear-gate’, his ‘mouth-gate’, his countenance and charity towards all.

    Romans 14:4 “Who are you to make yourself a judge of another man’s servant? it is to his master that he is responsible for good or bad. Yes, his place will be safe, because the Lord is able to keep him from falling.”

    All this ‘tend[ing] to SEE’ what others in the body or elsewhere do or say is suspect in-and-of-itself of positioning one’s inner self as judge. This in itself, according to scriptures, is both unwarranted and cautioned against as sin.
    **************************************
    No authentic reading of the scriptures, and no authentic be-LIVE-er or teacher in and about GRACE, could ever state that one can ‘do their own thing’.

    When one ‘grogs’ that he was ‘bought with a price’ and the gravity of the meaning of such a Truth…, their is no such thing as ‘own’ ANYTHING.

    “For BY Him, THROUGH Him and FOR Him all things were made and consist.”

    Self or other(s) focus is denying what Christ purchased for us and GAVE us as a GIFT to be received.

    SELF or other(s) focus is perhaps…., the first ‘sin’ or curse that Jesus paid for and still loves us THROUGH…, even as we ‘stumble’ about the Truth of our STANDING.

    “Cursed is the man who trusts in man.” Jeremiah 17:5

    This includes trusting in oneself regarding one’s standing, place and condition before our loving Father.

    He is not angry with us, nor does He deal with us according to our sin. He has no need to use guilt (‘conviction’ as you appear to proffer), never uses shame as He never needs to. We cannot out-sin GRACE. and GRACE is not a doctrine. Grace is a man who cannot be ‘let down’ by the believers falling (sin-the verb).

    NOW…, if you want to have a discussion about the ‘CONSCIENCE Door’ that is in our Hearts connected to the CONVINCING (a better translation of the Greek in my view) that the Holy Spirit INDEED does do on a consistant and persistant basis to all those who believe…, I’m IN!!

    He CONVINCES us of our Righteousness and Holy and Right standing before our God. He ‘hopes all things, endures all things, believes all [good and right] things’ about us and ‘CHOOSES to remember our sins NO MORE’.

    THIS is GRACE. Coming down from the Father of Lights! GOOD gift(s) of Righteousness, Holiness, Freedom (Galatians 5), Love, Acceptance, Affirmation, Brotherhood(!) (Hebrews), Friendship (John 15) and these are the ‘things’ to be ‘thinking on’.

    Not sin, or ourSELVES or others (and their failings). GOD is not honored when we point at others ‘behavior’ or ‘performance’ as He does NOT look at nor see…, our PERFORMANCE or BEHAVIOR and in fact, according to the Scriptures, calls US ‘the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus’ AND is fully assuaged for His righteous and just punishment for our sin (the noun and the VERB) by the whipping, punishment/chastising, murder AND resurrection of His marvelous Son.

    Just one drop of His precious blood was enough for every man, woman and child that ever lived! Shouldn’t this be the ‘message’ we convey to the world? Isn’t this what they deeply long to hear?

    Of course we don’t measure up! That is the Gospel! Because we do not ‘measure up’ to the perfect, right and holy standard of God, HE GAVE His one-and-only Son.

    We can NOT let Him down…, as we are NOT holding Him up.

    Please consider this entire response a love message from a brother-in-Christ. Be blessed and shine-on as a reflector of God who IS LIGHT. Jesus, the ‘Light of all Men’.
    ******************** cuzinjules ****************

    • Wow Jules, you certainly are passionate and have posted way more than I can adequately respond to. God bless you!

      When I say I am looking at this from a kingdom “perspective” perhaps a better word for what I am trying to say is “paradigm”. In other words, I’m *not* saying I am standing in the kingdom and making some judgement from that vantage point. What I’m saying is that I am considering what it means to have both the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of heaven, and how that bears out in our understanding of scripture. In other words, I’m saying let’s take a look at scripture from the “context” of a “kingdom paradigm”.

      Consider the story of the prodigal son. Certainly the father had fully forgiven his prodigal son of all his sins. Certainly, the father had abundant grace towards his son, and was not dwelling at all on the sins of his son. Rather the father fully embraced his son and gladly welcomed him back into his house (the father’s kingdom). The father even threw a party to celebrate his son’s return. Wow!

      But for me there is an implicit understanding here, which is that when you return to the father’s house, you agree in your heart to be faithful to the father’s desires. You agree that he is the ruler of his house and you agree to honor him.

      It is certainly true that the prodigal son did nothing to merit coming back into the father’s house. It was a gift the father freely gave to him.

      And yet at the same time there is an understanding here. The son did not return to continue his riotous living in the midst of the father’s house. He came in repentance and a desire to honor his father.

      This is all I am saying. Every day we get the opportunity to honor, or dishonor, our loving Father. Regardless of all He’s done for us, it is still our choice. A choice to serve Him. Or a choice to disobey.

      For me, when we choose not to serve Him, then we are choosing to live in the kingdom of the world. For how can we live in the kingdom of heaven when we refuse to obey the King? The king we choose to obey is the kingdom we choose to live in.

      Which doesn’t at all mean that we don’t belong to our Father’s house. We may belong. We may have free access. But (at times) we aren’t living there.

      For me, this is inherent in the definition of “kingdom” which means the realm of the rule and reign of a king. You are either living under the rule and reign of the world, or you are living under the rule and reign of the Father. You cannot honor one while serving the other.

      The good news is that while we have, like the prodigal, made a mess of our lives, we have an amazing and loving father who welcomes us back (and has paid the price so we can). But the welcoming back is in the context of coming back to live in his kingdom. A kingdom in which our loving father expects us to “sin no more”.

      Does that make sense?

      Dean

      • What does grace actually mean?

        I think it has been confused with mercy

  4. Hi Zululander and thanks for dropping by. One way to find out what words like grace and mercy mean is to look them up in the Bible and see how they are used, and by reading how various lexicons define the Greek words. Here is a Lexicon definition for the Greek word “charis” or “grace”: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5485

    And here are some of the basic definitions: Mercy – to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched. Compassion – to pity, have compassion on. Grace – good will, loving-kindness, favor.

    Thayer’s lexicon says that the Greek word for grace, “contains the idea of kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved”. It’s “kindness of a master towards his servants, especially of God towards men”. He says that the New Testament writers predominantly use it to mean, “that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences”.

    Mercy and compassion are given to the poor and afflicted, who may not have caused their misery. Grace is given to someone who has committed an offence. Grace goes far beyond mercy.

    Mercy has an element of pity and being sorry for someone. Grace has the element of kindness and loving somebody.

    A poor person can be said to deserve mercy. But no one deserves grace.

    Grace is loving somebody when there’s every reason not to love.

    For that reason, Grace is simply amazing.

    Dean

  5. Hi Dean , I appreciate your article. Can you do some more on Phil Drysdale’s teachings such everyone in the world is forgiven and there will be forgiven sinners in hell?

    • Hi Terry, that would indeed be a good question to study and come to a good understanding on. I can’t get to it right now, but hopefully I will be able to find some time not too long from now. Thanks for asking Terry.

  6. Hi Dean….quoting you..
    nd here are some of the basic definitions: Mercy – to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched. Compassion – to pity, have compassion on. Grace – good will, loving-kindness, favor.

    Thayer’s lexicon says that the Greek word for grace, “contains the idea of kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved”. It’s “kindness of a master towards his servants, especially of God towards men”. He says that the New Testament writers predominantly use it to mean, “that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences”.

    Every one of the definitions describe an action, as I pointed out. Read what you said carefully. Any one of the things you mention, without some action would mean nothing.
    If, out of 5 men in a row, you told one they had your favor and you did nothing for them what does your favor mean? Nothing. Favor means an expected action by the one granting it and an expectation by the one getting the favor

  7. I don’t think Phil has an answer to your question.
    You’re right AZ. John 16;8-10 has nothing to do with believers. The Lord is talking about himself & the jews who were disputing with Him.

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