Does The Spirit Convict Believers of Sin or Not?

The Holy Spirit convicts me of who I am in Christ. Contrary to popular belief He does not convict me of sin making me feel guilty. Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

He is like a breeze in the trees blowing through my soul or  a loud drumroll when I get distracted and it’s harder to get my attention.

John 16:8-11 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

We read in John 16:8-11 that the Spirit comes to convict those who do not believe of their sin, not believers.  But He is here to convict  believers about their righteousness. Why? Because Jesus was going to the Father and could not be there to remind the disciples (and other believers) of their righteousness. How did the disciples and future believers like you and me become righteous? Through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. We become righteous the moment we believe. Romans 5:17-19

The Holy Spirit reminds me of who I am when I put on a mask and become a fake. I may say a rude word or two to my husband and the Spirit will nudge me saying, ” That’s not who you really are inside. In Christ you love unconditionally and your words are wholesome and uplifting.” At this time I know I ought to be the “real” me and apologize to hubby and make things right.

Suppose a believer has a habit that she just keeps coming back to over and over. Each time the Spirit says, “Laurie you are not the person you are pretending to be. You are a child of God who respects your body as His holy temple. Now why don’t live like who you really are. I have given you the power to do it.” As time goes on without condemnation Laurie truly begins to feel God’s love whether she gives into the habit or not. Eventually she sins less and does live out of who she is, not the fake her, not the one who feels she has to pretend. The more she realizes God’s love the more healing she receives. The habit is broken by the power of the Spirit in her and the captive is set free from the sin that held her.

No, the Holy Spirit does not convict the believer of sin but reaffirms her of her righteousness until she gets it. He convicts her of righteousness. It’s in the Bible John 16:8-11.

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Photo taken at Boone Plantation copyright JulieMooreOnLife.


  1. I like this perspective Julie! So I did a little research and I can totally see this. I believe the Bible is very clear that it is our conscience that convicts us and that we are to strive to keep our consciences clear regarding our faith and obedience. If our conscience is not clear, then we ought to feel conviction of sin (sometimes this is referred to as guilt) and this is a good thing, as for the believer it should lead to repentance and a renewed relationship with God. (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.) Perhaps it is the Spirit Who activates our conscience once He takes up residence in us, or perhaps our conscience is a wonderful gift from God. Sometimes it is our friends or church who set us straight if our own conscience doesn’t do the trick (Matthew 18:14-16 and Galations 6:1, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5). Regardless, I’m glad Someone, something or someone is watching out for me! (1 Corinthians 10:12, Romans 8:34) 😀

    • Thank you for your comment Amy and the Scripture. I am so glad to hear from you. I have a post to read from you that I haven’t gotten to yet. Can’t wait to see what you had to say.

  2. Author Christel says:

    Thanks for sharing this perspective ! It gives meaning to the verse that says there is no condemnation in Christ.

  3. To the author, the Holy Spirit does convict the ungodly and believers of sin. The word convict means to reprove or rebuke. Read Heb 12:4-11 and Rev 3:19. As children of God we are disciplined because He loves us and according to Rom 2:4, his kindness leads us to repentance. Conviction from God is not condemnation so conviction it isn’t a bad thing but a necessary leading to repentance. I agree with you that the Holy Spirit confirms in us the love of God and our identity as His children. If the Holy Spirit is not convicting you of sin than who is?

    • The Scripture in John I referred to does not say He convicts believers of sin but the world. It does say He convicts of righteousness and that would only be believers because the unsaved are not made righteous as we are. When we are convicted of righteousness the Holy Spirit is convicting us of who we are in Christ. It is at that time that we choose to live as who we really are or continue living as the world. Some call it conviction of sin but the Scripture does not say that so I choose to say He convicts me of who I am (my righteousness) which causes me to want to change. Thanks so much for your comment. I also love a discussion about our Christian beliefs.

    • What about this verse from Paul?:
      2 Cor 7:8-11 (NIV) Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it–I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while–yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you…

      • Very good point with this verse. I do believe when the Holy Spirit reminds us of who we are and who we are not that we feel godly sorrow because we acted out of the flesh instead of the spirit. It hurts me to know I have acted out of flesh and brings me to repentance. What you call conviction I call a loving reminder that I am a new creation in Christ.
        What a great discussion!I think we believe the same thing except I think God does not want me to feel condemned Romans 8:1 so He lovingly reminds us and when we don’t listen I think He steps back and lets us reap what we sow.


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