CONVICTION Andy Hollifield 7-19-18
Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
Did you realize that the words convict and conviction are not even in the bible? “Guilty” is found 26 times and “guilt” is there twice. “Transgress” appears 14 times and “transgressors” is used 20 times. To “convict” means to prove or declare guilty of an offence, especially after a legal trial or to impress with a sense of guilt. A “convict” is a person that has been proven or declared guilty of an offense. To “transgress” means to violate a law, command, moral code, etc.; offend, or sin. It also means to violate or infringe or to go beyond the limits imposed by a law.
I said all of that so we would realize and be able to appreciate what we are about to discuss. Throughout the bible we find several places where offenders have been proven or declared guilty. One example of this is found in John 8:9 with the woman taken in the act of adultery. After a period of silence after the charges were made against this lady, and Jesus was asked if she should still be stoned as the law had called for, he stooped down and began writing on the ground with his finger like he hadn’t heard them. When they kept asking him, he stood up and gave them the infamous line, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” He then stooped down and wrote a little more on the ground. From the oldest to the youngest, they all began to leave “being convicted by their own conscience.” This scripture is the only time that the word “convicted” is used in the bible. When Jesus looked up he saw none of the woman’s accusers he asked her where they were and whether or not anyone had accused her. She replied, “No man Lord.” Jesus said “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
There were a lot of great men and women that were guilty of an offense. Jonah was guilty of disobeying God while fleeing from his presence (Jonah 1). Moses, in his frustration and fatigue, smote the rock in the wilderness rather than speaking to it. His penalty was that he would continue to lead the people to the promised land but he would not get to go in himself (Numbers 20:12). Jonah’s penalty was not only to get thrown overboard but also to spend three days and nights in the whale’s belly and still had to go do what the Lord had commanded him to start with. King David wrecked his life by not fulfilling his duty by staying home and not going to battle (2 Samuel 11:1). These are just three examples of ordinary men that God had jobs for that refused to do them. Moses, after all of his dedication to the Lord, may not have entered Canaan but God took him and showed it to him right before God buried him on the mountain as his soul appeared in Paradise immediately upon his death. After being delivered from the belly of the whale, Jonah went to Nineveh and preached one meeting and 120,000 souls got saved. King David, after burying his son, went on to become the greatest king that Israel has ever had. David had never owned up to his sin until a visit by the prophet Nathan at which time he proclaimed David’s guilt with Bathsheba.
Conviction is not always immediate or at least not immediately resolved. In John 7:50, Nicodemus stood up for Christ after leaving his first meeting with Christ in John 3 disappointed. He was told to go and sell all that he had and since he had great possessions, he was very sad. In John 19:39 Nicodemus returned to the Lord again, this time to anoint his body with 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes. Conviction is the result of the Holy Ghost catching us at what we are doing, offering forgiveness, and letting us live with the guilt until we repent.
If you are experiencing the unrest that the Holy Ghost brings to a guilty heart, God is the only remedy. We must humble ourselves and allow God to speak to our souls. Continually neglecting God’s offer of forgiveness brings about the guilt of conviction. The good news is that regardless of where you have been or what you have done, if God still speaks to your heart, he still wants to forgive you and use you. These men I have listed prove that. Don’t reject his offer of forgiveness when conviction comes to the door of your heart. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!