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The Source of Conviction (John 16:7-11)

Introductory Thoughts

Believing that one man can cause true biblical conviction upon another man serves as one of the greatest misconceptions concerning conviction. Obviously, one man can proclaim the truth to another, but only the Spirit of God can open that other man’s heart to convince him of the truth being conveyed (Acts 16:14). Even when the scriptures reveal that Apollos convinced the people that Jesus was Christ, the Bible student understands that he did so only through the help of the Holy Ghost (Acts 18:28). Apollos was merely the instrument. Thus, man is only responsible for giving the truth and doing so in a scriptural fashion. God then takes that word and makes it effectual in the hearers’ hearts.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Even though Paul preached the truth to Felix (Acts 24:24-25) and Agrippa (Acts 26:21-28), only the Spirit of God could convince them of sin (2 Corinthians 4:6). Compare Pauls experience with the Philippian jailor (Acts 16:23-34).
  • (For everyone): How did the Spirit of God bring conviction in your heart as a lost person in need of salvation? How has He since that event used the same Bible to convict you of carnal living?
  • Why is it important to realize that you cannot bring conviction upon another individual? How should we pray for the Lords working in those to whom we preach the gospel?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to convict those who are lost.
  • Ask God to convict you when you are unwilling to witness.