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What Is Conviction? (John 8:44-46)

Introductory Thoughts

Throughout the church’s two millennia of history, many people have weighed in on the definition and meaning of biblical conviction. Unfortunately, all of this talk has done little to provide insight into an accurate understanding. The word convict only takes place one time in scripture—in the past tense (John 8:9). Yet, the concept appears quite frequently. Again in John chapter 8, one finds another key Bible word closely related to conviction. That word is convinceth. In fact, some have wisely defined conviction as the mental state of being convinced. In other words, one is never convicted or under conviction until he has first been convinced of sin or guilt. This should offer the Christian much comfort and understanding as to why the people could not convince the Saviour of sin. He was simply not guilty.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): When a copy of Gods law had been found during temple repairs, it was read to the king, Josiah. The king was convinced that he and his people had been disobedient to Gods word. In turn, Josiah promised the Lord that they would correct this sin (2 Kings 22:8-13; 2 Kings 23:1-3).
  • (For everyone): Men could not convince the Saviour of sin. Why? Can you convince others of sin? Why or why not? Who is ultimately the only one who can convince of sin?
  • How does conviction take place in the heart of an individual? Why must he first be convinced of Gods righteousness and his own guilt?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to teach you more about conviction.
  • Ask God to convict you of any wrong presently within your heart.