Hello allI have been struggling with the following question lately:What is the difference between conviction of the Holy Spirit in a Saint's life and conviction of an unsaved persons conscience?I don't know if we can fully answer this question and i don't mean to start a huge intellectual debate. I do know that a persons conscience will convict them of what they believe to be right or wrong and the Holy Spirit will convict of that is wrong in the Father's eyes. Can someone share experiences of being convicted before they were saved and after perhaps?
Before I was saved it never resulted in Godly sorrow that led to true repentance, so it only produced regret (sorry that I got caught or didn't get away with it). My flesh still wanted what it wanted. There was no power of the cross.When I was saved and afterwards, the conviction of the Holy Spirit led to true repentance which produces fruit and does not produce regret or human sorrow. That's my short answer. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (King James Version)For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Thanks for your reply sidadm.Yes i think i know what you mean. To me Godly sorrow is feeling deep regret over how i have hurt God and God alone which in turns leads to repentance of changing my actions (or it should). As a secondary understanding i will then think of how i have hurt others. Worldly sorrow on the other hand is more feeling sorry for myself, how my sin is hurting me and possibly others but not with the revelation of how i have pained God's heart in particular. It does not drive me to my knees in asking for forgiveness from Him.I am not sure if the Holy Spirit speaks to a born again person's conscience or becomes the conscience itself, that may be irrelevant. What seems to matter is that a born again person will be convicted by the Holy Spirit of their sin before a holy God and an unsaved person will simply think from a fleshly perspective, even if that means they are concerned for the welfare of others. The point is they do not even consider God and that is the difference.
Perhaps understanding the difference between sin (wrong being) and sins (wrong doing) will help.All men know by conscience that immorality is wrong. But, it takes the Holy Spirit to convict a man of sin, that his self-government is "an abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 16:15). The essential part of sin is that I claim the right to myself and that goes way deeper than any wrong things that I might do. To cleanse sin is the great miracle of God the Holy Spirit.In Christ,Ron
Recommend IntheLight's answer. The sermon by Paris Reidhead "The Right Use of the Law" deals much with this question. http://media.sermonindex.net/0/SID0116.mp3The right use of the Law by Paris ReidheadTopic: LawScripture(s): Romans 3:19-31 Description: Starting in Romans 3:19-31, this sermon shows the purpose and necessity of the Law in producing genuine conversion. Although all can recall wrongdoing, the Law has been given to convict us of sin -- to show the enormity of our crime against a holy, just, and righteous God. Until we are convicted of our crime and cry out to be free, the Gospel of salvation holds no real meaning. Unfortunately, most preaching over the last 100 years has not started with the Law but has instead been offering a Gospel to people who are really unaware from what they must be saved. The Holy Spirit has thus been stripped of "the only tool He has ever used to prepare men for Grace." The Law was never intended for Salvation, but to reveal the character of both God and man and to point to man's need of Christ. A must-listen.