Question

What does conviction really mean? Also can you tell me some verses about conviction in the Bible? 

Answer

Jesus promised His Apostles, when they were concerned about His going away:

John 16:7-11 (NAS) 7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

The “Helper” whom Jesus referred to is the Holy Spirit of God. And note that He, the Holy Spirit, is a “He.”

On the Day of Pentecost, when Peter preached the first gospel sermon, He did just that. Peter reasoned with the Jews gathered there, using as evidence their knowledge of recent current events (all Jerusalem and the surrounding area knew of Jesus and His works), the miracle which they had just observed (the Apostles spoke in foreign languages which they had not learned), and Old Testament scriptures which pointed to the coming of the Messiah, and were fulfilled in Jesus the Christ:

Acts 2:30-37 (NAS) 30 “And so, because he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat {one} of his descendants upon his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 35 Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.”‘ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ– this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard {this} they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

So what did we just see? The Holy Spirit convicted those on the Day of Pentecost of their sin. He did this through the words of Peter, with the miracle which got their attention. He is responsible for inspiring the words of the Old Testament prophecies, and He inspired the words of the New Testament.

The Holy Spirit continues to convince and convict today, through the Word of God. When people today read God’s word and are convinced of their sin, they are convicted of their sin. They then will respond, will answer God, either by doing what God commands of them in His word, or by telling God that they are not interested. This is just what we see in the Acts. The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, and some of them will obey.

For more in depth further study, a word study reveals that the word for convict in the King James Version is:

1651 elegcho {el-eng’-kho} of uncertain affinity; TDNT – 2:473,221; v

AV – reprove 6, rebuke 5, convince 4, tell (one’s) fault 1, convict 1; 17

1) to convict, refute, confute 1a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted 1b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose 2) to find fault with, correct 2a) by word 2a1) to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove 2a2) to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation 2b) by deed 2b1) to chasten, to punish

Mt 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell <1651> him his fault <1651> between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Lu 3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved <1651> by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved <1651>. {reproved: or, discovered} Joh 8:9 And they which heard [it], being convicted <1651> by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. Joh 8:46 Which of you convinceth <1651> me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove <1651> the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: {reprove: or, convince} 1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or [one] unlearned, he is convinced <1651> of all, he is judged of all: Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove <1651> [them]. Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved <1651> are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. {reproved: or, discovered} 1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke <1651> before all, that others also may fear. 2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove <1651>, rebuke <2008>, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince <1651> the gainsayers. {as…: or, in teaching} Tit 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke <1651> them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke <1651> with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked <1651> of him: Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced <1651> of the law as transgressors. Re 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke <1651> and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

The other word for rebuke in 2 Ti 4:2 is:

2008 epitimao {ep-ee-tee-mah’-o} from 1909 and 5091; TDNT – 2:623,249; v

AV – rebuke 24, charge 4, straightly charge 1; 29

1) to show honour to, to honour 2) to raise the price of 3) to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty 4) to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely 4a) to admonish or charge sharply

Mt 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked <2008> the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. Mt 12:16 And charged <2008> them that they should not make him known: Mt 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke <2008> him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. {Be…: Gr. Pity thyself} Mt 17:18 And Jesus rebuked <2008> the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Mt 19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put [his] hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked <2008> them. Mt 20:31 And the multitude rebuked <2008> them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, [thou] Son of David. Mr 1:25 And Jesus rebuked <2008> him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. Mr 3:12 And he straitly charged <2008> them that they should not make him known. Mr 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked <2008> the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mr 8:30 And he charged <2008> them that they should tell no man of him. Mr 8:32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke <2008> him. Mr 8:33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked <2008> Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men. Mr 9:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked <2008> the foul spirit, saying unto him, [Thou] dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. Mr 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and [his] disciples rebuked <2008> those that brought [them]. Mr 10:48 And many charged <2008> him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, [Thou] Son of David, have mercy on me. Lu 4:35 And Jesus rebuked <2008> him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. Lu 4:39 And he stood over her, and rebuked <2008> the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. Lu 4:41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking <2008> [them] suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. {to speak…: or, to say that they knew him to be Christ} Lu 8:24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked <2008> the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. Lu 9:21 And he straitly charged <2008> them, and commanded [them] to tell no man that thing; Lu 9:42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare [him]. And Jesus rebuked <2008> the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father. Lu 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked <2008> them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. Lu 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke <2008> him; and if he repent, forgive him. Lu 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when [his] disciples saw [it], they rebuked <2008> them. Lu 18:39 And they which went before rebuked <2008> him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, [Thou] Son of David, have mercy on me. Lu 19:39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke <2008> thy disciples. Lu 23:40 But the other answering rebuked <2008> him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove1651>, rebuke <2008> , exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke <2008> thee.

By David Baize

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