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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

The Holy Spirit Convicts of sin

Updated: Jul 3

Welcome to Day 20. of our devotional study, Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? online Bible study.  The conviction of the Holy Spirit is an essential aspect of the Christian faith. It plays a crucial role in our relationship with God, guiding us towards righteousness and away from sin. Through His gentle conviction, we are drawn closer to God's heart, cleansed from our sins, and guided toward deeper righteousness.

In our devotional Bible study, we will discuss the following verses, John 16:8-11, Acts 2:37, and Romans 8:1, and how it's important to differentiate between condemnation and conviction.


The Holy Spirit Convicts Of Sin

Have you ever felt a deep sense of unease about something you said or did, a quiet but persistent nudge that something wasn’t right?

That inner stirring, often subtle yet powerful, is not just your conscience at work—it’s the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit actively works within us, convicting us of sin, guiding us toward righteousness, and reminding us of God's ultimate victory over evil.

Today, let’s dive into what the Bible says about how the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, and His transformative and essential role in our lives, exploring how it draws us closer to God and empowers us to live in His truth.

Conviction of the Holy Spirit

Read John 16:8-11

"And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." John 16:8-11 ESV.

In this passage, Jesus outlines the threefold work of the Holy Spirit in conviction:

  1. Conviction of Sin: The Holy Spirit reveals the truth of our sinful nature, highlighting our need for a Savior. This conviction leads us to acknowledge our sins and seek forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

  2. Conviction of Righteousness: The Holy Spirit points us to the righteousness of Christ, who has ascended to the Father. By showing us what true righteousness looks like, the Holy Spirit encourages us to live in accordance with God's standards.

  3. Conviction of Judgment: The Holy Spirit reminds us of the ultimate judgment against Satan, the ruler of this world. This conviction assures us of God's ultimate victory and the need to align ourselves with His kingdom.

Only the Holy Spirit can help us recognize our sins, show us why we need to live righteously and remind us that there is judgment. We can't truly feel this conviction on our own; we need the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us. This is true both before and after we come to faith in Jesus. Before we believe, we can't fully understand our sin or the seriousness of not believing because we often think we're doing just fine on our own. It's the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to the hard truth that we've missed the mark and need God's grace.

Read Acts 2:37

"Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Acts 2:27 ESV.

After Peter's powerful sermon at Pentecost, the crowd experienced deep conviction, described as being "cut to the heart." This conviction led them to seek a response, asking the apostles what they should do next. Peter's answer was to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

True conviction by the Holy Spirit should lead us to genuine repentance. It's not just feeling sorry for our sins but turning away from them and seeking to live a new life in Christ.

Conviction calls for action. Like the crowd, we must be willing to ask, "What shall we do?" and then follow through with obedience.

Can you recall a time when you felt "cut to the heart" by the Holy Spirit's conviction?

What steps did you take in response to that conviction?

the holy spirit convicts of sin

Conviction Vs Condemnation

We must understand the difference between conviction and condemnation as believers.

Read Romans 8:1

" There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 ESV.

While the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, it's important to remember that this conviction is not meant to lead us into condemnation. For those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. The purpose of conviction is to bring us into a deeper relationship with God, marked by grace and forgiveness.

We can embrace the conviction of the Holy Spirit without fear because we are assured of our salvation in Christ. This assurance gives us the freedom to grow and transform. Understanding that there is no condemnation helps us to live confidently in God's grace, striving to reflect Christ in all that we do.

Take note:

This freedom is not a license to sin but an invitation to live out our faith boldly, knowing we are loved and accepted by God.

Understanding the Difference Between Conviction and Condemnation


  • Source: Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit.

  • Purpose: The purpose of conviction is to bring awareness of sin, leading to repentance, spiritual growth, and a closer relationship with God.

  • Effect: Conviction produces a sense of guilt or unease about specific sins but also points to the hope of forgiveness and transformation through Jesus Christ.

  • Outcome: The outcome of conviction is a positive change, a renewed commitment to living according to God's will, and a deeper reliance on His grace.

Key Characteristics:

  1. Redemptive: Conviction aims to restore and reconcile us to God.

  2. Hopeful: Conviction offers the promise of forgiveness and renewal.

  3. Guiding: Conviction provides clear direction on what needs to change in our lives.

Biblical Example: In Acts 2:37, after Peter’s sermon, the crowd was "cut to the heart" (convicted) and asked what they should do, leading them to repentance and baptism.


  • Source: Condemnation comes from Satan, our own negative self-talk, or even misunderstanding of God's character.

  • Purpose: The purpose of condemnation is to accuse, shame, and make us feel unworthy and hopeless, often driving us away from God.

  • Effect: Condemnation creates feelings of shame, hopelessness, and a sense of being unforgivable, leading to spiritual stagnation or despair.

  • Outcome: The outcome of condemnation is negative, often resulting in a sense of separation from God, decreased faith, and paralyzing guilt.

Key Characteristics:

  1. Destructive: Condemnation aims to tear down and destroy our relationship with God.

  2. Hopeless: Condemnation leaves us feeling that we are beyond redemption.

  3. Accusing: Condemnation constantly reminds us of our failures without offering a path to restoration.

Biblical Contrast: Romans 8:1 clearly states, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." This emphasizes that believers are not under condemnation but under grace.


In our Bible study, we examined the Holy Spirit's crucial role in convicting us of sin, guiding us to righteousness, and reminding us of judgment. We explored key scriptures like John 16:8-11, Acts 2:37, and Romans 8:1 to see how the Holy Spirit works in our lives before and after conversion.

We learned that only the Holy Spirit can reveal our sins, highlight the need for righteousness, and make us aware of judgment. This revelation is essential because, on our own, we often fail to see our sinfulness and the seriousness of unbelief. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to these truths, leading us to repentance and a deeper relationship with God.

While both conviction and condemnation may start with an awareness of sin, they lead to vastly different outcomes. Conviction, guided by the Holy Spirit, leads to repentance, healing, and growth, drawing us closer to God. In contrast, condemnation, often rooted in the enemy's lies, seeks to make us feel hopeless and unworthy, driving a wedge between us and God. Understanding this difference is crucial for living a victorious Christian life, grounded in the truth of God's love and grace.

Here are cross-references for further study:

John 3:18-21, John 16:13-14, Acts 2:38, Luke 3:10-14, John 3;18, Romans 5:1, Romans 6:14,

Galatians 3:18, Colossians 2:13-14.

Prayer: Conviction of the Holy Spirit

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the Holy Spirit who convicts me of sin. I ask for forgiveness for my sins and seek Your guidance to live righteously.

Just as those in Acts 2:37 asked, "What shall we do?" I also seek Your direction. Lead me to repentance and transformation, helping me walk closely with You.

I am comforted by Romans 8:1, knowing there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Help me embrace this freedom, rejecting condemnation, and resting in Your love.

May these truths transform my heart and life, making me sensitive to the Holy Spirit's conviction and eager to grow in righteousness.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? Online Bible Study and Printable Journal

who is the holy spirit and what does he do printable

Dive even deeper into this study with our printable journal. This journal is designed to guide you through personal reflections and insights, enhancing your experience as you engage with the Scriptures and listen to the Holy Spirit. Grab your journal HERE.

Here are some questions to consider as you study the person of the Holy Spirit:

  1. What is the most important truth I learned about the Holy Spirit?

  2. Did the Holy Spirit convict me of anything that I need to change in my life?

 Come back tomorrow as we study, Gifts Of The Holy Spirit.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead you into a deeper relationship with God and empower you to live out your faith boldly and effectively.

Resources used in today's study, the Holy Spirit Convicts Of Sin:

You may be encouraged by these resources:

  • Scriptural Grace Resource Library (FREE) HERE. 

  • Devotional Bible Studies For Women And Quiet Time Resources Forever Access Bundle HERE 

  • Printable Devotions For Women's Groups HERE

  • Names of God resources HERE 

  • Topical Bible plans HERE  

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Karen xx.


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