Does the Holy Spirit "convict" born-again persons of sin?

John 16:8 says the Holy Spirit will convict the "world" of sin. Christians are not of this world. I know we as believers can grieve the Holy Spirit. My question is specifically regarding conviction of a true Christian of sin by the Spirit of God.

Clarify (1) Share Report Asked April 22 2014 Mini David Soto

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
Most assuredly the Holy Spirit convicts a believer of sin. It is He who quickens or makes a spiritually dead person alive and aware of his lost condition then saves and seals him. Yes, the eternal penalty for sin has been reconciled never to be addressed again. The power of Christ's death, burial and resurrection has positioned the believer in a right standing before God. However, this does not eliminate the old nature and tendency toward sin. 

Galatians 5:17 "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"

A truly saved, born again believer is viewed sinless positionally, in Christ, under the blood. By his substitutionary sacrifice we are declared righteous but still have no inherent righteousness. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 " For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 

The Apostle Paul spoke of his own struggle and the battle that raged within. Romans 7:18 "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
v. 19 "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do."
v. 20 "Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

Hebrews 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 of him:" 

Heb 12:6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." 

Heb 12:7 "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" 

Heb 12:8 "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." 

1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 

1 Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 

1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

April 24 2014 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Andy  3 photo Andy Mangus I am a Christian since October 1979 & devoted truth seeker.
Most assuredly YES, THE HOLY SPIRIT does 'convict us of our sins'; both, before -AND- after we receive salvation! Before I got saved, I remember so much and so many times of 'living in the desires of an unsaved heart, mind and lifestyle pursuits" for which I was not even thinking of them as wrongdoings or sins! 

And, the thing is: I was raised in Church! I was going and had been taken to church almost every Sunday morning and every Sunday night since I was 4 weeks old, in the nursery behind one way glass near the front of the sanctuary!

Then God's Holy Spirit began working on me within just a few days of the night I got SAVED! The overpowering conviction of my contrite heart and very strong sense of filthy guilt of my sins for which I desperately needed "a savior" by the Name of Jesus Christ really began working on me! He reached down and spoke to me and 'touched' me deep within my spirit and caused me to begin to understand just how badly I and my eternal soul needed Him to save me so that "I may reside with Him for all eternity"! And, since then, He seems to remind me at least once a day or even more that I need to ask for His forgiveness and His divine guidance and blessings; every day! 

And, without question: The Holy Spirit convicts every 'Saved person' of their sins! He certainly does this for me for sure! Sometimes, it seems it is simply too frequently! Especially, when I feel that need to stop what I'm doing and simply pray, ask for God's forgiveness and turn my cares, needs, desires and request over to my Heavenly Father in Heaven!

"Praise God that we have a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ!" --Andy--

July 17 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Mi Shad Ow Layman
First let me thank you for the way that you worded the question. And here is why I am thanking you.

1) It is the job of the Holy Spirit to "guide us to all truth" John 16:13. The scriptures that speak about "walk in the light" 1John 1:7 and like all serve as a plumb line. That he uses to convict/remind us when we have fallen in to sin, so that we can one again be righteous in Gods eyes Rom. 3:23, 1 John 2:1, Prov. 24:16. 

2) Unfortunately most of us spend/spent too much time not knowing the difference between the Holy Spirit convicting us and the enemy condemning us. Which is why there are scriptures like Rom. 8:1, Rom. 3:23 & 24 and so many more.

So the answer is yes, the Holy Spirit does convict born again believers of sin.

April 24 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Corey Jon
When you receive the Holy Spirit he wants nothing else than to make you stay on the path of following Jesus and doing the stuff that is honoring to God. So when you say "convict," yes the Holy Spirit convicts us by making it known to us that we surely did sin and we we a sense of "man I messed up but I am forgiven through the blood Jesus spilled for me" the spirit will convict you on it and lead you away from it.

April 23 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Photo Anthony Clinton Teacher in China
Certainly God uses conviction of sin in the Church today and throughout the ages because sin separates people from Him. The way Holy Spirit convicts of sin in our present day can be seen from the words of Jesus and the ministry of the apostles. 

Paul had to speak to the Corinthian Church about their ignoring a brother having an immoral relationship with his stepmother. That man had to be shown to be an example that God does not ignore sin nor does he accept it in a believer’s life. Wickedness had to be purged from the Church because it contaminates the whole company of believers. 1Cor 5:6-13. This holy conviction of sin is further described by the apostle Paul in 2Cor 7:1-12. The Holy Spirit used the apostle Paul in these words to bring severe conviction upon the Church and it was called “godly sorrow” that led them to repentance. These portions of Scripture show that God does not accept unchecked sin and wickedness in the Church. It needs to be driven out of the Church with the flames of the Holy Fire of the Spirit. If we imagine that God overlooked such sin because of the priceless blood of Christ, why is the anointed apostle used of the Holy Spirit to demonstrate otherwise. If such sin was accepted by the believers and was not a threat then these would have been a pointless scriptures. Yes indeed the Holy Spirit convicts the Church of sin. 

When the Fiery Flames of the Holy Spirit was searching the Body of Christ as demonstrated in the book of Revelation Chapters 2 – 3, what is evident is the need for the believers to repent of the rot or they might be blotted out of the Book Of Life or might have to fear that the second death will be the result of those who are not faithful to the end in martyrdom. So the best description of the conviction that the Holy Spirit brings upon those whom He dearly loves is described from the words spoke to the Church of Laodicea. 

Rev 3:19..I rebuke and punish all whom I love. Be in earnest, then, and turn from your sins.

The Words of Christ in teaching the responsibility of exercising brotherly love and unity because of the danger of not forgiving a brother also make it clear that the Holy Spirit convicts His children of sin. Matthew 18: 15-35. From these words uttered by Christ and the parable of “the unforgiving servant” we learn IF YOU DO NOT FORGIVE A BROTHER GOD WILL NOT FORGIVE YOU. The method used to restore a brother after an offense is also The Holy Spirit’s process of bringing conviction on His children.

April 29 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Dadchilling Antwione Reese
Based on most of the answers it seems like the Holy Spirit is not different from the Law of Moses, which keeps one sin-conscious. 

Romans 3:20 "Through the law we become conscious of our sin." If the Holy Spirit "convicts," which is a legal term meaning to find guilty, then the Ministry of the Law and Holy Spirit are the same? 

But, Hebrews 8:7 says, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second." 

2 Corinthians 3:7-8 but if the ministry of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the Spirit (Holy Spirit) be rather glorious? - The ministry of the Holy Spirit brings righteousness, not sin consciousness. 

2Corinthians 7:10-11 "Godly sorrow brings repentance" Notice it did not say, "conviction." 

Lastly, if the Holy Spirit convicts a born again believer of sins, what do you do with Hebrews 8:12? "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

Hebrews 10:15-17 The Holy Spirit also is a witness to us: for after this he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

I believe the Holy Spirit reminds the believer of righteousness (the right way) which will cause us to realize where we have fallen short. - We should have godly sorrow, not conviction in reference to guilt.

With all do respect, if the Holy Spirit convicts a believer of sin.....someone is deceived or lying. We must study the Ministry of the Holy Spirit by scripture and not based on how we feel when we step out of the Will of God by sinning.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Liberty from the bondage of being sin conscious should be included as well.

March 21 2017 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini kevin haney
When we walk in the Spirit, HE leads and guides and there is no condemnation. But guess what happens when we do not walk in the Spirit? And guess what the Spirit does when we begin to drift away from the walk and talk? If you want to see the difference, study the life of Samuel in comparison to Saul. Saul was trying to conform to ways of GOD. Samuel experienced the transformation.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

For those who think the conviction and guiding of the Spirit was only in the NT, need to study the "voice of the LORD" in the OT. Samuel knew that voice. Joshua knew that voice. The Prophets knew that voice. Elijah knew it, that calm, quiet voice.

The difference in the Spirit from OT to NT is similar to the difference between Jesus in the OT and NT. Both were always there and did the same work as the NT. The only difference: they are better known in and after NT.

December 19 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Kennedy standing in God's grace and glory, shouting my praise!
Since "the World" and "the Church" are mutually exclusive, by specifying that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, Jesus was also saying that the Holy Spirit would not convict the Church - including anyone who is born-again - of sin. 

I would also like to include in this answer a comment that was made earlier in this thread. It is so good that I would like to "favorite" it, which you can't do to a comment. The comment was made by Linda Rodriquez:

"The scriptures say that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, not the born again believer. If you are born again you have the life and nature of God in your new born again spirit. Your new born again spirit will let you know when you are out of line with God's will and purpose for your life. Once again. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin! Not the believer. AMEN"

February 03 2018 1 response Vote Up Share Report

David goliath victory hg clr Jim Tumlinson One beggar leading others to where the bread is
From what I have found the answer is no. In the book of John as you referenced this is the only place I have seen that Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit convicting anyone of sin. 

In Romans chapter 8 the bible says there is no condemnation for those in Christ. Once we are born again there is no sin counted against us so therefore there is no sin to convict us of nor condemn us. The bible is full of scripture that says Christ died once for all, He was the propitiation for our sins, etc.

In 2 Corinthians 5:21 the bible says we are the righteousness of God in Christ. When do we become unrighteous for the Holy Spirit to convict us. In addition to that the bible also says that "His righteousness remains forever". So we are made righteous once we are born again and therefore there once again is no need for the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin since we are righteous and righteous people don't sin.

1 John 3:4-6 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. NIV

Let's look at the above verse, whoever sins breaks the law, we Christians fulfill the law because if you love God and love others you fulfill the law and prophets. God is love and His love abides in us so we love God because He first loved us and His Spirit of love lives and abides in us.

Jesus appeared to take away our sins and He did just that and in Him which we are is no sin. When we are born again we are in Him and in Him is no sin. We don't sin because we keep the law by the Spirit of Love we have from Him.

Our sins were forgiven before we were born so once we are saved they are forgiven, all of them so there are no sins to convict us of.

We are a spirit, our spirit is what is regenerated and made new and righteous, we keep looking at the flesh and not who we really are which is a spirit being who lives in a body (flesh) that sins, I cor 7; and we have a soul, (mind will emotions) It is our spirit being that is righteous and that is who we are.

We are not to be sin conscious either which we are way too much, 
Heb 10:2 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins NIV
1 Cor 15:17-18 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. NIV

Since Jesus is raised from the dead we are no longer in our sin so there is no sin to convict us of.

I hope this helps

For more about grace and along these lines you can visit


April 23 2014 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Karen Mire
The Word says that God will lead us into righteousness and that we have an unction from the Holy One. If Christians pray and read the word and stay in close communion with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will unction them of something they just said or did that was wrong. I personally hear the Lord tell me what sins to repent of when I pray--like resentment, anger, fear, pride, etc. 

There is a lot of false doctrine out there, like some saying that repentance is a change of mind. That is only part of it. Repentance involves godly contrition and a change of heart, as well, for it to be a solid repentance. 

Another false doctrine out there now is that we don't have to confess our sins because Jesus forgave us of them once and for all on the cross. Although there is truth that He did take away all of our sins on the cross, He made provision for us that if we do sin, (and He knew that after we were saved we would sin) all we have to do is sincerely confess our sins to Him and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

August 27 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini lorna froese
If we sin with the old nature in us the Holy Spirit reminds us or convicts us. Our sin is covered by the blood of Jesus when we have salvation. God imputes His righteousness upon us. God cannot look at our sin because He is Holy but His Spirit was sent to guide and keep us in the path of righteousness when Jesus left this earth to sit at the right hand of God the Father. John reminded or exhorts the 7 churches of what he had against them. John's words came from God. The church is corporate believers. There are consequences of ongoing sin. If sin is not pointed out to begin with and is overlooked or even accepted the conscience becomes seared and soon it infects and affects both oneself and others. So if it's not the Holy Spirit that does the convicting how is sin stopped in believers?

June 13 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Carl Kendrick
A question arises. Did Jesus' death on the cross result in the forgiveness of all sins, past, present and future? What religion teaches is Christ's failure to clean us from all unrighteousness, and we must help Jesus out by doing our part. 

That is, we must beg for forgiveness when we think we have sinned, and we do that because we believe the Holy Spirit will point to the mistakes in Jesus' attempt to forgive all our sins, once and for all. That means mankind, and the Holy Spirit, will complete the process Jesus initiated to forgive sins, all sins once and for all. 

What is happening is that religion has taught us we must contribute to Jesus' work by confessing what we believe are sins and informing Jesus He must have missed one. The bottom line is that we born again believers are trying to establish our own righteousness by performing the Old Testament Law. 

We try to do good to get good from God. Romans 3:19 clearly states, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them under the law..."(KJV). Gentiles were never under the law. It, the law, does not apply to non-Jews. Anytime believers do some good thing to try and get into the grace of God, believers are operating under law and not grace. The difference between operating under law and under grace is simply when a believer's conscience, not the Holy Spirit, convicts them of something that is in direct conflict with something which was already inside the born again believer, they stop and thank God for His grace that has already forgiven believers more than 2000 years ago by the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Begin, along with David, by praising the Godhead that any believers' slipups are not imputed, or charged to the believer, because the blood of Jesus has done away with all sins, forever. When believers do the good things that happen to be in the law, we fulfill the law by faith that Jesus has not imputed our sins to us. We understand that those missteps are not accounted as sins, and we glory in the completeness of the work of Jesus at the Cross. Please note: the scripture telling us the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth cannot be convicting the believer of his faults because sin is not truth. For the believer, the Holy Spirit only leads them into truth and nothing untrue. Non-believers will be convicted and be led into all truth, that Jesus dealt with their sins once and for all at the cross. Since the cross has dealt with sins once and for all, there is no truth to be learned as to how to be forgiven of sins as all grace was all poured out the moment we accepted Christ as Savior. Anytime believers try to help Jesus out by an act of contrition and confession, we are saying, Jesus your death on the cross was not sufficient for my sins, past, present, and future, and now I am confessing it to you so you will accept my act as an addition to your work on the cross. 

If a believer is conscience of any acts thought of as sin, they are, according to scripture, sin conscience, and they must believe they are not in right standing with God. Do you believe mankind is so powerful they can cancel the blood of Jesus and His work on the cross? That is what happens when asking forgiveness for sin that has been under the blood for over two thousand years. It's the grace of God, and not religious doctrine, that causes the believer to rest in the work of Jesus on the Cross which was by the grace of God. 
If you doubt my statement, next time you feel you have sinned, begin praising God for forgiveness that occurred two thousand years ago and enter into God's rest. All the work has been done. We are forgiven. Now, don't give Satan a foothold by believing you are a sinner: Those who go to hell are those who reject Jesus as savior. Rest in the truth you are not powerful enough to break fellowship God, and there is no power that can break your fellowship with your loving Father. He loves you with an everlasting love and no power can break that love.

November 29 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

The Greek word "convict" in John 16:8 is “elenxei” (Strong 1651) and the Greek word for "reproof" (RSV) in 2 Timothy 3:16 is “elegmon” (Strong 1651). Both Greek words have very similar meanings which is reproof, rebuke, admonish and persuade. Both Greek words are translated to the word “convict” in English.

Although the word “convict” is used in both verses, they mean reproof or rebuke, not convicting us as guilty in the eyes of God. Without Christ, we are guilty! But our guilt is taken away by the Blood of Jesus. In Christ, we are not condemned (Romans 8:1). It's Satan who condemns us of our sins. But the Holy Spirit and the Word of God reprove and rebuke us, and in this way train us in righteousness (moral not status). So that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17).

July 05 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

20211213 143105 Stirling Potocnik
God bless everyone here.

I don't agree with the lie that the Holy Spirit doesn't rebuke us for sins: Each of the seven churches was spoken to in the book of Revelation by the Holy Spirit in Revelation chapter 2 and 3. After Jesus spoke to each of the seven churches, he said: "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” So the Spirit of God was "speaking"!

In those messages, look at what The Spirit of God said through Jesus to Laodicea:
(Revelation 3:19)

¨Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline¨ 

This "rebuke" here in the NIV is this word in Greek (Strong's Concordance): 

1651 [e]
I rebuke
(link: https://biblehub.com/greek/1651.htm)

This is the same exact word in Greek used in John 16:8; where Jesus, said "He will ‘rebuke/convict’ the world of ¨sin, righteousness and judgement.” 

Jesus told the church to repent of fornication in the church of Thyatira (with that woman Jezebel in it, misleading His servants). 

Many other times He rebuked the church of fornication, which is a sin of unbelief transformed into "action".

So yes, ¨action/deed¨ sins must be repented of, too, and God's Spirit ¨reproves/rebukes/corrects us of ¨them¨. 

Jesus said, ¨forgive us our sins, not forgive us our "sin". 

So ¨sins¨, being them ¨the actions¨, not only the ¨root¨ of sin, in our hearts or lives.

Another scripture that points this out is here, which says:

(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

New International Version
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The word ¨God-breathed¨ means ¨blown by the Spirit of God¨. the Spirit of God, thus, He speaks through all the pages of the Bible in order to teach, ¨rebuke¨, correct and train in ¨rig teaching. Again the word ¨rebuke¨ in ¨this scripture verse of God¨ is the same word in Greek as ¨convict¨ in John 16:8 (He will convict the world of ¨sin¨). Again, in the verse, God says ¨ for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work¨. 

So the Holy Spirit does convict us to actions done from the heart and prompted by His Spirit; both to good actions or ¨away from¨ unrighteous actions, by putting a check on our hearts, out of love. 

He said later in Revelation: 

So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3: 19-21)

So Jesus says through the His Word that: "all that isn't from "belief" is sin." If you fornicate, it's from unbelief. You can't possibly fornicate out of belief in Jesus, because If you believe in Jesus, you believe in the whole scriptures too, and the Holy Spirit convicts you that fornication is sin which you won't want to do by and through HIS GRACE:

(ROMANS 14:23)

And he that doubteth is damned if he eats because he eateth not from faith; for whatsoever is not from faith is sin.

19 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the ¨fornicator¨ nor idolaters [...] will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Christ's Spirit does convict us of ¨sins¨, too, and out of ¨much love!¨

We need Jesus. So know your identity in Christ: You're a son or daughter of God, by what our King did on the cross. And go in peace and ask God for mercy and His grace to "sin no more". But don't focus on sin, either.

April 11 2022 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Wade Humphres
Wonderful question. The Spirit leads us into all truth as our teacher. The problem with saying that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin is that nowhere in the Bible does it say that the spirit of God does so. It is true in John chapter 16 beginning in verse eight that the work of the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the church is to convict the world of sin righteousness and judgment. The other problem is the word convict means to bring about a guilty verdict through a jury. With proving someone is guilty of sin there is condemnation, and with that combination they are to turn to the grace of Christ and be forgiven of their sins. 

This is the work the spirit does in unbelievers to bring them to Christ. Once we are saved the Holy Spirit dwells within us, remains in us, fills us with himself and produces the fruit of the spirit. As we grow in grace, sin is removed and replaced with the nature of God himself. And so to say that the spirit convicts is a sin is unbiblical. 

One of the problems is that we’ve heard it so much we’ve excepted it as being taught as scripture, but it is not. Paul’s description in the book of Romans chapter 7 or his struggling with sin is his experience under the law, not under the Spirit of God. Romans eight clears it up: “There is no therefore no condemnation in Christ Jesus.” Therefore conviction brings condemnation and therefore the spirit of God does not use condemnation in the life of the believer.

August 02 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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