By Tyshawn Gardner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Samford University
Does It Bring Conviction?
On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell on 120 believers, uniting them across ethnic and tribal lines. People abandoned their own cultural loyalties upon being convicted to embrace the way of Christ.
The Holy Spirit empowered believers, birthed a multiethnic church and brought conviction through Peter’s sermon.
The Lord often convicts us of sin through His preached Word. We rejoice in the Spirit bringing unity and reconciliation, but we must also submit to His conviction. Our response to conviction determines how we go forward in God’s plan for the Church. Even as believers, we must ask, “How is the Lord convicting me, and what is He convicting me of?” The way of peace and joy goes through the path of conviction.
Christ was crucified and resurrected for our salvation. (32–36)
The Holy Spirit reveals the truth of who God is in Christ. Jesus is the Messiah. His crucifixion made atonement for our sins. His resurrection defeated death, hell and the grave, bringing us salvation. The Word of God convicts us of this truth. There is no other way to salvation and no other means by which we can be reconciled to God.
The promise that the Messiah would come through the Davidic line was made known in the prophets and the psalms. God’s promise of the Messiah is manifest in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
When He is preached, every person, regardless of nationality, who opens their heart and accepts this convicting truth in faith is saved and brought into the family of God. All truth rises and falls on Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
The work of Christ calls for a response from us. (37–38)
The finished work of Christ on the cross beckons us to respond in obedience. When Peter preached the Lordship of Jesus Christ, doubters were cut to the heart. John 16:8–10 is a reminder of the work of the Holy Spirit in the process of salvation. He will convict those who oppose the truth of the reconciling work of Christ. Therefore, when we hear the gospel, we should repent, be baptized and believe on the Lord Jesus.
The decision for Christ does not stop at mere belief in His crucifixion and resurrection. The proof lies in our thinking and behaviors.
Conviction requires us to yield to the truth of Scripture concerning who Christ is and how we must live in light of that truth. When we repent, we turn away from any ideology, philosophy or theology that contradicts unity, holiness and righteousness.
The right response to God’s conviction leads to salvation and obedience. (39–41)
When Peter finished preaching, those who received his word believed and became members of the new family God was creating. The right response takes courage.
When we believe who Christ is and receive the truth of His way, we must change our thinking and behaviors and leave our old ways and people who reject the way of Christ.
This can be seen in how we respond to Christ and to people. Conviction may be uncomfortable, but it leads to a new way of thinking and freedom, peace and joy.
God also provides the Holy Spirit, so we are not without help in making a right response. The same Spirit who convicts us of our sins helps us in our salvation.