Is the Holy Spirit Really the Sin Cop that Convicts the Believer?

I have been taught that the Holy Spirit is the sin cop that monitors the believers living and convicts the believer when he falls into sin.

Religion taught me that Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin to the believer. Does this mean He looking over my shoulder with ears cocked listening to hear if I tell a lie, and in all honesty there have been times that I have lied. Yeah I did lie, so have most, if not all of you, so don’t pull your religious guns  loaded with out of context bible verses and shoot me full of judgment and condemnation while acting so pious yourself!).

I know the Holy Spirit is other roles, like comforter and teacher, but is He the sin cop we have been taught He is? In my mind, He was there making sure I lived above reproach and just waiting to convict me as soon as I made a mistake, then report His findings to almighty God, who then would punish me for my sin.

Wow, what a perverted gospel that is!

But what if Holy Spirit doesn’t convict believers of sin? What if we’ve been misled by religious misunderstanding and deceived into seeing Him as the sin cop who hands out the ticket of guilt when we sin? Here me out before you accuse me of being a heretic and send me to the gallows.

There are two key verses that are where the sin cop Holy Spirit theory is drawn from.

The first one is John 16:8-9:
“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me.”

The other one is in 1 Thessalonians 1:5:
“Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”

Hold on a second, am I reading this right…it doesn’t say convict, it says conviction, convict and conviction have two different meanings.

The verb convict means to prove or declare guilty of an offense or to impress with a sense of guilt.

The context of the noun conviction in Thessalonians is more accurately translated “assurance.”

There is a big difference in the meaning of the two words.
When I thought about this for myself the question in my mind was how could so many people who claim to know the bible be so wrong in their understanding of it? During my whole church life I’ve been lead to believe that the Holy Spirit brings conviction upon believers when they sin.
Reading John 16, I see He does bring conviction; but it is not to believers. The Holy Spirit convicts (or declares guilty) the world. Why? Because of unbelief.

OK, we are believers, we are not in unbelief. So where does the guilty feeling come from?

James in his book deals with a couple of issues, but this stands out to me in verses 8-10:
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

It is the law-keeping (rule and regulation keeping) mentality that attributes the role of sin cop to the Holy Spirit.
Here we have believers turning back from grace to the law keeping striving mode. Any time we try to keep any part of the law for the sake of the law, we are responsible for keeping ALL of the law. When we break the law we are condemned by the law and declared guilty by the law.
The minute we fail in keeping any part of the law we are guilty of breaking All of the law, and the law convicts us as transgressors. In other words, the law is the source of our guilt.

Paul in teaching his grace message makes a big deal about believers not being under the law through his writing because as soon as we want to live by it, we will die by it. The good news is the law has already been fulfilled through Jesus and since we are in Jesus, we don’t have to try to do what He has already accomplished.

One of the most well know verses in the Bible is Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It follows, if there is no condemnation, the Holy Spirit isn’t declaring us guilty (convicting) of anything.

Now look at what the Holy Spirit really does in the next verse:
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

That should be enough to make you shout for joy!

The Holy Spirit brings freedom to those in Christ, not conviction. When you are free from sin and you continue to sin, it’s going to feel awkward, like putting on an old coat you grew out of, it makes you feel out of place and weird. Maybe what we feel isn’t guilt but a realization our actions don’t match our identity in that we are disgracing God’s gospel of grace.

When we change our mind from sin-consciousness to God-consciousness and live  who we are, we’ll change our mind about what we are, and what we should be doing. When we change our mind about the Holy Spirit being the sin cop who convicts us, we’ll change our mind about what He does through us, though a continuing failing human.


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