"'But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged'" (John 16:7-11, New American Standard Bible).
"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit" (1 Peter 3:18, New American Standard Bible).
Have you heard the song "Desperado" by the Eagles? The illustration to the left is of the band, by Mark Stutzman (from www.rollingstone.com). The word "desperado" means criminal, but it reminds me of old stories about cowboys in the American wild west. I could be way off in my interpretation, but the desperado described seems to be about someone who seeks freedom by living apart from people and love (you can find the lyrics here, at azlyrics.com).
As believers, the Holy Spirit points out sin that separates us from God (John 16:8-11). The purpose of conviction is to help us see our need for a healed relationship with God, our Creator, Savior, and King. God loves us, and Jesus paid the price for sin already. The hope is that we come to Him for forgiveness, restoration, and a closer relationship with Him.
1 Peter 3:18 explains that the end goal for the convicting is to make us alive in the Spirit. Is there some part of your life that is away from God? God wants us to desire Him more than sin and then put our trust in Him and His lead.
Lord, thank You for loving us enough to want to bring us back to Your presence, even when we sin. Convict us; help us see where we need more of You. May the Holy Spirit convict others, too, so they can also know and trust in You. Amen.
Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).