(J.C. Ryle, "The Holy Spirit") LISTEN to audio! Download audio
(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)
"When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment." John 16:8
Where the Holy Spirit is, there will always be deep conviction of sin--and true repentance for it. It is His special office to convict of sin.
He shows the exceeding holiness of God.
He teaches the exceeding corruption and infirmity of our nature.
He strips us of our blind self-righteousness.
He opens our eyes to our awful guilt, folly and danger.
He fills the heart with sorrow, contrition, and abhorrence for sin--as the abominable thing which God hates.
He who knows nothing of all this, and saunters carelessly through life, thoughtless about sin, and indifferent and unconcerned about his soul--is a dead man before God! He has not the Holy Spirit.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in a man's heart can only be known by the fruits and effects He produces. Mysterious and invisible to mortal eye as His operations are--they always lead to certain visible and tangible results.
Just as you know there is life in a tree by its sap, buds, leaves and fruits--just so you may know the Spirit to be in a man's heart by the influence He exercises over his thoughts, affections, opinions, habits, and life. I lay this down broadly and unhesitatingly; I see it clearly marked out in our Lord Jesus Christ's words, "Every tree is known by his own fruit." Luke 6:44
Bring about the conviction of sin upon our lives that, although painful for a season, leads to life and health in you!
Keep not your Holy Spirit from inflicting the pain of conviction in order that we might know the comfort of a oppositionless way in this life.
The lack of opposition to our sin; the lack of conviction for our wrongs; the toleration of our wickedness is no gift or treasure that we ought to pursue it.
No, such a travesty values filth over purity; wickedness over righteousness; death over life.
The true gift is that of conviction, discipline, judgment. For in those things, the true depth of your holiness and the true purity of your sinlessness is seen and an invitation is extended for us to come, dine, and enjoy the abundance of those realities.
Spirit, we invite and beseech you to bring about the conviction of sin in our hearts that we might produce and evidence the fruits of your labor in and through our lives.
We desire more than the pleasures and delights that the flesh and the world promise us. We desire the pleasures of eternal king delighting in us as we delight in you!
Fill us with hatred of sin; a loathing and detestable revulsion at its presence in our life! May our hearts ever be humble and contrite before you. May your work of grace make us more like you, that we might enjoy you more fully and richly!
We love you, Abba! Amen.