John 16:8-9 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
We don’t really hear much about sin anymore. I don’t think it is because people are sinning less, it may be that our spin on sin has changed. Rather than looking to God’s word as the final authority on what makes sin sin, we have taken the alternative path. Everyone just does what is right in their own eyes. Along with that we have reinvented God in our own image. He no longer judges people for their sins, after all, He is the One who made us that way. If you haven’t picked up on it, there is a bit of sarcasm in my comments. Of course The Lord hasn’t changed, it is our culture and society that has changed. R. T. Kendall addressed the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting us of our sin in his book Holy Fire. Check this out.
“He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8, ESV). Only the Holy Spirit can make us see our sin, show us the need for righteousness, and the urgency of the gospel—that there is judgment. A person cannot feel convicted of these things on his or her own. It takes the Spirit to shake us rigid.
This is true before and after our conversion. We cannot see our sin or the seriousness of unbelief before our conversion—we are all so self-righteous. It requires the Holy Spirit to make us see the painful truth—that we have grieved Him by self-righteousness and unbelief and are going to have to give an account of our lives at the judgment seat of Christ. Even after conversion we must beware of self-righteousness. This is why John said—writing to Christians, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). It is also why it is good to pray the Lord’s Prayer daily—recalling the petition, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4)”
Maybe the reason sin is never mentioned, even in church, is because the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is no where to be found. If you haven’t figured it out yet, He only comes where He is welcomed. In many cases we have been left to do our own thing without the involvement of the Holy Spirit. That is pretty scary. No wonder we have drifted so far from where we were just a few short years ago. Now, more than ever, we need the work of the Holy Spirit in our churches. He convicts of sin, convinces us of the ministry of Jesus, and He leads us into all truth. So maybe its time to welcome Him back into the church; maybe, just maybe He will usher in a new season of true repentance.