We have life through the Word of God. God is the Word, and the Word is God (John 1:1), and Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14). We have life through believing in Jesus Christ, the Word of God (Matthew 4:4).
That being said, the greatest way Satan steals life from us (John 10:10), is through stealing the Word of God from our hearts. How does he do this? Through deception about what the Truth of the Word of God is. Satan knows that the most dangerous of lies, are the lies that have some truth in them.
When speaking of conviction of the Holy Spirit, I believe Satan has twisted the Word of God so we blame the Holy Spirit for doing the work of Satan. How? By believing that what we think is conviction from the Holy Spirit, is really condemnation.
If you had a friend, and all they did was tell you that what you did was wrong, how do you think you would end up feeling about that friendship? If everything you heard was what you are not doing right, how soon do you think you would develop a negative association with that friendship? Would that friendship provide you comfort? I would hope you answered, no. Scientifically we see this manifesting through a phenomena known as the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, in which students who are taught by teachers with low expectations of them, and teach them by telling them what they do is wrong, perform to that low expectation, therefore learn to not believe in themselves. In contrast, students who have teachers with high levels of expectations and encouragement perform to those higher levels and have a higher degree of self-efficacy.
Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is no different. In fact, if the Holy Spirit told me everything I was doing was wrong, I honestly, would not look forward to my time with Him. In fact, I would probably dread it because I would know what would be coming and it would be a loooooong list. If the Holy Spirit reminded me of every sin I committed, I would put more belief in being a sinner (which I am) which would reinforce sinful behavior, rather than believing I am the righteousness of God, which would reinforce righteous behavior. If the former was the case, the Holy Spirit would not be my Comforter as John states (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit is our comforter. He is our comforter because He does not convict us of individual sin. If He did, the name ‘accuser’ would characterize His relationship with us, and we know who the accuser of man is: Satan (Revelation 12:7-12).
How does the Holy Spirit convict? Let us look in John 16:
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
When Jesus spoke of conviction, He used the word reprove, which is Greek for “elegchō“, and means to “bring to the light, expose”.
What does the Comforter bring to the light? Our unbelief. Through this, He is reminding us that we are the salt and light unto the world. We are Christlike. Christ is in us and we are in Him. In this world, WE are like Jesus (1 John 4:17), and that we have everything we need to have the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19), a fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). Now, that is comforting. That is a high expectation, an expectation of love and righteousness that instills confidence and is far more effective than condemning each, individual sin.
This is one reason, if you read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, why you will not see Jesus ever mentioning individual sin. Often times, He simply states, “Go and sin no more”. In other words, “Go and believe how much I love you”.
In John 16:9, we see that the root of every sin is unbelief. Specifically, the unbelief of salvation. How so you might ask? Well, there are 7 definitions of salvation. It is not just ‘fire insurance’, or saving us from hell. When you combine the Greek words ‘saved’ and ‘salvation’, the definition as a whole means that you are saved, healed, delivered, prospered, protected, preserved, and made whole. Most Christians fail to understand this. You have just as much of a guarantee of not going to hell, as you do in healing, prosperity, protection, etc., under salvation. And when we sin it is because of unbelief in our free gifts through salvation.
For example, if you steal money it is because you do not believe in God’s ability or promise to prosper you under salvation.
If a man or woman commits adultery, it is because they do not believe God can meet their needs, fulfill them, or make them ‘whole’ in their marriage.
The root of every sin is unbelief in the authority of God’s Word, or believing that God will not do what He has promised us.
When you begin to understand that the role of the Holy Spirit is to remind you that you are a child of light, and that your inheritance includes everything under the umbrella of salvation, you will be reminded how much you are loved and there is no greater motivation to aspire a change in behavior and repentance than knowing you are loved and believed in.
In fact, when those condemning thoughts from being accused of sin enter your mind, and you realize they are not from God, it will be empowering and freeing. You will remember that the Holy Spirit is believing in you as a child of the Light, a child of God. You are the righteousness of God, through Christ.
The Holy Spirit is your Comforter, He is your Advocate. He believes in you, and places confidence in you through reminding you who you are in Christ. More importantly, how much you are loved.