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:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
This passage of scripture reveals to us the two primary sources of conviction, that we should all be living by, the word of God and the Holy Spirit, who impresses the word of God into our consciences, confirming what the scriptures say. However it's very important for us to read God's word and run with it, meaning that we should not wait idly for the Holy Spirit to come along and force conviction on our consciences before we believe and act on what God's word has already stated. This is one of the more common problems in our day, where many of us have read what the scriptures teach on a particular point, but then we sit waiting for The Holy Spirit to convict us of sin or of righteousness, before acting on the word.
We must use the word of God as our primary source of conviction, for we are told in the Bible to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, not by every conviction or impression we may receive from The Holy Ghost. When Christ was being tempted in the wilderness, He never said the Spirit told me, but He instead used the plain cutting truths of God's word to repel the advances of the evil one. As a matter of fact the word of God is the "Sword of The Spirit" which The Holy Ghost uses both offensively and defensively, and furthermore, the entire Bible was written under the direct inspiration of The Holy Spirit, therefore when we take the scriptures as our primary source of conviction, we are actually subscribing to the work of The Holy Spirit who inspired the word in the first place. Let's read:
2nd Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
In our day many of us have mistakenly replaced the plain utterances of the word of God with impressions that we believe come from the Holy Ghost, and in so doing, we expose ourselves unnecessarily to the assaults of the devil, who can also deliver strong impressions which may seem to come from God. This is what he often does, as he did with Peter, when he tried to dissuade Jesus from going to Calvary to die for the sins of the human family. We do receive from time to time strong "Good" impressions, but we also receive strong bad ones, as evidenced in the following passages. Let's read:
Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Let's be certain that in all of the information and convictions we receive, that the word of God is given the preeminence in our minds, for this is the only safe path to the kingdom of glory. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which encourages us to search the word of God diligently for ourselves, so that we may be edified and sanctified by obeying the truths that are written therein. Let's read:
Psalms 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
May we be convicted to study God's word today, for we are sanctified by the truths contained in the scriptures. God bless!