And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean. But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:55-62)

Conviction after Sin

Every believer with the indwelling Holy Spirit will feel conviction after sinning, and while a sinful attitude is being cherished. Speaking of the Holy Spirit, John 16:8 says this: And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin… Now, if this perverse generation knows something deep down of the guilt of their sins, how much more, then, will the children of God!

The Conviction of the Holy Spirit versus the Condemnation of Satan

Knowledge of this fact must also be combined with discernment. Much of what you may be feeling after sin is actually not the Holy Spirit! Know this:

The Holy Spirit will give you conviction leading to repentance and life, but Satan will give you condemnation leading to shame and death.

Needless to say, conviction is what you must accept and act upon, while the condemnation you must resist and fight. Consider this: And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. (v. 61a) What look, do you suppose, was on Jesus’ face? The look of, “Great, Peter. After all I’ve done for you?” Or perhaps, “I never knew you would stoop so low.”? I think not.  When they made eye contact, Peter remembered Jesus’ words about him denying his Lord, no doubt. But I truly believed Peter remembered all the good things Jesus had said about him, and this pierced his heart.

“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 17b-18)

See, when the Holy Spirit convicts us, we are reminded of His love for our souls, and what better things He wants for us than the sin we run to. We are then overwhelmed with a desire for the godly life which accords with intimacy with God – this He has promised.

Satan, however, is only concerned with taking the shame and guilt which was nailed to the cross, and heaping it on our heads once more.

Seeing the Difference:

Note these voices from the enemy. Can you resonate with any of them?

You’ve given into pornography for the 500th time.
You actually call yourself a Christian? You’re such a pig. God could never use someone like you.

Your temper flares up once again.
What a calm soul you are! Does He really lead you beside still waters? You’re no better than the worst.

You’ve spent money you would have tithed on an expensive meal.Might as well not try to change; you’ve been like this forever. So much for the sacrificial life!

Listen to how the Holy Spirit might speak to you…

You’ve given into pornography for the 500th time.
I descended from glory in heaven to the earth to seek and save the lost. Before you were born, I bore your sins on the cross. I chose you, knowing full well every sin you would ever commit. Your sin is not stronger than my mercy. Now come – I have called you to purity. Pick up your cross once again.

Your temper flares up.
Take me as your example, who took so much hostility from sinners, but did not open my mouth. I was meek and lowly all the days of my life, and I am committed to making you more like myself. Renounce your tempter, and come, follow me.

You’ve spent money you would have tithed on an expensive meal.
Am I not enough for you? Can I not be your exceeding joy? Were all your possessions stripped away, I would sustain you. Come, lean on me.

And so you see, that Jesus always beckons us to leave our sins and follow Him. Remember: You, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)

How can there be guilt, when the record of our sins was nailed to the cross?

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.