The EMW Summer Call to Prayer
THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS CONVICTION TO THE WORLD
We want to see conversions, but we must realise that even a pandemic will not turn a person to Christ – we need the Spirit to work.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
When the Holy Spirit reveals the truth about Christ to us, it leads to comfort, joy, assurance, and praise, but the effect of the unbelieving world is different. The truth about Christ brings conviction, convincing men, and women that they have been wrong about Christ and are guilty before God, and therefore need a Saviour.
There is a great lack of conviction in our land – many people who do not believe in Christ seem completely untroubled about it. But conviction is necessary if someone is to become a Christian. Why would someone ask God for forgiveness they do not think they need, or trust in a Saviour they think they can do without? “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17). It is the work of the Spirit of God to show people that they are sinners in need of a Saviour.
We can preach and witness, but only the Spirit of God can bring real conviction. It was the Spirit’s convicting work on the day of Pentecost that caused the listening crowd to be cut to the heart and cry out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).
And it is the Spirit of God alone who opens hearts to believe the gospel and be saved (Acts 16:14).
Pray that the Lord will send his Spirit to convict men and women of their need and bring them to Christ.
Mark Thomas, EMW General Secretary