What Does Convict Mean?
Please help me to understand the word “convict” more clearly. What does it mean when we say that God ‘convicts’ us of our sins? Without ‘conviction’, we may not want to make a commitment.
Thanks for your question. The word is only used once in the KJV (John 8:9). It is used several times in the ASV (John 16:8; Titus 1:9; Hebrews 11:1; Jude 1:15). The word means to come to a strong personal conclusion after a process of deliberation.
One may be convicted in regard to some personal matter. In which case, one could say that he is convicted regarding that belief, meaning more or less, that he is sure of his belief.
But one could also be convicted in a more judicial sense. We think of a jury convicting someone of a crime. That means that they have weighed the evidence and come to the conclusion that the defendant is guilty. So we say, “He’s been convicted.”
Both of these processes are processes of rendering judgment. The conviction is the fruit of that process. Whether it is personal in nature, or whether it is more judicial. In essence, conviction means that you truly do believe what you have come to conclude and nothing is going to sway you from that course.