"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment."
If in any way I had done something wrong, such as cheating or telling a little lie, I would be strongly convicted of having sinned, and I knew I had to confess and correct it. Those sins were easy to see. But what about heart sins? When my father got angry with his children, he blamed the children, and so could excuse himself. And when I had children, I did the same. If I became impatient and irritated, it was someone else who was to blame, because they had done something I did not like or did not want them to do. When my husband was selfish or harsh with the children, I resented him and argued with him. In my mind I blamed him for my resentment. So I excused my heart sins until I started to study. Then God was able to convict me that I did not have righteousness, and that I was not ready for the judgment. I did not have the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is the character of Christ.
"It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convicted of sin; and feel our need of pardon. None but the contrite are forgiven; but it is the grace of God that makes the heart penitent. He is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities, and He will help us."
"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in me."
"God does not send messengers to flatter the sinner. He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security. He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer, and pierces the soul with arrows of conviction. The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God to deepen the sense of need, and prompt the cry, 'What must I do to be saved?'"