Moreover, when the Apostle Paul writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to rebuke Christians, are we to understand that the Holy Spirit is not at work bringing conviction? Writing to Timothy, the apostolic representative in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul said, “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear” (1 Tim. 5:20 ESV, Titus 1.13″>13; Titus 2.13″>2:13, Titus 2.15″>15). Is it possible that the Spirit’s conviction of Christians would be for the same intended purpose of apostolic rebukes? I think so.
In my opinion, this issue is a central issue that, at its core, has dramatic effects on the nature of the gospel and the nature of the church. We need, if anything, to understand that our identity in Christ is rooted in our “now and not yet” understanding of the process of salvation. These concepts need not oppose each other! We can, after all, have a both/and approach.
What do you think?