Very few of us know anything about the conviction of sin. We know what it feels like to be disturbed at having done something wrong, but we don’t know conviction. To be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit is to have every earthly relationship blotted out and to stand alone with the heavenly Father, knowing fully whom we have wronged: “Against you, you only, have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4).

When we are convicted of sin in this way, we know with every power of our conscience that God dare not forgive us—not without a price being paid. If he did, it would mean that we have a stronger sense of justice than God. God’s forgiveness is the great miracle of his grace, but it cost him the breaking of his heart in the death of Christ. Only through this death is the divine nature able to forgive while remaining true to itself. It’s shallow nonsense to say that the reason God forgives us is that God is love. Once we’ve been convicted of sin, we’ll never say this again. The love of God means Calvary and nothing less. The love of God is written on the cross and nowhere else. Only on the cross is God’s conscience satisfied.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean only that I am saved from hell and made right for heaven. It means that I am forgiven into a new relationship; I am re-created and identified with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, an unholy being, into the standard of himself, the Holy One. He does this by giving me a new disposition, the disposition of his Son, Jesus Christ

Wisdom from Oswald

Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest. Disciples Indeed, 395 L