I agree that this is a false dichotomy. What does the Holy Spirit convict us of? Sin. What is sin? Sin is NOT "missing the mark" (unqualified). Must the PREACHING of the law of necessity come before conversion? At some point in time, maybe. The law of God is written on men's hearts. Men know that they are sinners. However, the preaching of the Law CLARIFIES what their consciences convict them of. But it is still through the law, that men are convicted, and it is through the law that men realize their depravity, and are driven to Chirst. Here Paul says that the Law DRIVES us to Christ. WHY? Because we realize our UTTER inability to save ourselves! Paul labors this model in Romans chapters 1-3. Chapter 1, Paul chastises the gentile for their sinfulness. Chapter 2, Paul says the Jews are even worse in that they were given the law *proper* and STILL disobeyed. Chapter 3: Luther is most helpful on this point: Calvin discusses this in his Institutes of the Christian Religion: I would ask those who think that conviction may happen APART from the law, where from Scripture might they fancy such a notion?