Jn 16:8 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
God created a plan for all of humanity when He created man. We don’t know His ways, but we do know His heart for us and it is to love and spend eternity with us. Yet for ages man has been confused about what the roles of the Trinity are. Like many of us feel about those that we love, the disciples did not want to face the reality of Jesus leaving them to return to God the Father. So in order to comfort them, Jesus shared a portion of God’s great plan for us. Today I want to talk about what Jesus declared as part of the Holy Spirit’s purpose on earth was to be.
He convicts the World: (Sin) And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me. Jesus specifically calls out the world in this part of the text. They are the only group that the Holy Spirit convicts for their sin. He does it to remind them of their need for a Savior. His desire is that all of humanity be saved (Jn 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved); so He convicts to give every possible opportunity for His salvation.
Now I hear you saying well why do often feel convicted when I sin? I know that I’m saved. I commit to you the devil’s conniving ways (2 Cor 11:14); he will seem like an Angel of light, but utter lies and confusion. He will speak as if he’s a still small voice yet his words will contradict God’s Word. Let’s go further.
He convicts (US) the Believer: (Righteousness) And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: ……of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more. Here Jesus is talking directly to us, as believers as He reminds us of God’s plan (because I go to My Father and you see Me no more); He has to ascend to the Throne of God, He’s always talked about His Father and now it was time to return. Yet for Him to return it meant that His mission was completed (Phil 2:1-11) and He did it with such dignity and grace.
The Holy Spirit is not convicting us of Sin because our Sin has already been addressed (Jn 3:16 , Rom 5:8), but He convicts us of His Righteousness (2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him). His Righteousness and not ours because our righteousness is filthy (Isa 64:6). So the Holy Spirit wants to make sure that we: He convicts us to walk in His righteousness (Rom 8:1-5), to know that we are righteous (Gal 2:20-21) and to move away from dwelling in our shortcomings and failures (Rom 6:12-14), but to dwell on His Righteousness (Phil 4:8).
He convicts the Devil: (Judgement) And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: ……of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. The Holy Spirit judges the Devil and him alone. He is not judging us (Rom 8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…) or even those who don’t know him. However, all of those who align themselves with the devil subject themselves to the same judgment from God. We as believers, can be fooled to believe that we are being judged when something does not go our way, but Jesus took on all of our Judgment and more on the Cross so we would not have to.
God is a just God and does not believe in “double jeopardy.” Just like in our court system, we cannot be judged for the same crime twice. For if we could be judged for our sin again, it would render Jesus’ sacrifice void. And we know better than that; His sacrifice was once and for all, now He’s at the right hand of the Father (where He’s made room for us; Gal 3:1).