Holy Spirit



5. Could you tell me what Jesus meant when He said that the Comforter will convict the world of righteousness and of judgement (John 16:8)?




First of all, let us see what Jesus said on the night He was betrayed. He said to His disciples: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:7-11).

Jesus knew that He would be crucified soon, and that from that moment on the world would no longer see Him, only His disciples would see Him after His resurrection. But He knew also that one day He would leave His disciples to go back to the Father who had sent Him into the world. His departure was necessary so that the Holy Spirit might come, for the Holy Spirit or the Comforter could not be sent by the Father as long as Jesus was with His disciples (in other words, He could be sent only after the ascension of Jesus to heaven). And when the Holy Spirit would come, among other things He would convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement, and this is what He is still doing.

Of sin because the world does not believe in Him, but the Holy Spirit in a powerful and unsearchable way makes unbelievers understand that not to believe in Jesus is a sin, it means to break a commandment of God (for God has commanded men to believe in His Son Jesus Christ), it means to make God a liar because they have not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.

Of righteousness because the Holy Spirit makes the world understand that Jesus went back to the Father after He finished the work which the Father had given Him to do (therefore we who are His disciples can see this); and of judgement because the Holy Spirit makes the world understand that the ruler of this world, that is, the devil, was judged and destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ. And how did Jesus judge and destroy the devil? Through His death, as it is written: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Obviously, all those who have been convicted by the Holy Spirit of these things have become children of God by their faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore they no longer belong to the world, but to Him who died for them and rose again.