John 16:8-11  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  (9)  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;  (10)  concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;  (11)  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (ESV)
When we think of conviction we think of a person standing in a court of law, found guilty and awaiting their sentencing. That is one definition, but their is another.Convict:: G1651 el-eng’-kho. Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: – convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove. (1)This seems to be a better definition. The Father reserves the judgment for the Son. The job of the Holy Spirit is to bring the world to the Son, just as the servant brought Rebeka to Isaac (remember my post on that a week or so ago). To help us in the way, the Holy Spirit uses conviction to make us realize our need for a Saviour. He convicts us:
  • Of Sin, not of sins, because they do not believe in Me. This is referring to the condemnation awaiting mankind who rejects Jesus’ offer of salvation. God does not condemn us, we condemn ourselves. John 3:17-19  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  (18)  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (19)  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. The Holy Spirit convicts us of the coming condemnation that comes from rejecting Jesus
  • Of righteousness: We remember how the Jews condemned Jesus for His supposed sinfulness? A friend of publicans and sinners, that he was guilty of blasphemy and sedition, maintained a familiarity with satan, and that he had a devil. When the world will see that I have poured out the Holy Spirit they will be forced to confess that I was just, and was not condemned by my Father when I went out of this world. Peter when he preached at Pentecost: Acts 2:36-37  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.  (37)  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
  • Of Judgement: The prince of this world, satan is judged. We remember how he fell from heaven like lighting (Luke 10:18) and the final destination of satan: Revelation 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Conviction on three points: The need for a Saviour, That only Jesus is righteous and can be our Saviour, and Jesus is the righteous judge. We will either face Him one day as our Saviour or our Judge. Which will it be? Next post: more on conviction.

(1) Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, E-Sword


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