7But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.John 16:7-11
I have read this passage regarding the work of the Holy Spirit more times than I can count. I could quickly tell you what the Spirit’s role is according to this passage: convict the world of sin, of God’s righteousness and of coming judgment. But to be completely honest, I didn’t ever connect the next three verses with verse 8. Sometimes I am amazed by what I don’t see.
Jesus said the role of the Holy Spirit is to convict. Convict is to find someone guilty or to convince of error. He is convicting the world — showing them it is wrong regarding sin, righteousness and judgment. I am specifically interested today in the Holy Spirit’s role in exposing the sin of the world.
It stands out to me that the sin of the world is singular. Jesus didn’t say the “sins” of the world. There is just one. That is, the world refuses to believe in Jesus — refuses to believe he is God’s son; refuses to believe Jesus is salvation.
It also stands out to me that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convince the world. It is not mine. Absolutely, I play a part in God’s work on earth. But I am not the Holy Spirit. Specifically, Jesus said we are to love one another.
34So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.John 13:34-35
Jesus never told his disciples to point out the sins of the world. He simply said we should love. It seems at times it would be so much easier to be the Holy Spirit than a disciple. It is my love for others that will prove I am his disciple, not any strong stand I take against something.
Besides that, I think I am too often concerned about the wrong thing. I want to fix the symptoms of the core issue. Lack of belief is the problem. The other issues are symptoms.
24“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.John 5:24
There is a song by Zach Williams that comes to my mind as I write. Perhaps it will help you on your journey today to live more like Jesus.