John 16:8-11 – And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged
The term Convict; is defined as to be found or proven guilty & to convince of error or sinfulness; but when we talk of the term Conviction; we study the biblical term that is rooted from in the Greek word Elencho (el-eng’-kho) which means to expose; to rebuke, refute, show fault; to convince. Chapter 16 of John speaks of the prophesied coming of the Holy Spirit as invoked by Christ in the hour of his death; the previous events prior to our key text sets the stage that the disciples upon hearing of Christ’s departure immediately were downcast, weakened and saddened in which Christ corrects them by stating that his departure stands advantageous to them for the helper; that is the Holy Spirit may come; The coming of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost which is found in Acts 2:4 brings about conviction to the world; As found in John 16:8-11. The Holy Spirit comes to convict; to Elencho; that is to expose sin, to rebuke unrighteousness; to refute apostasy; to show fault and convince all of the need to repent, to make restitution; to strive for holiness, strive for purity as they are called to salvation in Christ. Understand that the coming of the Holy Spirit has never been or ever will be the coming of a impersonal force; for the Holy Spirit is a person as found in John 14:16; and the Holy Spirit is God as in Ephesians 4:4-6. Now the Holy Spirit’s ministry of conviction operates in three areas; the 1st being Sin. The Holy Spirit will expose sin and unbelief in order to awaken a consciousness of guilt and need for forgiveness. Conviction also makes clear the fearful result if the guilt persist in their sin. After conviction, a choice must be made. This will lead to repentance and a turning to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The 2nd is Righteousness; The Spirit convinces people that Jesus is the righteous son of God, resurrected, vindicated and now Lord of all. he makes them aware of God’s standard of righteousness in Christ, shows them what sin is and gives them power to overcome the world Finally, the 3rd is Judgement, The Spirit convinces people of Satan’s defeat at the cross; God’s judgement of the world and the future judgement of the entire human race- the Holy Spirit brings upon us wisdom, discernment, and a heart that is turned to God; transforming us as found in 2 Corinthians 3:16-18. The Spirit’s work and his manifestation in the life of a person stands as the winnowing fork that separates the true believer from the false; the wheat from the tares. The mark of a true believer is in fact evident in our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s conviction in our lives. The conviction that stands as evidence of the newness of life in Christ as we abhor sin, walk in righteousness and prepare ourselves for the coming judgement. A true believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit preaches the truth of God and stands to convict people of the truth; exposing sin and calling out repentance and righteousness- standing aside and coexisting with ungodly idealism, ungodly people and wickedness shows that the Holy Spirit is not in us; as such our salvation is questionable as our relationship with God is non-existent- now why can I say that? turn your bibles to 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 – in all accounts this verse states that God’s presence in a congregation is recognized by the exposure of the sin of unbelievers which would then convict them to stand repentant unto God and walk to salvation in Christ. A true believer, a true worshiper and one who is truly elected walks to convict our self and the people around us of their sin and the need to walk in righteousness since the Holy Spirit moves him/her into conviction; into exposing sin for you stand as the salt of the earth, the light in the hill; darkness will not obscure sin since you stand to expose all that is wrong as you stand for righteousness, for holiness and purity. Jesus; in his final prayer for his disciples- called that they be set-apart from the world; to be sanctified- John 17:17-21; To Sanctify means to make holy, to separate or set-apart. The evening before his crucifixion; Jesus prays that his disciples will be holy people, separated from the world and sin for the purpose of worshiping and serving God. They must be set apart in order to be near to God, to live for Him and to be like Him. This sanctification is accomplished by their devotion to the truth revealed to them by the Spirit of truth; this means that they should be sensitive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit each step of the way; examining and testing each word uttered, each action taken if it would truly glorify God, will it please Him; will it praise Him? How do we do that? by testing and examining our faith walk through the word of God; by comparing ourselves to scripture. Verse 19 speaks of Christ sanctifying himself by setting himself apart to do God’s will; to die on the cross. Jesus suffered on the cross to bear our sins in order that all who follow Him might be separated from the world and set apart for God – Hebrews 13:12. Verse 21 cries out- That all may be one. So in our conviction to the truth of the Holy Spirit, in our sanctification and being set- apart- there is unity to be had here; mind you though Christ’s prayer for unity was not organizational unity as though we had one big governing church, or a system of government as we inhabit a tower; or a mall sized structure- what He called forth here was spiritual unity based on Living in Christ, knowing and experiencing the love of the Father & the fellowship of Christ; being separated from the world; being sanctified in truth, being obedient to God’s word and a desire to bring salvation to the lost. Unless all of these things are realized; true unity as Christ prayed for cannot and will not exist. Christ did not ask that his followers “become one” but rather his statement was they may “Be One” The present subjunctive used here designates ongoing action- “Continually being one” through their common relationship with the Father and the Son on having the same basic attitude toward the world, the Word and the need for the lost, to sensitive to conviction; sensitive to God’s call. Any attempt to create an artificial unity by meetings, conferences or complex organization can result in a betrayal of the very unity Jesus prayed for. What Christ had in mind was Spiritual unity which comes with the unity we have in the Holy Spirit which is impossible unless we are sensitive to His conviction; to what we need to change in us in order that we may sanctify ourselves and prepare for glory. That coming to His word, to His church is not a cosmetic, superficial means of holiness; but a deep down renewal which is only evident in those who are truly elected Thus as we end; I ask you- how sensitive are we to the conviction of the Holy Spirit; do we stand to convict ourselves of sin, do we stand to convict those whom we love of sin, do we convict the world of sin and turn them to righteousness? Examine your hearts today and if you failed in being sensitive to the conviction of the Spirit of God; I call to you today to stand repentant; be set apart; saturate yourself in scripture and walk sanctified, holy, pure and true as we await our King.
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