( John 16:5-11 )
“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 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.”
Let us examine what it is that the Holy Spirit does when He comes to this earth.
First, the Holy Spirit Convicts the World of Sin
The above passage tells us that the Holy Spirit convicts the world “of sin.” Put differently, the Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin that leads them to hell. This sin is the sin of not believing that Jesus took upon all the sins of mankind once and for all by coming to this earth in the flesh of a man, and being baptized by John, all to save sinners.
By making His Son Jesus Christ condemned for the sins of mankind, God the Father has saved you and me from all our sins and punishment, and He has made us sinless.
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of not believing in this truth. It is the Holy Spirit who bears witness to the truth that not believing in the salvation of the water and the blood given by Jesus is the very sin leading to hell. And it is also the Holy Spirit who seals the born-again with the seal that declares, “You are My children.”
This is how we came to call God as Abba, Father. It is because we have become sinless that we can call the Holy God as our own Father.
Second, the Holy Spirit Points out the Righteousness of God
Jesus said in the above passage, “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more.” Jesus Himself is the very righteousness of God.
The “righteousness of God” has completed with Jesus’ baptism and blood: Jesus Christ took upon all the sins of mankind by coming to this earth and being baptized, carried the sins of the world to the Cross, and atoned them perfectly by shedding His blood to death. The Holy Spirit testifies that Jesus has saved us through His baptism and blood.
The Holy Spirit therefore tells us, “Not believing in Jesus is the sin that leads people to hell. And that you have received the remission of sin—that is, that God has saved you with the water and the blood—is the very righteousness of God.”
Third, the Holy Spirit Speaks of Judgment
Jesus continued to say in the above passage, “Of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” The Holy Spirit bears witness that Jesus Christ has judged the Devil with His perfect righteousness—His baptism and the blood of the Cross.
The Devil knew that Jesus was the Son of God. This is why he contrived to crucify Jesus. It was a work of Satan, who thought that killing Jesus would mean his victory.
Satan therefore incited people to crucify Jesus. Having thus been crucified, Jesus shed all the blood in His heart. Whenever the Heart of Jesus beat up, blood poured out of His vein. Right before His death, He cried out with a maddening thirst, “It is finished,” and then died. And in three days, He rose from the dead again.
The works of the Holy Spirit are manifested through the righteous with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Unfortunately, there are not that many people who have received the remission of sin by the works of the Word of the Holy Spirit’s testimony at this point. Why? Because people have been deceived by the works of demons, and they have therefore been unable to be born again, receiving the spirits of demons and misbelieving them as the Spirit of Jesus.
That Jesus has saved us by coming to this earth, being baptized, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again—that means that He has made us righteous and will therefore take us to Heaven. This is what the Holy Spirit testifies.
Far too many people throughout the world still remain as sinners with sinful hearts even as they have believed in Jesus for 10, 20, or even 50 years. We can even see that for some people, the longer they have believed, the more they are bound by their sins. Having received the power of demons, they mistakenly think that speaking in tongues, which are nothing more than incomprehensible gibberish, and convulsive experiences, mean that they have received the Holy Spirit. But these are not the gifts of the Holy Spirit but of demons. It is, in other words, Christians being possessed by demons from their inability to discern the works of the Holy Spirit from the works of demons. The characteristics of the demonically possessed include convulsing violently, uttering incomprehensible words, rolled-up eyes and shaking bodies, and brazenly committing impersonal acts. The works of Satan makes people to live a life of faith that is extremely impersonal, with no intellect but only feelings and will.
The works of the Holy Spirit, in contrast, testify through the Word what is sin, what is righteousness, what is our salvation by God, what is His judgment, in which gospel we must believe to be saved, and who are the ones that will be condemned to hell.
Where is the evidence of your salvation from sin? You have been saved by believing in God’s written Word of truth. It is because this Word of God is in your hearts that you have been saved for all your sins. But so many Christians cannot accept the true and beautiful gospel because there are lots of false teachings piled up in their mind previously. As there was no room in the inn to accommodate Mary who was pregnant with Jesus, such people must empty their hearts first to accept Jesus, and hold onto and believe in the written Word of God.
We must hold onto and believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, in the promise that Jesus Christ would come and save us. This is how we can be eternally saved from our sins and be approved by God the Holy Spirit. It is in the hearts of those who have become sinless by believing in Jesus that God the Holy Spirit can dwell. We have received the remission of sin, but we cannot but sin yet again. Of course, we do not sin willingly, but out of our weaknesses. No one can resist the temptation of stealing if he/she had gone three days without any food; likewise, we cannot avoid but sin always, but we still say that we have received the remission of our sins because we have the Word of God in our hearts.
This is why 1 Peter 3:21 says, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism,” and 1 Peter 1:23 states, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”
Before God, the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgment. We have been saved from our sins by believing in the gospel of truth given by Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus’ baptism and His crucifixion are the love of God that has saved us sinners. And many people must receive eternal life by believing in the salvation that Jesus, who is the Judge, has given them.