John 16:8, AMP
“And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment…”
Those of us who have been prisoners, all had a specific time when we learned we had been convicted of the charges levelled against us. Another person, or group of persons, condemned us and declared punishment. When this happened, we were first labeled as “convicts”.
For a Christian, the word “convict” in today’s verse does not imply condemnation and punishment. For those of us who are in Christ Jesus, and are led by the Spirit, there is no condemnation. See Romans 8:1-2.
Rather, the Holy Spirit gently exposes, refutes and convinces us of areas of our life where we are falling short of the righteousness of Christ so that we will not return to the guilt of ongoing sin. Our Savior has delivered us from the power of sin, and we are free to make right choices by the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit makes us aware of God’s standard of righteousness in Christ Jesus, shows us what sin is, and gives us the power to overcome the world.1 When we miss the mark, He calls us to repentance. We must always have a heart that desires to be obedient and we must be quick to repent when we are not. See 1 John 1:9.
Ask the Father to empower you today to walk in the righteousness of Christ. Listen for the Holy Spirit’s direction along the right path, and His gentle conviction if you start to wander.
Dive Deeper: Study John 16; Romans 8:1-2; 1 John 1:9.
1 Life in the Spirit Study Bible published by Zondervan.