Three Works of the Holy Spirit
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. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:7-11 NKJV
Can you imagine God only being in one place at a time–answering my prayer but not yours–because He was busy answering mine; or even, not being able to instruct or teach you–at the same time–while He was teaching and ministering to me? When Jesus ministered on earth as the Son of Man, he was not omnipresent, e.g., when he was preaching and ministering in Galilee he was not present in Judea. And, if He was to depart from His disciples, He wouldn’t be present with them.
When Jesus told His disciples that He must go away and return to His Father in heaven, and that He would not leave them without the help He had always been to them, His disciples were confused and filled with anxiety. Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter [Helper], that He may be with you forever . . . I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” This Comforter is the Parakletos: an advocate, a consoler, and an intercessor; one who walks along side to side to help. Furthermore, Jesus sought to calm His disciples’ consternation by saying, “[b]ut the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
After Jesus returned back to Heaven and asked His Father to send the Comforter (Holy Spirit) to his disciples: in addition to the Comforter’s ministry to help believers, He was tasked with three specific works of power, as enumerated in the above foundation scriptures: to convict, convince, and reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11).
Of Sin: when the Holy Spirit comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin because of men do not believe in Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict those in their unbelief, rebellion, and rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:18, 19; 1 John 2:2).
Of Righteousness: furthermore, when the Holy Spirit comes, He will convict the world in regard to righteousness, because Jesus has gone back to the Father, where He can’t be seen physically no longer. Except for Jesus Christ, “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). Jesus was the only righteous man ever on the earth, without exception. Man’s supposed righteousness is as an “unclean thing” and is tantamount to “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6). But true godly righteousness can be obtained–only through God in Christ by way of salvation (Rom. 10:10; 2 Cor. 5:21).
Of Judgment: moreover, Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will convict the world in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world [Satan] now stands condemned. When Jesus died on the cross, Satan was both defeated and eternally judged. Satan has been condemned to hell (Matt. 25:41; John 12:31-33), and it is the Holy Spirit’s task of power to convince men that no matter his deceits, schemes, and tactics: Satan, that old devil is defeated and condemned to hell and the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14, 15).
These are the works of the Holy Spirit who will lead and guide the believer into all truth and show them things to come!