In this half-Chapter:
1-4: The World’s Hatred Continued
5-15: The Work of the Holy Spirit
World Hates Jesus & Holy Spirit’s Job:
Jesus continues to prepare His disciples for the time when He will no longer be with them. Last chapter, He warned them of how the world—all who hated Jesus—were going to treat them likewise as His followers. This chapter continues that warning. However, instead of leaving them all bummed about how hard things may be and not having Him there to coach them through it all, Jesus tells them something to get them STOKED!
Jesus tells them again about the Counselor—the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of God—whom He is going to send to the disciples when He leaves to be with God, His Father. In chapter 14, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17). If you remember correctly, when Jesus brings up the Holy Spirit the first time, the disciples don’t really know how to respond to this new concept so they stay silent. Now, Jesus tells them of one of the things the Holy Spirit will be doing as the Spirit of truth. He says that the Spirit “will convince the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8).
When Jesus says that the Spirit will convince the world of its sin, He is saying that the Spirit will work on the hearts of those who have not placed their faith in Christ. He will convince them of their sin of unbelief (the only sin that will keep someone forever separated from God) and their need for a Savior.
In order to spend an eternity with God a person must have the righteousness of God—a life of complete perfection and uprightness, no slip up. That’s impossible for everyone but Jesus Himself, right? So, the good news is that as soon as a person places their faith in Jesus, that person is seen in God’s eyes as having His righteousness; completely perfect and upright because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
It blows my mind to think that Jesus not only forgives us of our sins but also imparts to us His righteousness. I mean, what have we done to deserve that? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! But that is what grace is all about—Jesus giving us exactly what we don’t deserve.
The Holy Spirit will also convince the world of coming judgment. Judgment is a certain thing for the person who never places their faith in Jesus as their Savior. This can be known for sure because of how Satan, “the prince of this world” (John 16:11), was judged. If the one who leads the full force rebellion against God is judged, then the sinner, who is following in this rebellion (Ephesians 2:2), will most certainly be judged as well.
Jesus also tells His disciples that the Holy Spirit will guide them in all truth. This means that for those that the Holy Spirit will come to live in, there will be a supernatural guiding or spiritual compass for those willing to read it. What a rad tool for Jesus to leave His disciples with!
It is super easy for us to get distracted by things in life. Naturally, that’s exactly how Satan, the enemy of God, wants it. He wants to distract us from seeing the truth about our sin and the judgment that is to come because of it. So, to keep us distracted, he will often put things in our paths that are fun, self-gratifying, and seemingly harmless all to keep our focus off of what Jesus is trying to tell us.
Satan can easily use a life of “chasing the dream” to distract us. He would gladly have you focus on the heli-trips, the gold medal, or the cover shot to keep your mind off of what will happen in eternity when this life is over.
Maybe the Holy Spirit is working on your heart RIGHT NOW trying to convince YOU of these things. And maybe Satan is trying to distract you from what the Spirit is trying to teach you. If that’s true, then it’s probably time to listen up. What distractions do YOU need to avoid to live a Spirit-filled life? How then do you and your SFC buddies need to live in order to follow the Holy-Spirit’s spiritual compass?