“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” John 16:8
How do you convince someone that a counterfeit is a fake when that person has denied the authenticity of the genuine? What standard do you use to establish your claim? The only choice you have is to bring in another original, from the same source as the first, and with this new original demonstrate your standard of truth. And this is what the Godhead has done by sending the Holy Spirit.
Not everyone was convinced by the man and ministry of Jesus. The lack was not in Christ, it’s just that sometimes the depth of our own deception is such that one messenger of truth, even if it’s a member of the divine Godhead, is not enough. Praise God that his plan provided for this and in addition to his Son, he sent the Holy Spirit to do a work of conviction upon the hearts of men and women.
The word “convict” often carries with it an ominous tone but in this case I don’t believe it’s warranted. Most commonly we understand the word to mean that a person has been convinced of sin or a crime. But in the context in which it’s used in John 16 it carries a slightly different meaning. Here it means that a person has been convinced of truth. The truth regarding sin. The truth regarding righteousness. And the truth regarding judgment.
God’s provided two divine messengers to convince the world of truth. Scripture gives us no indication that any other. No third or fourth will be provided to convince our wayward hearts. There comes a point when enough is enough and to give more is simply more than enough. It would be pointless to send any more. The question that must be answered, by us and by the world, is will we be convinced by everything given in the witness of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
God’s already decided. He’s convinced. He wants us sin battered though we are. How about you? Are you convinced? Do you want Jesus?