Institute For Creation Research
“It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)
Declaring the gospel becomes a delightful use of the “power of God” (Romans 1:16), speaking God’s words to a heart that has been prepared by the trifold ministry of the Holy Spirit, who will “reprove [convict] the world” (John 16:8).
Conviction of Sin
“Of sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:9). All sin has been forgiven (1 John 2:2). The only sin that condemns is unbelief (John 3:19), or conscious rebellion against the Holy Spirt’s conviction of the need for salvation through Christ. Rejecting that is blasphemy and unforgiveable (Matthew 12:31).
Conviction of Righteousness
“Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more” (John 16:10). When the Lord Jesus went up into heaven, there was “none righteous” (Romans 3:10) on Earth. The Holy Spirit must convince people that righteousness exists. Otherwise, they wouldn’t understand why they need to be saved.
Conviction of Judgment
“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11). Some suggest the ruler is Satan, but there’s no need to convince us that Lucifer needs to be condemned. But that the sinless Son of God was condemned on calvary for your sin and mine—that needs supernatural convincing!
Our powers of persuasion could never bring about a spiritual conviction of these matters in the heart of an ungodly and sinful person. However, the “One who comes alongside us” could indeed bring about such conviction. Our job is to speak the truth. The Holy Spirit’s job is to be the supernatural Convictor and Persuader of that truth. HMM III