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Understanding John 16:8-11

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Van, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Mar 4, 2011
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    8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (NASB)

    Commentaries abound in various ways to understand this passage. Lets go over it, point by point and see if we can come to some mutual understanding.

    “And He, when He comes” refers to the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples at Pentecost. Also included is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every born anew believer. So the question arises, will the actions described only be accomplished through His disciples, or by extension to the end of the age through indwelt believers? I think both the work of the disciples, i.e. birth of the church and writing the New Testament, and our work as teachers and evangelists are in view.

    “Will convict the world” refers not to fallen mankind as a whole, but to the conviction of any and all people that comprise the world. Convict means to convince someone of some reality, rather than causing the person to accept the reality. Thus the Holy Spirit acting through believers is not compelling an outcome but convincing some people of the world of the reality in view. Thus when a Pastor opens his bible and preaches Christ crucified, he is fulfilling this passage, in my opinion. Not only did the Holy Spirit, long ago, provide the very words of his bible, the Holy Spirit led the Pastor as he put together his sermon.

    “Concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me:” Here we must ask the question, why do they (those of the world) not believe in Me? Unless you know you are a sinner, and the wages of sin is death, you have no reason to believe in the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It is an expression of love, not condemnation. Thus the church (with the power of the Holy Spirit blazing) shall overcome the gates of Hell and help pull the lost into the arms of Jesus. Jesus walked the earth for a short time and reached a limited number of the world, but the Spirit of Christ shall convict the world, one person at a time, to the end of the age.

    “Concerning righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you will no longer see Me” makes us consider who or what is righteousness? Jesus provides the means of salvation for the whole world, and salvation includes being made righteous. Here the teaching of Jesus, his birth, life, teachings, death and resurrection, are front and center; we must present Jesus to the world, so that those who never saw Him in person, are convinced to believe in the name of Jesus. To believe in the name of someone is to believe what we have learned about the person, i.e. He is the Son of God, the Messiah, the sinless sacrifice for our sins, and if you believe in Him, your Savior, God and Lord.

    “Concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” How had Satan been judged? John 12:31 tells us judgment is upon the world, and the ruler of the world will be cast out. Here I think the cross is front and center, “O Death where is your sting?” Christ would overcome the world, and thus anyone in Christ is more than a conqueror. We have a choice, judge ourselves unworthy of Christ, or fall on our knees. Do we want to join Satan in the Lake of Fire, or join Christ in the Kingdom of God? We are to preach Christ crucified, and on the third day, the ruler of this world was cast out.

    The gospel of Christ.