The World's Sin

The World's Sin

22 October 2018

GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Jim Stephens

Scripture: John 16:8-11

8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. (John 16:8-11 NLT)

When He comes! When the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world of its sin, he will convict the world of God’s righteousness, and he will convict the world of the coming judgment. When the Holy Spirit convicts the world of its sin (“the world” includes everyone outside of Christ, all the religious people, all the unreligious people, all who have not put their faith in Jesus) it’s not to condemn the world, but to call the world to repentance! (Look back at John 3:16-18. Keep connecting the dots!)

God’s righteousness is revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus. When we tell the Good News of Jesus, the Holy Spirit works in each open mind and heart to convict the receptive hearer of the truth of the message. This is not courtroom conviction and a sentence of judgment, this is a conviction that forms in the person’s mind and heart. This conviction is the beginning of redeeming, life-transforming faith.

When “the world” (anyone who is not yet a believer in Christ, but is open-minded and open-hearted) hears the Good News in its simplicity and truth, they get a glimpse of God’s righteousness in the person of Jesus Christ. Then the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin (separation, missing the mark), and of God’s goodness and love. Then repentance (change of mind, a new way of thinking and seeing) happens. That’s when life-transformation begins in them. Their condemnation is lifted, because Jesus bore their condemnation. Satan’s power to accuse and condemn them is broken, because Satan was judged by the perfect righteousness of Christ.

Our part in the redemption of “the world” is not to judge, our part is to declare the truth of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ. It’s the Holy Spirit’s task to convict and convince and bring repentance. Because the world’s sin is unbelief, not immorality! And the cure for unbelief is faith in the truth that leads to life!


Father, We still need some clarity on what we’re supposed to be doing down here! Help us to proclaim the Good News, so the Holy Spirit can convict and redeem!

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