In John 16:8-11, Jesus explains to the disciples how they will benefit when He leaves and sends the Holy Spirit into the world:
And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged [emphasis mine].
So the Holy Spirit will:
- Reveal to people the seriousness of their sinful rebellion against God.
- Enable people to grasp the blinding righteousness and holiness of God (since Jesus is not here to show us in person what the word "righteousness" truly means).
- Reveal to people the certainty of their coming judgment.
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, without understanding the depth of our own sin and the height of God's righteousness (along with the judgment that naturally follows from the vast disparity between the two), much of God's actions in the Bible, particularly what He accomplished through the cross, is incomprehensible.
However, the only way the words we speak about these core concepts of sin, righteousness, and judgment will be meaningful to the listener is if the Holy Spirit convicts him in these three areas.
This is why we need to constantly remind ourselves of our dependence on the Holy Spirit in all our apologetic and evangelistic endeavors…and then pray accordingly!