“And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:8
Most people would agree that the Holy Spirit is important to believers. But did you know He is vitally important to unbelievers as well? To understand this truth we can go back to something Jesus said about the Holy Spirit to His disciples before He was crucified, resurrected, and ascended into heaven.
Jesus had been preparing His disciples for His departure. He let them know that it was going to be their job to continue His ministry by making disciples of all nations. Their job would be to take His message to unbelievers and to lead them to faith in Christ to grow the Church. They must have been terrified! How in the world would they ever convince anyone of who Jesus was and what He did? They knew they were totally inadequate for the job. How often do we as Christians today feel this way?
Ninety percent of all Christians have never shared their faith in Jesus with anyone. Part of the problem is they feel they cannot do it…they feel inadequate. And they are right. All of us – in and of ourselves – are inadequate. This is why Jesus told His disciples, “It would be far better for you to have the Holy Spirit inside of you than for Me to be right beside you,” (John 16:7). Why is that true?
John 16:8 says, “And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” The word “convict” in this verse means, “to convince beyond the shadow of a doubt.” There are certain things that an unbeliever must be confronted with, convicted by, and convinced of before he will ever be converted and come to faith in Jesus Christ. This is something only the Holy Spirit can accomplish.
We can only come to God through Jesus; and we can only come to Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer, your job is simply to be a witness for Jesus. It is the Spirit’s job to bring people to faith in Christ. If you are not a believer, you will only come to Jesus when you stand convicted of your need for a Savior.
Application: Do you understand the importance of the Holy Spirit’s work in your life?