“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin and righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of the world is judged.” John 16:7-8 NKJV
Okay, if you don’t get that the Holy Spirit wants to “help” you by now I can’t help you! Seriously though, this is a big one on our list of spiritual leadership principles. He has to assist us when it comes to reaching the world for Christ because we cannot influence lost people in the three areas listed here without heavenly help. This is why Jesus told His disciples in no uncertain terms that it was an absolute must that He “go away!” He knew the only way they would be able to do the same things He Himself had done was by being immersed in the same Spirit…and that required Jesus’ death and resurrection!
The word “convict” used here means, to convince or prove a person’s true condition. If your experience is anything like mine, you know just how hard it is to convince another person of their faults if they are unwilling to see them. Even after salvation we can easily get stuck in our natural tendency to rationalize good and bad (sin), right and wrong (righteousness), guilt or innocence (judgment). Every Gospel preacher knows he needs a “spirit of conviction” to open the hearts of men and women and expose them to the Truth. Without a heart of awareness, our knowledge of spiritual things is limited to only the rational mind; which means most heavenly realities won’t make sense to us.
How many non-Christians struggle to understand the Bible when they choose to read or study it? Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to a recognition that they: 1) do not believe in the Savior, 2) need to exchange their life for His, 3) will face a certain day of reckoning along with the devil, whom Jesus has already defeated and judged. The Bible says these tenets are sheer absurdity to the world (1Corinthians 1:18), but it is the power of God to those of us who are being saved and prepared everyday to meet the Lord with a clear conscience!