Why is the Holy Spirit convicting the world?

Question: “What does it mean that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment?“

Bible Answers

Jesus said to His disciples, But 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 go, I will send Him to you (John 16:7).

He continued in the next verse, And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and coming judgment (John 16:8).  

And He explains why in verses 9 through 11. 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.


This world is a sinful place and without the Holy Spirit convicting a person of their sins, no amount of preaching or pleading will ever draw a person to Christ. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him (John 6:44). It is God through the Holy Spirit that convicts our hard hearts that we are sinners and draws us to God. It is recognizing our sins that leads us to believe in God.


The second action of the Holy Spirit is conviction of righteousness.  While the world is busy declaring there is no absolute righteousness and that righteousness is within our own judgement, David said, O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend (Psalm 15:1-3).

For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face (Psalm 11:7). The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness (Psalm 18:20). Jesus is the standard of righteousness, the model we are to strive toward.


The third part of John 16:7 is the judgement that the Holy Spirit convicts us of and the truth of the judgement. We are the rulers of our life and the Holy Spirit is judging how we are living.  And there is a day of judgement scheduled in which justice will be metered out to each person based on their actions and their decisions.  Decisions to listen to the Holy Spirit and receive the salvation of Jesus or to listen to the god of this world - Satan.

Now judgment is upon this world (John 12:31).


It is the Holy Spirit that convicts us of sin, our need for righteousness, and the judgement that we will have to face to draw us to the Father’s love and salvation.  It is God the Holy Spirit that is convicting you of your need for God, His Word, and His salvation through the shed blood of Jesus.

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