Panini, Giovanni Paolo (1692–1765). Jesus in the Temple. SuperStock/SuperStock.
di Garofalo, Benvenuto Tisi (1481–1559). The Annunciation (Dove detail). Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan. SuperStock.

“He . . . Will Convict the World Concerning Sin”

JOHN 16:8

In John 8:31–32, Jesus said to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This offended Jesus’ fellow Jews. How could anyone tell them they were in bondage, or slavery, to the power of Sin?!

Many today may admit to an occasional sin, but they would be offended if Jesus told them that, apart from Him, they were enslaved to Sin. You may also be offended. You may also find yourself doubting Jesus’ Word when He says that in spite of your best intentions, sinful ideas, fantasies, and evil actions come forth from your heart every hour (Matthew 15:19). Jesus further says to you that if you commit even one sin each week, you are a slave to Sin.

To believe in Jesus and His teaching about Sin—by your own strength—is impossible. Why? Because Jesus’ teaching is beyond human reason.


The Good News from Jesus’ lips to you is this: the Holy Spirit will “convict” you of your disease of Sin (John 16:8). This means you need not struggle and say, “I simply cannot believe that Sin is a disease with which I am incurably infected.” By your own reason and strength you cannot believe this. Rather, as Jesus says, the Holy Spirit will not only instruct you and give you spiritual information (John 14:26), which He certainly does, He will also convict you of this teaching. As some say, the Holy Spirit will internalize this teaching in your heart and soul.


Now, here is more Good News for you. The Spirit promises to work in your heart a desire to receive God’s divine Medicine, a miracle Medicine to prevent the Sin-infection from overtaking you and destroying your faith. St. Paul gives expression to this Spirit-created desire for divine Medicine to subdue the power of Sin when he says, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me fee from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). Through the psalmist, the Spirit also speaks of the thirst He creates in each of us: “O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee” (Psalms 63:1).


The Spirit of God earnestly desires you to accept the diagnosis that Jesus, your divine Physician, gives you. By your own reason or strength, you cannot believe and live out the biblical teaching that the power of Sin is hourly at work in you. Trust the Spirit. He will convict you of this key teaching. And the Spirit will do more. He will not only lead you to God’s Medicine to suppress the power of Sin at work in you; in Christ, the Spirit will open your heart and lips to declare all that God has done to forgive, cleanse, heal, and save you! (Psalm 51:14–15).

Blessed Lord Jesus, Your marvelous teachings are beyond reason. Send Your Spirit to convict me of all my Sin. Then, by Your Spirit, give me the faith I need to receive, daily, Your divine Medicine that cleanses me from Sin and destines me to be in heaven, forever with You. Amen.

For further study, turn to the Bible Study on page 38, questions 83–86.

To continue reading, click here.