World in the Wrong

“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16: 7 – 11 NIV)

Feeling sinful, unrighteous, and judged is often a normal attitude for the Christian. The above scripture gives the answer to these pervasive problems. Let’s first look at the context of these words. Immediately before these words Jesus has warned the disciples of persecution: being put out of the synagogue and being put to death by those thinking they are doing a service to God. Following these words Jesus shows them that the Spirit of truth will complete what Jesus has been unable to teach them because they are not ready.

Let me make a change to the previous paragraph without actually changing the words. By that I mean that I want to explain changing the word “normal” in the first sentence to “average.” It is not actually normal for the Christian to live in a state of feeling sinful, unrighteous, and judged. However, the average Christian often does. As followers of Christ we have been delivered from sin; we have the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; and we no longer live under condemnation or judgment but have passed from a sentence of death to life eternal. This all is true because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world.

How does Jesus explain that sin is overcome and the world is proved wrong? When the Holy Spirit guides us into believing in the saving work of Jesus sin is overcome. In very truth our sins have been taken to the cross and left there by Jesus Christ. Our sins are forgiven because we confess that we have sinned and that we are sinners. We decide to change our way of life through the power of the Holy Spirit and live new lives in Jesus Christ. Baptism represents dying to sin as we go under the water and being raised to a new life as we come out of the water. When we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins. (1 John 1: 9)

Because our sins are forgiven we are no longer in a position of unrighteousness. Even when we are accused by Satan and persecuted by others who claim in some way that we are unrighteous; we do not live in an attitude of unrighteousness or in actual unrighteousness. We are actually transformed into the righteousness of God.

The third work of the Holy Spirit in proving the world wrong is a sense of condemnation or living in judgment. In very truth Satan no longer has anything to accuse us. In actuality, Satan stand condemned; he cannot condemn us. He has no power to condemn us. We are saved from the condemnation of the world. Jesus has overcome sin, the world, and the devil.