Convicted of God
Category : General
St. John 16: 8 (KJV)
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
The word translated “reprove” means commonly to demonstrate by argument, to prove, to persuade anyone to do a thing by presenting reasons. It hence means also to convince of anything, and particularly to convince of crime.
He will convince the world; He will convince or convict the world of sin. That is, He will so apply the truths of God to men’s own minds as to convince them by fair and sufficient arguments that they are sinners, and cause them to feel this. This is the nature of conviction always. That is, He will not remain shut up in you, but; His power will go forth from you to be displayed to the whole world. He therefore promises to them a Spirit, who will be the Judge of the world, and by whom their preaching will be so powerful and efficacious, that it will bring into subjection those who formerly indulged in unbounded licentiousness, and were restrained by no fear or reverence.
It is noted that any human intelligence capable of understanding the phenomenal connections of these three words (sin, righteousness, and judgment) with all that was previously written in John, and so dramatically presented in Westcott’s words above, and as encompassing in their total significance the entire history of Adam’s race from Eden to the Great White Throne – any mind which sees all that can only marvel at a critic’s conclusion that such words “do not fit.” The sun, moon, and stars do not fit any better than these words fit the context.
It ought to be observed, that in this passage Christ does not speak of secret revelations, but of the power of the Spirit, which appears in the outward doctrine of the Gospel, and in the voice of men. For how comes it that the voice proceeding from the mouth of a man penetrates into the hearts, takes root there, and at length yields fruit, changing hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, and renewing men, but because the Spirit of Christ quickens it? Otherwise it would be a dead letter and a useless sound, as Paul says in that beautiful passage, in which he boasts of being a minister of the Spirit, (2 Corinthians 3:6,) because God wrought powerfully in his doctrine. The meaning therefore is, that, though the Spirit had been given to the apostles, they would be endued with a heavenly and Divine power, by which they would exercise jurisdiction over the whole world. Now, this is ascribed to the Spirit rather than to themselves, because they will have no power of their own, but will be only ministers and organs, and the Holy Spirit will be their director and governor
There is nothing for which we are plainly more responsible than first convictions of sin; they bear marks of, and come direct from God. They follow no law, they are confined to no instrument, they wait no opportunities, and yet they come armed with a force which challenges our obstinacy to disregard, and defies our philosophy to explain. Resisted convictions will in time destroy all religious sensibility. As the difficulty lessens, so also does the pain. Resistance unites resistance, and the heart, like an anvil, grows harder for each succeeding stroke. Instead of resisting first convictions of sin, use all means to deepen them. “To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
Have a Great and God filled Day