Convicted by the Holy Spirit

John 16: 5-11
Acts 16:22-34 / Ps 138

… 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.
(John 16:7)

The power of sin is the absence
Of the Holy Spirit in my heart;
There’s joy within with Your presence
Here, dear Lord, never again depart.

(Jesus said,) “But now I am going to the One who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 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 convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because people do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and condemnation, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:5-11)

Reflection

Jesus was nearing the end of His discourse, and was aware of the deep sorrow and anxiety that His apostles were going through when they learned that He was going to leave them soon. It was important for them to realize that His leaving was necessary so that the Holy Spirit could come in His place, to empower them in their mission. And when the Advocate came, He would “convict the world in regard to sin, in regard to righteousness, and in regard to condemnation.”

The word “convict” as translated from the Greek form also meant “convince”. Jesus was making a prophecy that when the Holy Spirit came and empowered the apostles, they would be able to enlighten the Jews that they had committed a grave sin by not believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (as He claimed), and crucifying Him for the crime of blasphemy. In fact, as Jesus predicted, after Simon Peter’s preaching on Pentecost, the Jews were “cut to the heart, and asked Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, brothers?’ (Acts 2:37). And Peter told them, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). “Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand persons were converted that day.” (2:41)

It was only when Jesus had resurrected from the dead and ascended into heaven that the Jewish people were convinced of the righteousness of all His teachings, and in fact inspired and motivated His followers to spread His Good News throughout the world. But the early Christians would not have been able to accomplish their missions and brave the persecutions without the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is also by the power of the Holy Spirit that the “prince of the world” has been condemned. Sin no longer holds any power on the repentant sinners, because all renewed Christians are now aware that we will face the Judgment Seat of God on the final day of reckoning. Through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are now involved in this spiritual battle of winning souls for Christ. Our community has just started its third Christian Life Program last Saturday, an eight-week seminar where we hope to attract Christians seeking enlightenment to join our Brotherhood. Please pray for the success of this BCLP 3, and for more participants to come. Thank you.

Grant us, dear Lord, the grace to be able to discern Your Word in the Scriptures. And we thank You for the presence of Your Holy Spirit in our quest to bring others to Your flock. Amen.

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