The Work of the Holy Spirit

John 16:8-15 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father has are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. 

There are 12 offices of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the gospel of John: He is the Begetter of the new birth (3:3, 5); the Life-giver (6:63; Rom. 8:11); the Imparter of power (7:37-39; 14:12-17; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8); the Eternal Comforter or Helper (14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7); the Teacher of Truth (14:17, 26; 15:26; 16:13; 1Jn. 2:20-27); the Reminder of all truth (14:26); the Guide into all truth (16:13); the Revealer of Christ (16:13-15); the Revealer of events (16:13); the Glorifier of Christ (16:14); the Chief Witness for Christ (15:26; 16:13-15; Acts 1:8) and the Convincer of sin, righteousness, and judgment (16:8).

‘Reprove’ is the Greek word elengcho which means to convince, convict, refute, expose, to bring to shame the person reproved. It is found 17 times and translated “convince” (John 8:46; 1Cor. 14:24; Tit. 1:9; Jas. 2:9); “convict” (John 8:9); “tell one’s fault” (Matt. 18:15); “reprove” (Luke 3:19; John 3:20; Eph. 5:11, 13; 2Tim. 4:2); “rebuke” (1Tim. 5:20; Tit. 1:13; 2:15; Heb. 12:5; Jude 1:15; Rev.3:19).

‘The world of sin, because they believe not on me’ World = all men, not only the Jews; Of sin: that unbelief is the foundation of sin and the source of sinfulness that will damn men (Mark 16:16; Luke 8:13; John 3:16-20, 36; 5:24, 38; 8:24; 10:26).

‘Of righteousness’ that man’s righteousness is useless (Isa. 64:6; Rom. 10:3); that Christ is our righteousness (1Cor. 1:30); and that in Him alone and by faith in His atonement can we be righteous (Rom. 3:22-25; 4:1-22; 2Cor. 5:14-21).

Because Jesus went to His Father, and the disciples saw Him no more, the Holy Spirit will them [and all men] in the Truth [Christ = gospel].

‘Of judgment’ that men who believe in Christ will escape the judgment of damnation (John 3:15-20; 5:24); that all who refuse to believe will be damned with satan (Matt. 25:41; John 3:36; Rev. 20:11-15; 21:8).

‘Because the prince of this world is judged’ All unbelievers are assured of judgment because their master has already been defeated on the cross and is helpless to avert his own doom much less theirs (John 12:31; Col. 2:14-17; Rom. 16:20; Rev. 20:10-15).

‘Bear’ the Greek word bastazo which means to carry or bear what is burdensome, not able to understand a matter or receive it calmly (John 19:17; Acts 15:10; Gal. 6:2, 5). It was for the best that Jesus did not tell the disciples that the whole Mosaic system must be set aside; that the sabbath and Jewish festivals will be abolished; that Gentiles must be equal members of the body of Christ; and that many cherished dreams of them about what the Messiah will do when He returns, will not come to pass in their time. He revealed those things to them after the Holy Spirit came (16:13-15).

The Time Shall Come

John 16:1-7 These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you ask me, Whither goes thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 

‘These things have I spoken unto you …’ The 38th New Testament prophecy in John fulfilled and is being fulfilled. ‘Offended’ the Greek word skandalizo which means to stumble, to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey.

‘Put you out of the synagogues’ that is to excommunicate you (John 9:22; 12:42) that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service.

Because they have not known the Father, nor Jesus: their ignorance of God and Christ is the foundation of all religious persecution and intolerance (John 15:21).

Jesus did not tell the disciples these things when He chose them, lest they should have been discouraged; but it was at this time necessary to tell them so they could be on guard when He left them.

‘Whither goes thou?’ This was asked twice before (John 13:36; 14:5), but now their hearts were too full of sorrow to ask again.

It was expedient for the disciples that Jesus went away: for if He did not go away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] could not come unto them; but when Jesus departed, He did send Him unto them.

It was ‘expedient’ for them that He should go – the Greek word sumphero meaning profitable. It was necessary for Jesus to die and go away or the Spirit cannot come to save men and anoint them to propagate the gospel.

The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Divine Trinity (1Jn. 5:7; Matt. 28:19; 2Cor. 13:14). He has been sent by both the Father and the Son (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:33).

The Comforter

John 15:26-27 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceed from the Father, he shall testify of me: And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

The 37th New Testament prophecy in John that is fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4 when they and others (120 Acts 1:15) were baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

‘I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth’ Jesus is the baptizer in the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; John 1:31-33).

‘Proceed from the Father’ the Father will send forth in Jesus name or by His authority (John 14:26).

‘He shall testify of me’ The Holy Spirit bears witness by anointing men: for the Apostles who were to preach the gospel (Luke 4:18; Acts 2:11-39; 1Cor. 1:17-18, 23; 2:1-16). In prophesying by edifying, exhorting and comforting (Acts 3:21; 13:1, 32; 21:10; 1Cor. 12:10, 28; 14:3). In the exercise of other gifts (1Cor. 12:10, 30; 14:5, 13, 27). In making audible intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered in words (Rom. 8:26). He will teach us all the words that Christ spoke, therefore He is called the Spirit of truth, He will guide us into all truth [the Word]. He will not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear of Christ He will speak and show the Apostles the things to come. He shall glorify Jesus Christ for He shall receive of Him, and show it all unto us (John 16:13-14).

‘You also shall bear witness’ The disciples also were to speak for Jesus (Acts 1:8, 22) so that others may know Him (Isa. 43:10) and believe in Him and may understand that He is the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. They shall witness that He is God (Isa. 43:12).