Bible Society of South Africa

The work of the Holy Spirit – 18 April 2023

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

5But now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me where I am going. 6And now that I have told you, your hearts are full of sadness. 7But I am telling you the truth: it is better for you that I go away, because if I do not go, the Helper will not come to you. But if I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will prove to the people of the world that they are wrong about sin and about what is right and about God's judgement. 9They are wrong about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10they are wrong about what is right, because I am going to the Father and you will not see me any more; 11and they are wrong about judgement, because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

John 16:5-11GNBOpen in Bible reader

These words of Jesus were spoken on the eve before the crucifixion. His earthly ministry was nearing its conclusion. Afterwards, he had to go through the toughest challenge – to accept to die on the cross for all mankind. He would rise again and after 40 days of ministry, the ascension would follow. The disciples would be grieving the loss of his immediate presence.

Jesus taught us that it is for our good that he is going away. He would be rising to take up his rightful place at the right-hand side of his Father’s throne. From there, he will continue to minister through his intercession for all believers, as Paul teaches us in Romans 8:34.

God the Holy Spirit, our Advocate, came on the Day of Pentecost to each believer. He came to live in us and to lead us in the truth. Today’s verse teaches us about three works of the Holy Spirit in this world.

Firstly, he proves the world wrong about sin. By nature, we tend to think that we do not need a Saviour. We think that we are good enough by ourselves; God should just accept us as we are into heaven. But when the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our eyes are opened to the tragic cost of sin. We discover that we do not have the ability to atone for our sin; we cannot save ourselves. We really need a Saviour.

Secondly, the Holy Spirit teaches us about righteousness. We are led to believe in Christ as our Saviour and accept his offering on the cross for the atonement of our sin. Through belief in him, the righteousness with God is restored. Through belief in Christ, we are made right with God.

Thirdly, he teaches us about the judgement of sin. There is a day of reckoning coming. We need to remember what Jesus taught in John 3:17. He did not come to judge this world, but to save it. This is the time of grace. However, the time of grace is also passing. One day, every person will stand before the throne of God. For now, there is still time to cling to the Saviour and be saved. This verse is teaching us that the prince of this world, the evil one, already stands condemned. He will get his due for all the tears and sadness he has caused. For us, the Holy Spirit brings encouragement of the good news of a new life in Christ, of salvation for us who believe in him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for interceding for me at the throne of our Father. Thank you for the person of the Holy Spirit, who teaches me the truth and leads me on the path of righteousness. Holy Spirit, come and guide me, recreate me exactly like you want me to be. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
Find us on