We are still in the middle of Jesus’ final conversation with His disciples.  So, keep our reading in context, and remember that Jesus is sharing some of the “most important” things He wants His followers to know.

Today, read John 16: 5 – 15

The disciples are struggling with confusion and grief.  They don’t understand all that Jesus is telling them but they are well aware of the finality of Jesus’ mood, tone and words.  In these verses, Jesus again assures them that they will not be left alone.  He again promises the coming Holy Spirit.  And He succintly summarizes the Holy Spirit’s work.  Have you even been confused about what it is the Holy Spirit does in our lives?  Jesus seems to describe four different things …

First, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin.  Think about the mobs that were so hungry for the crucifixion and death of Jesus.  They did not think they were committing sin.  They thought they were doing what was right … get rid of this trouble maker, this blasphemer.  Then we read in Acts 2:37, many of these same people were convicted that they had crucified the Son of God.  How did that change happen?  It was the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  What about you?  Whenever you have that conviction in yourself of some behavior or attitude that you begin to recognize as sin … the Holy Spirit is at work in you.  Thank God for that!  Only when there is conviction of sin does a person begin to deal with it … only then can confession come … and only then can forgiveness flow!  Is the Holy Spirit at work convicting you of something today?  Will you cooperate with Him and deal with it? 

The second thing Jesus mentions is more along the lines of convincing.  The Spirit convinces us of righteousness.  We begin the see the righteousness of God and our Lord in juxtaposition to our own lack thereof.  Thank God for that!  As I am convinced of the righteousness of God, I become convinced of my desperate need for a righteousness that is not from myself.  That sends me to the Father … in faith. 
Galatians 3:6  “Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

The third work of the Holy Spirit as defined by Jesus is the work of convincing us of judgment.  How do you know for certain that there will be judgment … and that men will stand before the throne of God?  It is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Thank God for that!  We can know that history is going someplace … that there will be an end to space-time history as we know it.  Therefore, I stay prepared.  (Read the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25: 1 – 13)

Finally, in these verses, Jesus tells His followers that the Holy Spirit will “guide you into all the truth”.  This is the work of revelation.  It is a progressive process.  As we submit to our Lord, the Spirit continues to reveal to us deeper truths.  Thank God for that!  Are you allowing the Spirit of God to reveal truth to  you?  It requires a listening ear … and a willing heart.

I want to close our thoughts today with words from William Barclay in his commentary of John.  Place yourself in the words …

Revelation is the taking  of the things of Jesus and revealing their significance to us.  Part of the greatness of Jesus is his inexhaustibleness.  No man has ever grasped all that he came to say.  No man has fully worked out all the significance of his teaching for life and for belief, for the individual and for the world for society and for the nation  Revelation is a continual opening out of the meaning of Jesus.
There we have the crux of the matter.  Revelation comes to us, not from any book or creed, but from a living person.  The nearer we live to Jesus, the better we will know him.  The more we become like him, the more he will be able to tell us.  To enjoy his revelation we must accept his mastery.