John 16:8, 11
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:…
It is usually said that the sin of which the Spirit convicts is the sin of the world; that the righteousness is that of Christ; and that the judgment is the judgment of Satan. In this last reference our Lord's language must be regarded as anticipatory. Satan's power was never so awfully evinced as in the condemnation and crucifixion of the Son of God; yet the hour of his apparent triumph was in reality the hour of his fall. Translated into ordinary language, this grand saying of Jesus affirms that the Holy Spirit convinces those who ponder the facts upon which the Christian religion is based, that the world is indeed beneath a moral government, and that the righteous rule of the Eternal has been and will be vindicated.
I. THE MORAL NECESSITY THERE WAS THAT THE PRINCE OR RULER OF THIS WORLD SHOULD BE JUDGED.
1. The power of evil had already had a long and prosperous course. In the lapse of centuries and millenniums every possible form of sin had flourished in one community or another. Satan had had things almost his own way.
2. Yet the ruler of this world de facto was not its ruler de jure; he was a usurper meeting with too ready a submission on the part of men.
3. Neither the operation of natural laws nor the occasional judgments and interpositions of the Supreme had been sufficient to arrest the downward progress of humanity. The laws of society, the Law given by Moses, nay, the very law embodied in the constitution of human affairs, had been effective chiefly as a protest against disobedience and iniquity.
II. THE FACT THAT THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD WAS JUDGED IN THE CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. It is a grand and solemn hour when an evil ruler or an unjust, perfidious prince is brought to trial and to the block. How great is the solemnity and awe attached to the scene, the time, when the power of evil was met on the field, discomfited, and crippled by the irresistible might of God's own Son! This was the issue of the combat, as foreseen by Christ himself. As the struggle approached, the Lord Jesus realized its momentous character and its glorious results. He saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven. "Now," said he, "is the judgment of this world; now is the prince of this world cast out." The hour of Christ's death was the hour when he "destroyed him that had the power of death." In his resurrection Jesus led captivity captive, and robbed death of its sting. The sinful, unbelieving world was judged in its prince. The sentence against the prince of darkness was pronounced; the execution of that sentence should follow.
III. THE OFFICE OF THE SPIRIT WAS TO CONVINCE THE WORLD THAT ITS ANCIENT USURPER HAD BEEN DETHRONED BY CHRIST. The two kingdoms - that of sin and darkness, and that of light and holiness - could not exist side by side. The stronger must needs prevail over the weaker. Immediately upon the resurrection and ascension el Jesus, and upon the gift of the Holy Spirit, the kingdom of Christ began to prosper, and to prevail against that of the adversary. The demoniacs who were set free from Satanic possession were the earnest of the liberation of the ransomed humanity. When the idols were abolished, the kingdom of error and of sin felt the blow. When worshippers of cruelty and lust transferred their homage to the holy Savior, the contest issued in victory for God. And every human soul in which the Spirit has wrought the work of enlightenment and enfranchisement is a new trophy won for Christ. The day shall surely come when every foe shall be beneath the Master's feet, when "the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ." - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: