“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. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment… 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
John 16:7-8, 11 (KJV)
For years I thought that the Holy Spirit was convicting me that if I didn’t truly repent of sin I would be judged. Thank God that’s not true! The problem with that belief is that even if you always ‘repent’ of everything, you’re bound to miss one sin somewhere – and then what? Is God going to judge you for the sin that you forgot to repent of, and then send you to hell? No. Your past, present and future sins were all dealt with at one time, for all time, in Jesus on the cross (Hebrews 10:10). I was talking to someone about this once and they told me, “to deal with that I have done this for years: every night I ask the Holy Spirit to remind me of the sin I have committed so that I can deal with it through confession and repentance.” The Holy Spirit cannot and will not answer a prayer like that. That sort of prayer reveals a good heart with great intentions, but it’s still wrong. The Holy Spirit doesn’t remind us of sin (He convicts us of the sin of not believing in or trusting Jesus). The Holy Spirit never focuses on sin but rather focuses on and brings glory to Jesus (John 16:14). Here’s an interesting side note: You cannot glorify Jesus as long as you’re focused on sin, even if you’re simply focused on dealing with sin.
“Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
John 16:9-11 (KJV)
Jesus Himself explained what He meant. He said that the Holy Spirit convicts (or convinces) of sin because they believe not on Me (the sin of unbelief), of righteousness (convinces us that because we’re in Christ we are truly righteous) and “of judgement because the prince of the world is judged.”
The Holy Spirit is revealing to you (convincing you) that the devil had been judged and has no legitimate authority in your life. The devil is judged – not us. When sickness or lack come knocking on your door, or when things are going wrong and it feels like all hell is breaking loose, it’s easy to feel that you’ve done something to deserve this judgement. Many people think that God is the One allowing those negative situations as judgement for some sin you’ve done. But that’s simply not true. All judgement for sin was placed on Jesus on the cross and that is where the devil was judged. In those moments when it feels like you’re just getting what you deserve, the Holy Spirit is ministering to you and encouraging you by reminding you that the devil has been judged.
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Colossians 2:15 (KJV)
This is talking about what Jesus did at the cross. Jesus conquered Satan and his forces and He spoiled them: He stripped them of all their power and authority and He made an exhibit of them (openly displayed his defeat).
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
John 12:31 (KJV)
Jesus was specifically referring to His death (John 12:33). He was telling us that at the time of the cross (“now”) was when the world’s sins were dealt with (Hebrews 10:10), and then the devil was dealt with too! The devil has been stripped of all legitimate power and authority, but sadly most believers are completely unaware of this and empower the devil through their ignorance (Hosea 4:6).
The devil is still seeking to try and destroy your life and prevent you from fulfilling the destiny of God on your life (1 Peter 5:8), but he cannot accomplish anything without your permission and participation. You have more authority over the devil than he has over an ant. You are set up to flourish and live victoriously. You can overcome whatever the devil throws your way because the greater One lives in you (1 John 4:4).
The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to assure you that Satan has been judged and stripped of all authority over you. This encourages us in the battle and gives us confidence that we are assured victory. The only reason a Christian can lose is if he or she quits.