Does the Spirit convict us that “we need to be righteous” or that “we are already righteous”?


This is an addendum to my earlier note: Does the Holy Spirit convict you of sin? It is found here:

John 16:8 records for us the Spirit of God convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgment. Many thus argue that the Spirit does not convict us that we are righteous but that we need righteousness and that we are still sinners and if we do not confess our sins we face judgment. Let’s look at the text together shall we? 

When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”

Much confusion comes fro the word “prove”. Actually the word there is “convinced”. It is the same word used in 1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:”

Many fail to appreciate the fact that the reason you are convinced of righteousness is because he is going to his Father. Reading John in context you must note what he said a few verses and chapters before. Here is the context:

“It is expedient for you that I go away. See for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” v 7. Jesus is actually saying it is better for you that I go.

Here Jesus says it is for your (the disciples) benefit that I go, so he (the Spirit) may come. It is for their benefit.

Now, read chapter 14. See v11 Chapter 14: 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

When Jesus goes to the Father, we will do greater things! Why? Because Jesus says he will send the Holy Spirit. “16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you.” Notice the words that he is now “with you” but “he will be in you”? Notice also the words. the Holy Spirit will” be with you forever”!?

The Holy Spirit was with them because Jesus had not returned to the Father. The Spirit will be with them forever because after his death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit will be IN THEM. Forever.

Notice also that we will do greater things? Does therefore sound like reprove to you in terms of righteousness? Brother, Jesus leaving us is the best thing that ever happen to a believer. As such conviction of righteousness here in the light of him “going to the Father”,  is really conviction that you are actually as righteous as Jesus.

That is why you shall do greater things than Him. He became sin so that you may the righteousness of God in Christ….. Jesus we worship you. Your righteousness makes us hate sin!


  1. Brother Simon, Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is received by the believer at the moment that he is born again?
    Thank you,

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