The Upper Room Discourse 46 Rabbi Michael Weiner
John 16:7b-8 For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.
Yeshua is continuing to explain what will happen after His crucifixion. He tells us that it is to our advantage for Him to die. He uses the euphemism, “go away,” in place of the term “die.” But the word “die” doesn’t really describe what happened to Him, now does it? He did die, but on the third day, He was raised up to eternal life, conquering death and the grave for both Himself and for us. Listen to His words spoken to John the Revelator.
Revelation 1:17b-18 Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the One who lives. I was dead, but look – I am alive forever and ever! Moreover, I hold the keys of death and Sheol.
Paul brings understanding by quoting Hosea in his first letter to the Corinthians (15:55) Hosea 13:14b O death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? In His resurrected life, Yeshua has the power to send the Holy Spirit which He calls “a Helper.” And that Helper has a purpose.
We have to read our subject verses carefully to understand the fullness of Yeshua’s message. He breaks conviction into three parts, sin, righteousness and judgment. “Conviction” is to “bring awareness.” Sin is transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4). Sin is knowing what God commands and then breaking His commandment(s).
Righteousness is actually the opposite. It is knowing what God commands and doing it. We must use the Scripture to explain Scripture. (What you and I “think” about what God says doesn’t really matter.) 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
This leaves judgment. There are two parts to judgment, there is the trial and the verdict. A courthouse is also called a house of judgment. When we are told not to judge each other, it means not to condemn with a guilty verdict. It does not mean that we are to avoid knowing right from wrong. Every wrongdoer should be offered a path to right standing with God through repentance and forgiveness of sins. Romans 8:33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
The trial is where evidence is examined to determine the truth. This is part of being convicted of our sins. It is not the verdict. We are all born into the guilty verdict of Adam, but Yeshua’s once-for-all-time sacrifice has reversed our guilty verdict to innocent. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Yeshua goes on to break this down further. Next time, we will follow His teaching. Until then, think on these things.