“But how are we going to go on without you?” my youth group student asked on my last day as the pastor. I was touched, but I also knew that God loved these kids and would provide the perfect pastor for them, which is precisely what happened. Only weeks after my departure, a replacement was hired who was actually far better qualified than me for youth work. As much as I hate to admit it, my leaving was probably the best thing for that ministry!
Jesus expressed a similar sentiment in John 16, that it was actually a good thing He would leave the disciples and go back to the Father. One can imagine the incredulous looks on the faces of the disciples when He shared this! But the reason Jesus’ departure was a good thing is that in this way He would send His Spirit. As He said, “It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
When we think of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we typically focus on the Spirit’s ministry of comfort and empowerment, both of which are certainly crucial in believers’ lives. But in this passage, Jesus said the very first role of the Holy Spirit was to convict the world of its sin (John 16:8). This means that the Spirit reveals each person’s guilt before God and our need to be made right with Him.
The Holy Spirit came to continue the work that Jesus established and continues to work worldwide, presenting the life-giving ways of Jesus. Though Christ no longer walks on earth, the Spirit continues to open the eyes of people everywhere—helping them see God and their need to turn to Him for salvation from their sin. Praise Him for the conviction the Spirit brings!
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Exodus 20:1-22
Read Romans 8:26 and consider another way the Holy Spirit helps believers in Jesus.
How have you experienced the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your struggles with sin? Why is it freeing for you to bring your sins to God in repentance?