John 16:8-11 – When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment; about sin, because they don’t believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to my Father, and you won’t see me any more; about judgment, because the prince of this world has been judged.
The second thing that the Holy Spirit convicts the world about is righteousness. Jesus says this is because: “I am going to my Father, and you won’t see me any more.” When we believe that Jesus died for us, we understand that our punishment has been paid for. The problem with just having your punishment paid for is that it does nothing to change the problem that causes us to sin in the first place. A forgiven sinner is still a sinner.
Jesus death paid for our sin, but when Jesus resurrected, God chose to include us in His life of righteousness as well. He lives today in righteousness, and we can be sure that we are also righteous by His life. Because of this, we are able to come before God as if we were completely without sin. Because of this we can also expect to be capable of living a righteous life now.
Finally, the Holy Spirit convicts the world “about judgment, because the prince of this world has been judged.” It may not seem like it now but Satan has been judged. He is still acting as “prince of this world,” but court is over and he really is just waiting on death row. In fact, all of mankind is. If the prince of the world is judged then the world is awaiting sentencing. This is why, as Christians, we keep urging people to “be saved.” This is the one thing that will keep people in the world from facing the punishment that the final judgment requires. To be saved, all we do is to accept this message from the Bible that Jesus death and resurrection makes it possible to avoid the sentence and get life in its place.