When he [the Counselor] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. – John 16:8
It is never easy to serve as a witness in a court room. The challenge starts when the oath is taken to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” After the testimony is given, an even greater challenge follows. It is the cross-examination. Here attorneys from either the defense or the prosecution will try to find flaws in the testimony. Certainty of facts will be questioned, as will eye-witness accounts. Even the reliability of the witness will be scrutinized. It is a stressful process, but it becomes necessary to either refute or convince.
It is interesting that Jesus chooses this concept to explain the work of the Holy Spirit, who is the Counselor. When he comes, he will cross-examine the world and its testimony about sin, righteousness and judgment. It is a cross-examination to which I need to pay careful attention.
It is easy for me to adopt the world’s wisdom and ways. I downplay the severity of my disobedience. I lower God’s standard for my life. I maintain false notions about Judgment Day. However, will my adherence to these ways pass the Counselor’s cross-examination?
Worldly ways and wisdom will be refuted when compared to the wisdom that comes from God’s Word. The truth will always stand. It will clearly define God’s position on sin, righteousness and judgment. God’s truth is that I deserve his sentence of eternal punishment for my sin. My righteous works will never measure up to God’s perfect standard. It is impossible for me to stand on my own accomplishments on the Day of Judgment.
With worldly ways and wisdom refuted, I cling to the truth God provides. That truth directly leads me to Jesus. Through his work as my Savior, I am forgiven. Through his sinless life of obedience, I am clothed with his righteousness. Through his humiliation and exaltation, I am declared not guilty and ready for Judgment Day. What Jesus has done will always stand as true, and will always stand up under cross-examination.
That is why I put my confidence in Jesus alone. He is my Savior from sin. He is my righteousness. He is my Rock and my Hope. He also assures me, when I put my confidence in him, I will never be put to shame.