The Work of The Spirit in the World: Missing The Mark.
It is good that Jesus is not with us today. Did you know that? In fact, Jesus said it is to our advantage that He is absent: "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you" (John 16:7). That's Jesus saying it is in our favor that He be absent in the world in order that the Holy Spirit or "Helper" can be present. The Holy Spirit must be some kind of special for someone like Jesus to say this.
Jesus, to me at least, is a pretty special guy. He is my Savior. I think it is interesting though that Jesus does not say here: "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to you advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, you sins cannot be forgiven." He does not correlate His absence in the world being to our advantage to forgiveness but the Holy Spirit.
One of those reasons that the Holy Spirit is to our advantage is why He came into the world, and one of those reasons are to convict us. Jesus said in John 16:8, "And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment." Did you see the words "convict the world"? That's Jesus saying, it is to our favor that Jesus be absent and the Spirit be present so the Spirit can convict the world, or if you'd rather, the Holy Spirit has come into the world to pronounce the world guilty. The Spirit has come to pronounce the world guilty in three area's: sin, righteousness and judgment.
Did you know that God has a target He wants you to hit? Did you know that when you do not hit that target that is defined as sin? At least that is how I make the best since of it. You may have a better way. Let me explain my words. Jesus said one of the area's that the Spirit has come to convict the world is sin. The greek word for 'sin' here is ἁμαρτία, ας, ἡ or hamartia, it means missing the mark; missing the target.
What is the target? What is the mark? We can understand this better by looking a little further at Jesus' words in John 16:9, "concerning sin, because they do not believe in me". How I see this is Jesus saying, sin is when you do not believe in me, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit has come into the world to convict you of your disbelief. At one time Jesus was recorded by John telling some Pharisees that they would die in their sin if they did not believe that He is the Son of God: "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24). It would seem to me that when we do not believe in Jesus we miss the mark and thereby are sinners.
Therefore, the target that God has for us is to believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus said to the Pharisee's before this in John 6:40 that the will of God is for everyone to look to and believe in Jesus Christ. God's will, desire, craving and longing for your life is to look to His Son, Jesus Christ, and believe in Him. Jesus is God the Father's target for your life! God wants us all to believe in Jesus that we might all receive God's gift of eternal life. And the Holy Spirit has come into the world to help us hit the mark that God has set for us, namely, to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. My prayer for you, if you are not saved, is that you hit the mark.
I will continue to break down this verse in the coming days. Stay tuned!