“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).
Jesus — the Messiah — healed, delivered, raised from the dead, cast out demonic spirits, walked on water, delivered from sin, and preached the truth of God like no other. He spoke with authority and deeply loved his disciples. So how could it possibly be better that he go away? The disciples could not imagine how this could be an advantage for them.
Jesus softened the blow of his announcement by assuring the disciples that the Holy Spirit would do great things for them and all mankind. “When he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (16:8-11).
Jesus implied that the Holy Spirit was to be a helper and would do even more than he had done while he was on earth. He would convict the world of sin, their need of a Savior, and that’s good. But he would also convict believers of righteousness. He was talking to followers of Jesus and saying that the Holy Spirit would convict them of their righteousness.
So, once you have met Jesus and he has washed you by his blood and cleansed you from all unrighteousness, he has taken you from the kingdom of darkness and delivered you into his marvelous kingdom of light. And now the role of the Holy Spirit is to convince you of who you are in Christ Jesus — to convince you of your righteousness! Hallelujah! You and I need this convincing every single day because when we fail, we might be tempted to just give up and go back.
The Holy Spirit is there to convince you not to entertain thoughts of giving up. He lovingly walks beside you to assure you that you do not belong back in that kingdom of darkness because Jesus has made you clean. He loves you and has made you righteous!