Advocate And Prosecutor

Advocate And Prosecutor Sermon Illustration

We have seen how the Spirit is our Comforter and Advocate, and yet here the Spirit is also one who convicts of sin—which might initially seem counterintuitive to the truths we have learned about the Spirit so far. The word Jesus uses for “convict” in verse 8 is elegchō,which means to cross-examine, to question someone in order to show the holes in their story. Jesus is saying that our Advocate and Defender has become a prosecutor. It is like a parent, restraining a young child with a stern voice and firm hand to keep them from running into a busy street. It’s because the Father loves you, it’s because Jesus cares for you, it’s because the Holy Spirit wants you to live that God comes and pokes holes in your defense, in order to help you see your great need for the Lord. (On elegchō, see A. W. Pink, “John 16,” commentary on John and Hebrews,