“When He [the Holy Spirit] comes,” Jesus told His disciples, “He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s Righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no more.” John 16:8-10 NLT
Righteousness– it’s a bit of an old-fashioned word, but it carries within it both the most profound satisfaction of legal justice and the personal realization that everything is “all right” between us and God.
Men have struggled, and some very hard, with the knowledge that God is righteous and we are sinners, and there is no meeting point possible between us. Many have striven to make themselves good enough on their own to satisfy God, but it has never been enough.
The first work of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus pointed out, is to convince the world of sin, of their need for a Savior, and their refusal to believe in Him.
But then, wonder of wonders, He points out that Righteousness is available! Jesus, having paid the entire legal debt for the sins of the entire world, has been raised again, and is sitting on the right hand of God; He is our Advocate [our Lawyer, if you will] in the courts of God’s Justice. And all who believe in Him find their debt paid in its entirety, their sins forgiven completely, and a personal relationship with a Holy God made possible by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
The Holy Spirit convinces us that these stupendous facts are true, that real, true, solid Righteousness is available to those who believe in Jesus, because He has gone back to the Father, having accomplished all He set out to do.