on John 16 :11
Of judgment - Of the false judgment of the Jews in condemning the Lord Jesus, who, as some think, is intended here by the ruler of this world: see John 14:30. Others think that Satan is meant whose usurped power over the world was now to be greatly restrained, and by and by totally destroyed: see John 12:31; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 11:15; Revelation 12:10, Revelation 12:11. Perhaps our Lord's meaning is, that as a most astonishing judgement, or punishment, was now about to fall upon the Jews, in consequence of their obstinate infidelity, the Holy Ghost, by the ministry of the apostles, should demonstrate that this judgment, severe as it might seem, was amply merited by this worst of all people; and may we not say that their continuance in the same crime sufficiently vindicates the judgment of God, not only in its being poured out upon them at first, but in continuing to pursue them?
It is necessary to observe that it was one office of the Spirit to convince of a judgment to come; and this he did particularly by the apostles, in declaring that God had appointed a day in which he would judge the world by him whom he had appointed for that purpose: Acts 17:31. And we find that while Peter was asserting this doctrine at Caesarea, Acts 10:42, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Jews and the Gentiles which were present, Acts 10:44, etc., and many were converted unto the Lord.
One general exposition may be given of these three verses. The Holy Spirit will convince the world of sin committed, and guilt and condemnation thereby incurred. Of righteousness - of the necessity of being pardoned, and made righteous through the blood of the Lamb, who, after being offered up for sin, went to the Father, ever to appear in his presence as our intercessor: and of judgment - of the great day thereof, when none shall be able to stand but those whose sins are pardoned, and whose souls are made righteous. In all that our Lord says here, there seems to be an allusion to the office of an advocate in a cause, in a court of justice; who, by producing witnesses, and pleading upon the proof, convicts the opposite party of sin, demonstrates the righteousness of his client, and shows the necessity of passing judgment upon the accuser.
The faith of the Gospel discovers unto us three different states of man: it shows him:
1. Under sin, in which there is nothing but infidelity towards God, because there is no faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Under grace, in which sin is pardoned, and righteousness acquired by faith in Christ; who is gone to the Father to carry on, by his intercession, the great work of redemption.
3. In the peace and glory of heaven, where Christ will reign with his members; the devil, with his angels and servants, being banished into hell by the last judgment.
Thus, in the Christian revelation, we are made acquainted with three grand truths, which contain the sum and substance of all true religion.
The first is the general corruption of human nature, and the reign of sin till the coming of Christ.
The second is the reparation of our nature by the Lord Jesus, and the reign of righteousness by his grace: Romans 5:21.
The third is the condemnation of sinners, and the total destruction of the kingdom of sin, and of all the power of the devil, by the last judgment.
on John 16 :11
Of judgment - That God is just, and will execute judgment. This is proved by what he immediately states.
The prince of this world - Satan. See the notes at John 12:31. The death of Christ was a judgment or a condemnation of Satan. In this struggle Jesus gained the victory and subdued the great enemy of man. This proves that God will execute judgment or justice on all his foes. If he vanquished his great enemy who had so long triumphed in this world, he will subdue all others in due time. All sinners in like manner may expect to be condemned. Of this great truth Jesus says the Holy Spirit will convince men. God showed himself to be just in subduing his great enemy. He showed that he was resolved to vanquish his foes, and that all his enemies in like manner must be subdued. This is deeply felt by the convicted sinner. He knows that he is guilty. He learns that God is just. He fears that he will condemn him, and trembles in the apprehension of approaching condemnation. From this state of alarm there is no refuge but to flee to Him who subdued the great enemy of man, and who is able to deliver him from the vengeance due to his sins. Convinced, then, of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and of his ability and willingness to save him, he flees to his cross, and seeks in him a refuge from the coming storm of wrath.
In these verses we have a condensed and most striking view of the work of the Holy Spirit. These three things comprise the whole of his agency in the conversion of sinful men; and in the accomplishment of this work he still awakens, convinces, and renews. He attends the preaching of the gospel, and blesses the means of grace, and manifests his power in revivals of religion. He thus imparts to man the blessings purchased by the death of Jesus, carries forward and extends the same plan of mercy, and will yet apply it to all the kingdoms and tribes of men. Have we ever felt his power, and been brought by his influence to mourn over our sins, and seek the mercy of a dying Saviour?
on John 16 :11
16:11 The prince of this world is judged - And in consequence thereof dethroned, deprived of the power he had so long usurped over men. Yet those who reject the deliverance offered them will remain slaves of Satan still.