"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" John 16:8 NASB
For many years as a Christian I was told that based on Jesus words to his disciples in John 16:8, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins. However if we read verses 9-11, we see that Jesus thankfully took the time to expound on and clarify exactly what he meant.
"concerning sin (singular sin), because they do not believe in Me;and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you (believer) no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. " John 16: 8-11 NASB
So we learn directly from Jesus that the Holy Spirit convicts non-believers of the singular sin of unbelief. He also convicts believers, but not of sin, of righteousness (our right standing with God). In verse eleven we see the Holy Spirit also convicts satan of his judgment.
The Greek word for convict is elégxō. It is defined: to convincewith solid, compelling evidence. Are you convinced that you are righteous in Christ?
These verses also enforce another crucial truth. The contrast we see between a person who is convicted of sin versus a person convicted of righteousness is predicated solely on what is believed about Jesus. We are without doubt the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Thank you Father for sending the Holy Spirit (our comforter and advocate) to convince us with solid and compelling evidence of our right standing with you solely through our belief in Jesus.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2Cor 5:21 NASB