Interpretive challenge John 16:8. Who is included in the "World" that will be convicted and to what degree?

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Bristol-H

Puritan Board Freshman
Some young men in our church including myself are working on some short sermons for training purposes and critiquing and proofreading for each other.
In a sermon topic on Pneumatology on John 16: 5-15 it was said regarding verse 8...

"To whom is this truth (this threefold conviction of the Spirit) directed? The World. Which assuredly includes you and me and every other person on this earth."

I would rather interpret this the same way I understand the so-called universalist passages where Christ is said to have come to save the whole world. I would understand the world to be in reference to every kind of people from every place the gospel is proclaimed to all whom God will save. I would and apply this logic the same way here in verse 8. Otherwise, It would seem we could lead soon into the universalist understanding. Or am I to understand the convicting work of the Spirit to be not necessarily in reference to salvation?

What is the degree of conviction and to whom is it carried out?

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the whole bible: commentary on verse 8.
"See who they are whom he is to reprove and convince: The world, both Jew and Gentile. (1.) He shall give the world the most powerful means of conviction, for the apostles shall go into all the world, backed by the Spirit, to preach the gospel, fully proved. (2.) He shall sufficiently provide for the taking off and silencing of the objections and prejudices of the world against the gospel. Many an infidel was convinced of all and judged of all, 1 Co. 14:24. (3.) He shall effectually and savingly convince many in the world, some in every age, in every place, in order to their conversion to the faith of Christ."

Pulpit Commentary: on verse 8.
"This conviction may in some cases lead to conversion and deliverance, but is distinct from it, and sometimes also may issue after such a manifestation in hardness and impenitence."
 

John The Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
I think it is within the semantic range of the word here translated convict (elegchō) to have a non-salvific sense (e.g. to find fault with or refute). Would take a long word study, looking at John’s usage in other areas and the NT in general.
 

John The Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
I especially think the following verses point to a more universal sense, so the use of elegchō seems to be in the non-salvific sense.
 
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