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Another Job for the Holy Spirit

John 16:7-11



Jesus is just hours from going to the cross.  He has very important words He is leaving with us.


In those days the Holy Spirit 'came upon' people.  In our present church age, He comes to dwell 'within' us.


That's good, considering what we are up against in this world.  Jesus never promised that the Christian life would be easy.

vv. 1-4     What is Jesus promising all of us disciples here?  Persecution.  And our persecutors will think they are doing a good thing!  This is why it's so hard for a true practicing Christian to take a stand and not suffer for it.


ill.--imagine a fish is knocked out somehow, and is floating atop the water with the current.  Then he comes around and wakes up, and begins trying to make his way back home upstream.  It's a tough journey.

        Ephesians 2 paints a picture of a dead fish just going with the flow, following the course of this world.  Before we were saved we just went the way of the world.  We went where they went, talked like they talked, and did what they did.  Then we got saved, our spirit was quickened or resurrected and we find ourselves heading in a new direction, against the currents of this world. [undertow / Panama]

        It's tough going against the current.  Why?  The world walks in darkness and darkness hates the light, because it ruins its party.  Jesus is righteousness, the world is sinful, and sinfulness hates righteousness because it makes it feel guilty.  Jesus is life, the world is dead.  Death hates life and tries to kill it, and drag it down with it to the grave.


It's good that we have the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, to help us on a rough journey until we get home!  We've studied this recently in John 14.  But that's the ministry of the Spirit in a believer.  What about in the unbelieving world?  He has a ministry in their life as well.  There's another job for the Holy Spirit!  He who is our Great Comforter is the world's great 'convicter.'


In relation to the lost:

1.     The Mission of the Spirit

*To convict the world of sin.

v. 8  No one can get saved without being convicted of their sin.


'Reprove' was a word used in courts of law in that day.  It means to bring to light or expose.  It involves convicting and convincing. 


*To convince the world of sin.

        A prosecutor will attempt to convict a criminal by, first of all, bringing evidence to light in order to get them convicted.  However, they rarely get them convinced.  This is why 99% of those in jail maintain their innocence.  They may have even pled guilty, but they have some reason they justify themselves with, so they can feel like a victim.


Now, I believe sometimes an innocent person goes to jail.  That happens.  But it's the rare exception, and these guys all say they are that exception!


[Once in a great while you run into one who admits their guilt, and turns to the Lord, and they are people of great peace!]


Well, the Holy Spirit's mission is to convict sinners, and awake their conscience to their guilt, convincing them to admit their guilt, and make no excuses.  We're way past that in our culture today...even Christian culture often has an excuse, and doesn't take responsibility for their actions or how they are generating perceptions.  And be warned, for if you can continue in the wrong for a long time without the Spirit convicting you and disciplining you, it is likely because God doesn’t spank the devil’s children!


Here's the rub:  Most people have conviction for their sin.  But how about the convincing to admit it and turn to the Savior?  Not so much! 


--This mission of the Spirit is a singular mission

v. 8  'He' - only the Spirit can do this convincing.  I can't convince anyone, and neither can you.  You'll never use logic, science, or even Scripture to argue someone into getting saved.  I can preach with eloquence and have no effect.  I can make them cry with a tear jerking illustration but at the end they dry their eyes and also wipe away the truth they were supposed to accept!  I can debate people and with my skills and knowledge I can just embarrass them, they are so soundly defeated.  And then they go away lost because they don't hear the Spirit's voice calling.  Now they're just more fired up to try even harder to kill God because they are feeling convicted - but they are not at all convinced...for they don't want to be!  They are a slave to partisan ideology, and not open-minded to hear the Spirit's voice calling.

John 6:44
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:

1 Corinthians 2:1, 4
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

Now there are some who truly don't know that they are a sinner.

ill.--a man with a heart problem may have no pain at all until the big event happens and suddenly, "I'm comin' Elizabeth!"

        But show that guy an angiogram that shows his blockages and counsel him on what is going to happen and you can make progress with him.  This is why we must get the gospel out!


There are some like that, but I maintain that many people are painfully aware of their sin, have conviction and guilt, and yet need to be convinced, and we cannot convince them...only the Spirit can!


The Holy Spirit's mission to the lost is to convict and convince them of sin.  How?  Let's go deeper.



2.     The Message of the Spirit.

He brings 3 charges:

*The reality of sin, and what it will do to you in the long run.

ill.--the 10 Commandments were never given as a way to be saved, but a way to show us that we CAN'T be saved without God's help.  [schoolmaster]  These reveal that we are liars, adulterers, blasphemers, thieves, etc.

        And then, standing before a judge, does it matter that you are overall a good person, or is the judge simply there to pass sentence for your crime?  You did the crime, so you do the time!


This is all convicting, but the convincing is the Spirit's job.


*The availability of salvation. [v. 8=righteousness]

        People think they are good and righteous, because they compare themselves to others more wicked than themselves.  It's a false comparison.  We must compare ourselves to God's standard, which is perfection - unspotted holiness.  "None of us can meet this standard."  Exactly!  That's what salvation is all about.  He trades His righteousness for our sin, as a gift of love!  He pays for our crime in our place as if He had done it, and then rewards us as if we actually deserved it!

2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Take the best 5 minutes of your life...your most righteous moments.  How does it look?

Isaiah 64:6
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;

I look pretty good, compared to certain people.  But God is the standard!  There are many good, moral people out there.  They need to realize it's not good enough.  For all have sinned and come up short!


"The worst form of badness is human goodness, when it becomes a substitute for being born again." - Adrian Rogers


If you think you are good enough to go to heaven, the Holy Spirit's message to your heart is that you are not.  But if you'll turn to Jesus in faith, He'll trade you His righteousness for your sin.


*The inevitability of judgment.

Deeply imbedded within every human heart is the innate knowledge that judgment is on the way.  We try to repress it and push it aside, but we can't get away from the fact that one day we will stand before the Holy God who created us, Whom we sin against, Who offers us redemption.  And we will give account to Him.

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

That face to face meeting doesn't have to be feared.  I look forward to it!  Not because of my goodness, but because He has shared with me His goodness, and I can stand on His promises of salvation!


mission, message...


3.     The Method of the Spirit.

v. 10b      The Holy Ghost doesn't just float around in the air.  He works thru the people in whom He lives - believers.  Our bodies are His temples, and our hands are His tools. 

ill.--many reject the light of the Son and of the Scriptures, so God deposited the light in saints, who are to lead others to the Scriptures where they can meet the Son!


Are you saved?  Let your light shine.  Let the Spirit within you use you!


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