Summary: How He acts in the lives of unbelievers. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Another Job for the Holy Spirit
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 always has an excuse, and doesn't take responsibility for their actions or how they are generating perceptions.
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 it 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.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:
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.