Summary: What does the Holy Spirit do?
THE CONVICTION OF THE SPIRIT
JOKE: Late one night, a burglar broke into a house that he thought was empty. He tiptoed through the living room but suddenly he froze in his tracks when he heard a loud voice say: "Jesus is watching you."
Silence returned to the house, so the burglar crept forward again.
"Jesus is watching you," the voice boomed again.
The burglar stopped dead again. He was frightened. Frantically, he looked all around. In a dark corner, he spotted a bird cage and in the cage was a parrot.
He asked the parrot: "Was that you who said Jesus is watching me?"
"Yes", said the parrot.
The burglar breathed a sigh of relief, then he asked the parrot: "What’s your name?"
"Clarence," said the bird.
"That’s a dumb name for a parrot," sneered the burglar. "What idiot named you Clarence?"
The parrot said, "The same idiot who named the Rottweiler Jesus."
1. We will never get over our sins and quit sinning until the Holy Spirit convicts us!
a. How do we recognize sin? IN OUR LIVES? Children¡¦s lives?
b. Good old fashioned Holy Ghost conviction: Knowing how sin is hurting us/Hurting God (Jeff¡¦s song: Does He still feel the nails every time I fail?)
c. Have you ever wondered why people keep on living in sin? (Young people will never learn to follow the Holy Spirit if we first don¡¦t teach them right from wrong¡Xthe dangers of choosing wrong and the blessings that come from choosing right)
d. A wrong diagnosis leads to a wrong remedy
ILLUST: Construction worker Patrick Lawler thought he had a toothache.
- For almost a week, he tried painkillers and ice packs to reduce the swelling.
- When nothing he did brought relief, he finally went to the dental office where his wife works.
- Only after the dentist took an x-ray did Patrick learn the true source of the toothache. He had a four-inch nail in his head.
- When the dentists reported their discovery to Patrick’s wife, she thought they were joking ¡V But the x-ray revealed the truth. [SHOW X-RAY SLIDE]
- The nail had entered through his mouth, just missing Patrick’s right eye.
- The incident occurred six days earlier when Patrick was working with a nail gun that backfired.
- Although one of the nails shot into his mouth and embedded itself, Patrick didn’t realize it.
- He merely complained of a toothache and blurry vision, and even tried ice cream to soothe the pain.
- After the nail was discovered, surgeons at a Denver hospital successfully removed it through four hours of surgery.
- Although it is a "pretty rare injury," one neurosurgeon admitted, "this is the second one we’ve seen in this hospital where the person was injured by the nail gun and didn’t actually realize the nail had been embedded in their skull."]
- A wrong diagnosis only leads to a wrong remedy.
2. In the spiritual realm, unless we recognize the deadly reality of sin, we will never turn to the only solution, which is found in Christ.
a. And to help us to recognize and remedy the problem of sin in our lives, we who are Christians have the indwelling Holy Spirit.
b. There are three specific areas of the Holy Spirit¡¦s ministry in this regard that we need to look at today
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTS
[- I¡¦m sure you¡¦re aware that every day in this country, men and women go on trial for various crimes, and many of them are convicted for committing the crimes they have been accused of.
- And with that conviction generally comes a sentence resulting in jail time, probation, and/or restitution of some kind.
- In the vast majority of cases, the conviction is something the criminal desperately wants to avoid at all costs.]
1. In the Christian faith there is a type of conviction that has some similarities with the criminal type, but hopefully it is something that we desire and use to our benefit.
a. It is the conviction that comes to us from the Holy Spirit when we are doing something that is out of line with the faith we have professed in Christ
b. The Holy Spirit, who lives within us, will expose our sin to us, giving us a warning to cease and desist our ungodly behavior, and will also give us the ability to resist that sin.
EX: When someone says that they are ¡§coming under conviction¡¨ that is Christianese for ¡§The Holy Spirit is letting me know I¡¦m going down the wrong path.¡¨
READ AGAIN: Rom. 8:12-14
2. In the criminal justice system, when a person is convicted the main goal is to bring them to justice.
a. But when we come under the Holy Spirit¡¦s conviction for the sins we have committed, or are thinking of committing, the goal is spiritual freedom.