Summary: The Holy Spirit is the answer to three of the greatest needs of our day: conviction of sin leading to repentance, glorifying Christ is the universal Savior, and producing the fruit of the Spirit.
. The Gospel of the Holy Spirit.
I believe that all of us here today have two great spiritual needs.
The first is the need for forgiveness, to be right with God. The need for pardon and peace within. Secondly, there is a need for strengths of character, the need for power to live a full, abundant life in favor with God and man.
God's answer to the first great need, the cry for forgiveness, was given at the cross where Christ died in our place. And when we come to him in repentance and faith we can find forgiveness and the assurance of eternal life.
But God also knows about our second great need. The need for victory over sin and temptation. The need for triumph over those things that keep us from our full potential. That need was met at Pentecost through the out- pouring of the Holy Spirit
So, to the great gift of salvation and forgiveness, God adds the gift of the Holy Spirit. And we need both, we really do. And praise God we can have both. Christ not only saves us from sin but day by day he can give us the power to overcome it. As someone pointed out, “ I need Jesus Christ for eternal life. I need the Holy Spirit for my internal life.”
Unfortunately, this power has been ignored, misunderstood and at times misused. Like the man who bought a new car with a 350 hp engine. But he never drives it more than 15 or 20 km/h. What a waste! So the Christian church today has tremendous potential. We have all the mighty power of God at our disposal. But so many times we are trying to do the Lords work in our own strength, in the energy of the flesh, instead of drawing upon the power of the Holy Spirit.
Many believe, and I am one of them, that the only real hope for our country and for our world is through a genuine spiritual renewal that touches every area of life – social, economic, political, moral and spiritual. And we know we cannot have this apart from a supernatural outpouring of the Spirit of God. I want my message today to be true to Scripture. But I also want to include a few words of encouragement. I meet a lot of Christians these days who are very discouraged over all sorts of things including the work of the church. But as we move through this message I want you to hear words of hope and promise as we face an uncertain future, by the grace of God.
I want us to look briefly at three tremendous needs of the hour in which we live. You can see them listed in your bulletin. And I want us to see how the Holy Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity, provides the answer to these three great needs.
First of all, our world needs to be gripped with the conviction of sin, leading to repentance and changed lives. The Holy Spirit is the answer to this need. In John 16:8 Jesus said,” When He the spirit comes, He will convict the world of sin, judgment and righteousness.”
A few years ago, a very highly respected psychiatrist by the name of Karl Menninger, wrote a book entitled, “Whatever Became of Sin?” I want to share with you a brief quotation from his book.“ Wrong things are being done, we all know. We are surrounded today by acts of evil. But is no one responsible? No one answerable? Anxiety and depression we all acknowledge and even vague guilt feelings. But has no one committed any sins? Indeed, where did sin go? What became of it?” Dr. Mennenger believes that sin must be taken seriously. He goes on to say that this denial of sinful behavior has led to a shift of responsibility for all forms of evil.
This thought is expressed in the words of a song by Anna Russell, where she exposes, in a humorous way, the folly of people refusing to take personal responsibility for their own behavior. These are her words:
“ I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed,
to find out why I killed the cat and blackened my husband's eyes.
He put me on a downy couch to see what he could find,
and this is what he dredged up from my subconscious mind.
When I was one, my mommy hid my dolly in the trunk.
And so it follows naturally that I' am always drunk.
When I was two, I saw my father kiss the maid one day.
And that is why I suffer now from kleptomaniac.
When I was three, I suffered from ambivalence toward my brothers.
And that is the reason why I poisoned all my lovers.