Summary: After examining 5 works of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, this sermon examines two broad works of the Holy Spirit to turn a sinner into a saint.
The Holy Spirit and You: Turning a Sinner into a Saint
Series: Acts, #5
March 2, 2014
A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon upon request by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the past three weeks we’ve been talking about the Holy Spirit—Who He is; His coming to permanently indwell God’s people at Pentecost; and what He does in the lives of people. So far, we’ve looked at five important activities in the lives of BELIEVERS. Today we want to focus on the work of the Holy Spirit in NONBELIEVERS.
I’d like to begin our study by posing this question: Did you find God, or Did He find you? That may seem like a trivial question, but it is really quite profound, and it ultimately dovetails into our study of the Holy Spirit we’ve been in over the last few weeks.
The Bible is clear that on our own, NONE OF US would come to Christ. Paul says in Romans 3:11: “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
Paul is very clear here that we do not, nor would we ever, on our own, seek after God.
The reason for this is that every part of our being is so affected by sin that we have no ability to either desire or understand spiritual truth without the Holy Spirit’s aid. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man [Paul’s term for the person without Christ] receiveth not [which means “does not accept” or “does not welcome”] the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: NEITHER CAN HE know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
There is a spiritual dullness, indeed a spiritual BLINDNESS in those without Christ. “Blindness” is the very image Paul uses in 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 where he says, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
The truth is that it is GOD who INITIATES salvation, as well as who ACHIEVES it. We play a part in receiving or rejecting the light God gives us, but we would not even THINK of coming to Christ apart from God’s working in our lives.
Illus. – J. Vernon McGee tells of asking a young man how he came to Christ. The young man replied, “God did HIS part and I did MY part.”
McGee asked him, “Well, what was GOD’S part, and what was YOUR part.”
The young man replied, “God’s part was SAVING and my part was SINNING. I ran from Him as fast as I could, but He took after me till He ran me down.”
Well, God will never violate a person’s free will so that ultimately every person chooses or rejects Christ or truth about God by his or her own free will, but the idea this man expressed captures perfectly the important truth we want to see this morning. That is the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing to faith, and then turning a sinner into a saint.
If you’re a believer, my hope is that this study will help you to realize how much you truly owe God for EVERY part of your salvation, prompting you to give ALL glory to God. And if you are a pre-believer with us today; that is, someone still considering Christ and His claims on your life, I trust that you’ll recognize the clear working of God the Holy Spirit in your life and that you’ll cross the line over to faith and give your life to Jesus.
Basically, there are two main works of the Spirit to bring a person to Christ and save him.
I. THE FIRST IS THE MINISTRY OF CONVICTION – John 16:7-11 – “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”