Summary: Who is the Holy Spirit and what role does He play in my life?
Many of us seem to neglect the Holy Spirit and don’t really think of Him as a real person or being, but He is. He has been forgotten by this nation or totally misunderstood, or both. Jesus gave of himself, by sending us His Spirit, in the hopes that He would unite us. But, instead of being united, we find ourselves more divided each day.
Somehow, we no longer see any role for the Holy Spirit in our busy lives. This not only applies to unbelievers but Christians, or those who call themselves Christians, as well. Pastor A. W. Tozer once said, and said it well, that if the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from our churches today, 95% of what we do, would continue, as though He never was there or never left. Can we say that about the first and second century church? Something’s changed.
It must all start with understanding who the Holy Spirit is or is not. He is not a ghost! Now, that we have that out of the way, the Holy Spirit is male in gender. There are several reasons I tell you this. In John 15:26, Jesus is promising His disciples (His Apostles), that we will be sending the Spirit of Truth and then says “He will testify about me.”
But in John 16:13, the Holy Spirit’s gender is mentioned six times: “When he…He will guide…He will not speak on His own; He will speak…what He hears…he will tell you what is yet to come.” Another fact that might persuade you that the Holy Spirit is male, is that there are no female beings, above the level of human spirits, living or ever living in Heaven—that being the Third Heaven where God and Jesus reside.
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead and He dwells within us. According to Jesus, He left behind the Holy Spirit for our advantage (John 16:7). That just happens to be our passage today. John 16:7-15.
This is a discourse that took place in the upper room and is in red, so these words are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is bracing His Apostles for His departure so He gives them the bad news (His leaving) followed by the good news (the Holy Spirit). He would be able to do much greater things.
I have three points I would love to discuss with you today and the first is as follows:
#1 HE HELPS (vv.5-7)
Jesus had just “rocked the world” of His Apostles. They had to have been stunned, even though He had previously warned them of doing so on two or three prior occasions. It should have not been a surprise, but it was. The bad news all started with a betrayal. Someone in the room (Judas Iscariot) was going to betray our Lord. Next, He would be leaving them shortly and last, he was going somewhere where they could not follow.
Peter questioned where that might be, as did others, but they would find out that He would return, and return He did in just three days.
#2 HE CONVICTS (vv.8-11)
The Holy Spirit can be a great comfort to those who believe and not so much to those who do not. He is like the imaginary little guy in white and with wings that sits on our right shoulder and tells us to do what is right, while on the other shoulder we have a little man dressed in stripes clothes, much like a convict, who attempts to get us to do wrong.
The Holy Spirit conflicts we believers when we are about to do wrong. He confronts us every time when it involves sin and shows us the errors in our way when we have sinned.
He urges us to seek repentance so that we might be obedient to God rather than this sinful world.
In verses 8-11, Jesus identifies three ways in which the Holy Spirit performs His work.
A. HE CONVICTS THE WORLD OF SIN
He can make any of us feel guilty and pushes believers, and unbelievers alike, toward the cross so that we might find Jesus. We believers often need to see Jesus on the cross in order to be refreshed for it is difficult to maintain one’s course with evil pushing us in all directions.
The Holy Spirit must confront the sinner in order that he, or she, be saved. They must be convicted of their sin and then as lost souls, kneel before our Lord Jesus and ask for His mercy and salvation.
B. HE CONVICTS THE WORLD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Righteousness comes only by the Father. It flows through His Son and to us through His Holy Spirit. Jesus provides the only way to ever be reconciled and righteous. Without His death and resurrection, mankind would be doomed for eternal death and separation from our God.