In this post we are going to look at the work of the Holy Spirit, for the purpose of this message I will set out my fundamental belief that the Holy is God, and the Holy Spirit is a person not an entity.
When I say we going to look at the work of the Holy Spirit one message could not do justice to it. Today we will look at three areas that the Holy Spirit works in, sin, righteousness, and judgement. I will look to see what the implications of this work.
We will see that the work of the Holy Spirit in these three areas cuts to the very core of human nature, brings about revelation, hope and leaves people with a choice to make.
When we consider the work of the Holy Spirit, we need to see it considering the instruction that Jesus gave His disciples in John 15:26
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
Jesus instructed them that they must testify about Him.
That word testify means to bear witness to what Jesus had done, who He was and is.
This task, this role is required of all of us who are followers of Jesus, we need bear witness to who Jesus is and what He had done in our lives.
The question then is why would we not want to do this?
Surely, we want to tell the everyone we know about Jesus, how He is has changed our lives, how many of us can forget Pauline’s testimony regarding her marriage a couple of weeks ago?
I think sometimes we get scared, we put too much pressure on ourselves, we begin to think we need to do it all, well we do not.
The Apostle John records the words of Jesus in John 16:8-10 these words speak of some of what the Holy Spirit will do.
I believe that the Holy Spirit works in the areas John speaks about as we testify so we will we break this down into the three areas he speaks of, reflecting on what was happening 2,000 years ago and what we can see happening in the world today
8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:
Verse 8 identifies three areas that the Holy Spirit will work, sin, righteousness, and judgement. Before we delve into these the Greek word translated prove in this verse is a hard word to translate, the translators find it hard to bring about the full flavour, words such as expose as guilty, convict and reprove could have been used.
This word prove also needs to be seen in the context of a courtroom, of legal proceedings.
The key for me is that the Holy Spirit is going to show, bring into the light the wrong thinking the world, people have about these subjects. He is going to convict the world of there guilt. This conviction will not leave people without hope.
9 about sin, because people do not believe in me;
Let us note that the sin is mentioned in the singular here, not the plural. The Holy Spirit will reveal the importance of who Jesus is, the need to believe in Him.
2,000 years ago, many of the the religious leaders of the day rejected Jesus, they scoffed at a lot of His teachings, lied about Him, and eventually had Him crucified.
Today much of society rejects Jesus, in some countries you are persecuted for being a Christian, preachers are thrown into prison, people must resort to smuggling bibles in.
People reject the need for a saviour, reject the teachings of Christianity. The sad fact is that if you reject Jesus, you are rejecting your saviour, you are rejecting eternal life.
The same sin made 2,000 years ago is repeated everyday here.
As we share our testimony, as we hear sermons, we should expect the Holy Spirit to be working in people to be revealing the truth about Jesus to them. Convicting them of the sin of rejecting Him. The choice then becomes there’s. They can choose to reject Jesus, or they can choose to accept Jesus.
The Holy Spirt will not force people to Jesus, people have a choice, accept, or reject Jesus, no half ways.
To some extent this takes the pressure of us, we have a duty to testify to share Jesus (this can be done in many different ways) but the Holy Spirit will open people’s hearts to the Gospel.
A note to those of us who are believers, the Holy Spirit will convict of us sins we make as believer, the aim of this for us to say sorry to repent (which means turn away), to grow more into the likeness of Christ. This is separate to what John is writing about in John 16, the primary focus being on those who do not believe in Jesus.
10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;
Righteousness is about being in right in the eyes of God, without sin, because Jesus lived a sinless life, He was righteous in the eyes of God, on the cross He took our sins and paid the price for them. The result is best summed up in
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2,000 years ago, the Pharisees took the Law of Moses added to it, interpreted it and said this how you obtain righteousness, how you can be morally right before God. The problem is no human could live to God’s standards
Society is always changing what is morally right, this is done by laws, by shifts in culture. We live in a society that says if it does not hurt someone you can do whatever you like. It is a vacuum of morality.
Jesus demonstrated what true righteousness is, He lived a sinless life, He was received by God when He ascended to heaven. God could not have received an unrighteous person.
The Holy Spirit will reveal to us the truth about Jesus’ righteousness, His sinless life.
The Holy Spirit will make people aware that the only way to be righteous is to accept Jesus, to have God see Jesus’ righteousness when He looks at them.
11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
The prince of the world is satan, through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection satan has been defeated an ultimately stands condemned. If satan is judged how can the world expect to escape judgement?
The Holy Spirit will open our hearts and minds to realise that judgement is coming for all.
Everyone will have to give an account, those who choose to reject Jesus will be judged and receive eternal punishment for their sin(s).
Those who have accepted Jesus will be called to give an account for their actions but ultimately will have eternal life in the fully realised Kingdom of God.
To conclude, what application does this have for us today:
We need to realise what the Holy Spirit’s work is.
He is to act as a prosecutor to convict people of sin, to convict people that they cannot achieve righteousness in the sight of God, to convict people that judgement is coming and if you reject Jesus the judgement is guilty.
The Holy Spirit does this work as we testify about Jesus, through messages, through actions, through individual conversations. Our application is to share the Gospel, to trust in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our biggest responsibility is to share!
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