Friday, April 8, 2016
And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’ John 16:8-15(NLT)
When Jesus ascended to the Father after the resurrection he did not leave the church without strength. The oft-forgotten third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit of God came in power. While Jesus was visible to humans, and had a ministry of proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed, the Spirit’s ministry in and through the church is to unveil the ministry of Christ in at least two ways:
Convict the world of its sin
Convicting anyone of personal sin is not an easy job. It’s been said that, when you’re preaching on sin the only ‘amen’ you’ll get is about someone else’s sin.
Well, the reality about convicting or convincing people of personal sin is something preachers hardly have to work at; we all seem to understand deep inside that there is a darkness and a willfulness that fights-against anything that inhibits our doing what we want to do. And that is the definition of sin – rebellion against God.
'The Holy Spirit convicts us – makes us understand this aspect of our human nature.
Convict the world of the
It’s one thing to make people aware of sin; getting them to understand the eventual penalty for sin is quite another matter! Somehow the idea that we will be judged for our sins has gone the way of failing in class, or actually completing a jail sentence.
Living in 21st century culture is an incredible experience, somewhat like the description in Genesis of Noah’s day. Rebellion against God’s will and righteousness is rampant and almost without stigma. People live their lives intemperately and joke about it.
The inference, of course, is that anyone who has a healthy respect of God or his power to judge humankind for sins is something of an unsophisticated dweeb, a nerd; just a poor, deluded monkey. Oh, come-on…you don’t really believe that Sodom and Gomorrah burn in hell God-garbage, do you?
In a recent video ad by the Freedom From Religion group, activist Ron Reagan looks directly into the camera and declares: Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in Hell.
Remember the Holy Spirit’s message about sin and judgment: Trusting in Jesus Christ is the only help and hope for those whose sin has not been confessed and forgiven.