The Coming of the Holy Spirit - Part 2
July 13, 2022
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged (John 16:8-11).
The Holy Spirit has been sent not only to minister to the church, but also to the world. In His explanation for sending the Holy Spirit, Jesus points out three activities He will have on the world - convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. These activities, while looked upon by the church as being negative, are in fact positive actions of the Spirit upon the unbelieving world.
The word ‘convict’ is elegxei. It means ‘to convince by proving something is true’. The Holy Spirit’s ministry of convicting may sound negative, but in reality it is a positive one. The ultimate goal of this activity is to bring lost sinners to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In order to do that, certain truths have to be expressed and explained.
No one can be saved unless they are convinced they are sinners and need to be saved. It is an egregious theology in today’s church that preachers and teachers believe that the words sin, godlessness, hell, damnation, judgment, wrath of God, etc. have no place in the Christian witness. How can a person be saved if they have no understanding why they need to be saved, no understanding of sin and rebellion against God, no understanding that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), both physical and spiritual and eternal? While it is true that we do not glory in the negative aspects of our spiritual state (lost in sin, condemned in sin, spiritually dead in trespasses and sins [Ephesians 2:1], etc.), it is also true that if we have no understanding of these truths, then there is no impetus to confront them and deal with them in our own lives. And we cannot confront them and deal with them apart from the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Apart from the working of the Holy Spirit in our spirit, we will continue to walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness (Ephesians 4:17-19). As it stands, without the Holy Spirit we remain a people whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them (2 Corinthians 4:4). In this spiritual condition we are helpless, unable to know the truth of God, understand the truth of God, or believe the truth of God.
Jesus said (John 6:44), No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. God the Father draws the lost soul to Jesus Christ by the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Apart from this, no one can be saved. Because of this, we are saved only by His great love, grace, and mercy toward us. And it is the Holy Spirit who convinces us of this. Amen.