Do you think the Holy Spirit is being represented properly?
John 16: 7 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.
What is Jesus trying to tell us here? He is saying firstly , that He must leave. Secondly, not only was He going to leave but He wasn’t going to leave us alone. He was going to send the Comforter. He is saying that it is better for us to have the Comforter (Holy Spirit) in us, rather than to have Jesus here, in His physical body with us.
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment :
Most Christians believe That the Holy Spirit is the one who condemns us because of our sins. They think that He is the one who makes us feel so awful about ourselves because we are supposed to be doing the right thing. (you know what I mean). Yet Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the comforter. John 14:15-16. Now, does this sound like the ministry of a comforter? Of course, not! A comforter will not condemn.
The Word says the Holy Spirit was sent for the purpose of reproving the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). Notice that Jesus said He would reprove the world, not the believer. Let us look at the Holy Spirit’s ministry to the world, I will address His ministry to the believer later.
The Holy Spirit has a threefold mandate in His ministry to the World. He will reprove the world firstly, of sin. If you would notice, the word sin is in the singular; so, Jesus is talking about “a sin” and not sins. What sin does the Holy Spirit reprove or convict us (the world) of?
The next verse explains this to you. John 16:9 says “Of sin, because they believe not on me;” this is the only sin the Holy Spirit reproves or convicts the world of, is, not believing on Jesus. This is the only sins that leads to eternal condemnation – Jn. 3:16-18. To be condemned eternally, one has to reject, or refuse to accept Jesus Christ – Jn. 3:18.
Here is a beautiful illustration of how the Trinity or Godhead is involved in our Salvation. A person can only come to Christ only when he is drawn by the Father. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (KJV). When he is drawn, the Holy Spirit lets him know he’s lost and needs a savior. Once he believes, he then receives Jesus into his heart.
The Holy Spirit also reproves or convicts us (the world) of righteousness. What does this mean? God gave us the Holy Spirit to let us know that only through Him can we (the world) be made right. When man fell, he lost his right standing with God. Remember we were lost and without God in this world. Ephesians 2:12 says “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” But Christ, being the perfect sacrifice “by a new and living way… “ Hebrews 10:20 (KJV) opened up the way for us to be made right with God (to have right standing) once again.
What does it mean to have right standing with God? Right standing (Righteousness) is who we become when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and
Savior. It means that We have right to go before the Father without the sense of sin, guilt and inferiority.
When we sin, one of the biggest problems we must deal with is guilt. The Holy Spirit is there to remind us that we have right standing with our Father even when we feel that we have fallen short. Therefore, He says in Romans 8:1 there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
We must be reminded that sin doesn’t change our standing. There is another scripture that clearly shows this. 1 John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Paul is clearly stating that not only does our Heavenly Father forgives us of our sins, but He also takes care of our guilt as well. Righteousness here isn’t speaking about our right standing with God which we become when we receive salvation but of our guilt. How we feel about ourselves. Guilt is usually the hardest part of sinning. We find it so difficult to forgive ourselves when we sin, so God not only deals with the sin aspect, but He also takes care of how we see ourselves.
thank God that the Holy Spirit is in us to convict us of righteousness. When you fail, He is the warm, encouraging voice that points us to the cross and says, “Jesus’ blood has removed this sin. You are still righteous.” He gives you the strength to get up on your feet again and to keep walking with God. And when you know that you are righteous, you will live a life that honors God!
Hence, the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to the world, to let the world know that their works of righteousness cannot save them. These carnal works of righteousness are described as filthy rags before God (Is. 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags… Therefore, to be saved one needs to accept the righteousness of God which is in Christ and not hold on to one’s own righteousness – Rom. 3:21-24.
The Holy Spirit also convicts us of judgement. Not your judgement but the judgement of this world. The judgement of the prince of the power of the air. Revelation 20:10 (KJV) And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Here we see what our Heavenly Father has in store for the Devil. But even before that His defeat was foretold right after the fall of man. Genesis 3:15 (KJV) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. God told Satan, the seed of the woman (Jesus) was going to bruise his head. Christs’ death and resurrection marked the total defeat of the Devil. How do you kill a snake? By crushing its head. So, we see Satan’s judgement being foretold even at the very beginning. This is wonderful news, hallelujah. Hence, the world needs not follow him who is already judged as guilty, because by following him, you partake or share in his guilt and become condemned.
To better understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the believer, let us look at the Ministry of Jesus. This is because believers are on earth as an extension of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Ministry began with the descending of the Holy Spirit upon Him. Matt. 3:16. How did the Holy Spirit descend upon Him? was it a physical manifestation? Luke 3:22 (KJV) 22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
The point is that Jesus didn’t start His Ministry until He received this power of the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. If Jesus needed to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit to begin His ministry then why are we trying to operate without the power or infilling of the Holy Spirit. Now this anointing didn’t come because Jesus was any less or couldn’t function without the Holy Spirit it was because the Father Son and Holy Spirit are so much one that they could not be separated. Jesus could not or would not operate without the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at John 5:19 (NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.. This is not because He was powerless but because of the oneness of God. People would think that He was somehow less than the Father, no. this was stressing on the unity of Father Son Holy Spirit. Remember, they are one.
Jesus waited until He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to begin His Ministry. He told His disciples in Acts 1:6-8. That the Holy Spirit was coming and that that they would receive the power (anointing) that they needed to preach the gospel. This was right before He was caught up to heaven. Prior to this in Acts 1:5 (KJV) For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Think about this. Jesus is resurrected from the dead. Everyone is excited yet Jesus says, don’t go anywhere or tell anyone until you receive power. Acts 1:8.
Look at this for a moment. The first time Jesus was in Jerusalem where He began His public Ministry it says in John 2:23 that many people believed on His name when they saw the miracles He did. These people wanted to proclaim Him as God and to spread His name everywhere but John 2:24-25. We see Jesus not committing Himself to anyone because He knew them. look at verse 25.
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Jesus did not want them going out in their own ability or their own flesh talking about Him. not that they would be saying the wrong things, but He wanted them to wait until they received the power of the Holy Ghost. That is what He was saying to them in Acts 1:4-8. (KJV)
God doesn’t want us witnessing in our own power or strength.
John 5:19 -20-23. Jesus is telling them that He was going to do greater miracles than what they were seeing. He said this to them based on the miracle that took place with the lame man at Bethesda when Jesus ministered to Him and He took up his bed and walked. He was letting them know that there would be greater miracles than what they had just witnessed.
Verse 20 says …and he will shew him greater works then these, that ye may marvel. Look at verse 23. That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Jesus is saying that He is doing these miracles that people would honor the son the same way they honor the Father.
He’s referring to the fact that miracles took place and that was a validation or confirmation that He was who He says He was.
John 5:30-35. Jesus is saying, I came to do my Father’s will. I can’t do anything on my own. I can’t even bear witness or testify of myself. Why? Because this is not about my will. I’m here to do my Father’s will. In verse 33, He talks about John bearing witness of Him and yet He says He doesn’t receive John’s witness of Him.
John 5:36 (KJV) But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. What is the greater witness? for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
What are those works? It is the miracles that He performed.
Jesus is saying that the miracles He performed confirmed who He was. But He didn’t just say this about Himself. in (KJV) Mark 16:17-20, John 16:17-20, we see that signs and wonders were delegated to the Church as well. That’s us.
Hebrews 2:1-4 (KJV) again, the Word was confirmed with signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit…
This is how the Gospel began.
1 Cor. 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
Acts 4 we see some of the Jewish heads coming together. According to verse 2, they were troubled at the fact that these disciples of Christ were preaching that He was risen from the dead even more so, that thousands were believing. So, they decided to detain them. Remember these were the same disciples who before the infilling of the Holy Spirit were afraid to even utter a Word about Christ. continuing in Acts 4:18-21. This was in reference to the man who was begging at the temple beautiful. Acts 3:2-11 KJV). And because of this 5 thousand were saved. We see the Power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 29 “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” How did they speak the Word? Verse 30 says By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
Acts 4:31 1 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Acts 5:15-16. (Peter’s shadow healing). Because of this 10s of thousands coming to the lord. MORE DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT’s POWER. We are missing this.
The church was born out of a miracle and continued to grow through miracles. Words are not enough. There must be demonstration of the Spirit’s Power.
Pastor Karen Bruce