: I move into week three of thoughts about the Holy Spirit that I began on Pentecost Sunday 4 weeks ago.
The Holy Spirit in the New Testament
In the Old Testament, the supernatural activity of God is seen in creative acts of the Spirit — the creation of the earth (Genesis 1:2), and engraving the tablets on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:18; 40:34,35), but now the ultimate creative act is to be seen when God becomes incarnate and “in the fullness of time, God sent forth His son” (Galatians 4:4), born of a virgin. And the Spirit-filled prophets are there “waiting for the consolation of Israel,” the comforting of God’s people, the restoration of the Messianic Age, the salvation through the Messiah, the Anointed One (Luke 2:25,38). And so — Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simon, Anna, Mary — none are surprised that one born, not of flesh, but “by the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18,20; Luke 1:35,41,46-55,67-79; 2:25-36) comes on the scene!
John the Baptist, the prophet who links the old and new declares, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11,12; Mark 1:7,8; Luke 3:15-18). Salvation has come. Judgment has come. The Spirit, as a dove, descends. The sacrifice for the poor is now paid. What is predicted in the Old is now fulfilled in the New.
If I were to sum up the work of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament it would be this….
, “the Holy Spirit will teach you [about me]” and will “abide with you and be in you” (14:17).
: So let me break it down this way.
I. The Holy Spirit as Constant Companion
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
In John, the Paraclete (the Intercessor, Interpreter, Comforter, Mediator, the “one called along beside”) appears.
: Let me now visit the work of the Holy Spirit as the Empowering Truth
II. Holy Spirit as Empowering Truth
The “Spirit of truth” comes who makes known the things of Christ and glorifies Jesus, who teaches us of God and convicts the world of sin (16:8).
“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgmen
t: (Joh 16:8 NKJ)
Jesus went on to explain: “Concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (
John 16:9–11, ESV
1) to convict, refute, confute 1a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted 1b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose 2) to find fault with, correct 2a) by word 2a1) to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove 2a2) to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanatio
The world is a sinful place, and one of the Holy Spirit’s tasks is to convict the world of its sin. No amount of preaching, pleading, or pointing of fingers will bring about the conviction of sin, unless the Holy Spirit is at work in the sinner’s heart. It is the Spirit’s job to convict. And
: what is the most basic sin of which the world is guilty? Jesus specifies it as
. The convicting power of the Holy Spirit is at work in the world “because they believe not in [Christ].” Once a person responds to the Spirit’s conviction and turns to faith in Christ, the other sins he practiced will be taken care of. It is the sin of unbelief—a refusal to trust in Jesus—that is primary.
The world must also be convicted of righteousness, and this, too, is something the Holy Spirit does. There is a righteous standard we are all held to, despite the world’s stubborn denial of absolute truth. And who is the standard-bearer of righteousness? Jesus points to
as that standard: “Because I go to the Father.” There is only one Person who came down from heaven, lived a life of sinless perfection, and who ascended back to heaven—the Son of Man, who lives to be our Intercessor (
1 Timothy 2:5
). The righteousness that the world tries to deny is found demonstrated in Christ. Everything He ever said and did was the consummate expression of God the Father (
). He is righteousness personified, and none can measure up to Him (
The world is facing judgment, and the Holy Spirit also convicts them of this truth. There is a day of reckoning scheduled—a day in which the holy God will mete out justice and rid His creation of sin.
In fact, this judgment has already begun. With whom did it begin? Jesus identifies
as the one on whom judgment fell: “Because the ruler of this world is cast out.” Jesus had earlier indicated that His death on the cross was when “the prince of this world will be driven out” (
It was on the cross that Jesus redeemed sinners for God and utterly vanquished Satan. “That by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil” (
). Three days later Jesus rose from the dead, showing to all the world that Satan’s rule has been overthrown. All who reject Christ and remain in their sin will be condemned along with Satan, and this is the warning that the Holy Spirit sounds in the hearts of the unsaved.
Wrapping this verse up
The influence of the Holy Spirit in an unsaved person’s life will lead that person to the realization that he is guilty, that God is just, and that all sinners are deserving of judgment
Once a sinner has been awakened to his soul’s great need, the Spirit will point him to Christ, the one and only Savior and Refuge from judgment (
). In all of this, the Spirit uses His “sword,” the Word of God (
), and the result is a regenerated heart. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (
: I would like to visit a few more notes about the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
Other Holy Spirit Activities of Note:
: Let me conclude by answering the question of how to receive Holy Spirit fulness.
“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,” (NLT)
`”And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.” (NKJ)
Steps to being filled with the Holy Spirit are:
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