What We Believe: The Holy Spirit

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From the Grace Bible Church Constitution:

We believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all believers, sealing them before God in the certainty of their salvation, enlightening them to the will and word of God, and in cooperation with their obedience, producing in them a life marked by a godly, Christ-like character. We believe that the Holy Spirit bestows unique gifts of ability to all believers, enabling them to accomplish ministries of service, which would be impossible to do without His enablement.  (John 14:16, 26, Rom 8:16, Gal 4:6; 5:22-25, Rom 12:6-8)

Three Great Blessings of the Holy Spirit

I.          He COMFORTS disciples. John 14:15-18

A.        He would be given by God at the request of Jesus, to those who love and obey Jesus 16

14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  

            B.        He would be unknown by the world, but known by them 17

17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

            C.        He would comfort and care for them in Jesus’ stead 18

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

II.         He CLARIFIES Jesus’ word to His followers John 14:25-26

14:25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

III.        He CONVICTS the world.  John 16:8-11

A.        He convicts of sin 8-9

8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;

Restated: The reason unbelief is the greatest sin is not because of the severity of immorality of unbelief, but that unbelief is THE primary sin that will insure that a human will spend in eternity in hell. 

Cross-ref:  John 3 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. = To not believe in Jesus is considered in itself a sin, a mark of guilt, and is cited as proof that the unbelieving person loves his/her sin, and not the righteous Savior, Jesus Christ.

Cross-ref: John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. = belief in Jesus is what saves, and brings a person from death to life!

Cross-ref: (Jesus to the Pharisees) John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” = It is belief in Jesus that saves!

Dr. Earl Radmacher:  “This is the sin of unbelief.  There will never be a person in hell because of being drunken or immoral, but only for failure to believe in Jesus Christ who pardons all our sins.”

B.        He would convict the world of righteousness 10

10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;

Note: It does NOT say that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of its UNrighteousenss, but simply of “righteousness.”  The Holy Spirit convicts the world of the genuineness of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the certainty that salvation from sin can only come through His, perfect righteousness. From Blaise Pascal,

Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because he shows us both God and our own wretchedness.

C.         He would convict the world of judgment 11

11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Restated: The Holy Spirit convicts those who do not believe in Jesus Christ of the certainty that should they continue to follow the example and lead of Satan, they will follow him into hell one day. But how does the world know that this judgment has truly been passed on Satan? = The testimony of Jesus and the apostles, and the historicity of the resurrection provide valid testimony that Satan has been judged, in fulfillment of Scripture (cf. Gen 3:15).

APPLICATION:  How does this truth stand up to the inevitable challenges we’ll face on Monday morning?

1.         Because His Spirit comforts, we will always find the Spirit of Jesus present in our deepest doubts and heartaches in life.  When we hurt, suffer, experience troubles, etc., we can confidently look into our pain and know that the loving, tenderhearted Spirit of God can be found in our pain, and will bring comfort to us.

2.         Because His Spirit clarifies, we must trust and obey what God says to us in His Word. We can trust that on a very basic, consistent level, as we open up God’s Word with the confidence of His Spirit’s illumination and guidance—we will not only understand its meaning, but will also be led to other Scriptures that will give us further guidance and answers for life.

3.         Because His Spirit convicts the world, we must confidently speak to our friends and neighbors of sin and unbelief, of the perfectly righteous sacrifice for sin made on our behalf by Jesus, and of certainly of future judgment. As we speak, we can have the astounding confidence that the Spirit of God Himself will empower our words, and will increase their impact and success in the very souls of those with whom we speak!

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