He Does Want To Get Involved

Bible Book: John  16 : 5-15
Subject: Holy Spirit; God Cares; Leadership of the Lord

One of the subtle insinuations about God which Satan has whispered in the ear of men and women from the beginning of time is not that God does not exist, but that He is so great, so majestic, so powerful, and thus so removed from lowly man that there is no way He can be personally and individually concerned and involved with human beings. Satan is not challenged or bothered when people believe that there is "a great God somewhere" who created everything and set life in motion with all of these natural laws, which govern us.

What is the satanic purpose in perpetuating this kind of perspective? It is to slowly but surely convince men and women that God is not personally involved and concerned, that a person is the master of his /her fate and the captain of his/her soul. Also, that ultimately men/women will be able to manipulate and control his/her destiny, based on his /her own standard of what is right and wrong.

Satan is, on the other hand, deeply challenged when there is established between a person and the Lord a relationship, which transcends all other relationships and experiences. Dwight L. Moody tells of his experience.

"One day in New York--what a day! I can't describe it! I seldom refer to it! It is almost too sacred to name! I can only say God revealed Himself to me! I had such an experience of love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand! I went to preach again. The sermons were no different. I did not present any new truth. Yet hundreds were converted. I would not be back where I was before that blessed experience."

We are talking about a permanent relationship that man can have with God. We shall examine what happens when a person cooperates with the Holy Spirit and His varied ministries in the world. As we prepare for revival, our church needs to see how the Holy Spirit can energize us as He did the early church. Acts 2:1-2 says, "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting." This energizing presence of the Holy Spirit left the people round about them in awe. It also provided the people of God with an energy, excitement, and purpose that drove the early church to giving their all for Christ. Let us today see what happens when a person as well as a church cooperates with the Holy Spirit. It is how God appropriates victory in spiritual warfare.

Read with me John 16:5-15. Here we find a capsule view of the ministry of the Spirit.

I. Understand The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit To Those Outside The Kingdom

It is the startling revelation of Holy Scripture that God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, in a magnificent act of condescension, has determined to approach human beings as individuals. Why does He do it? To reveal to man His love and mercy and His desire to save man from his sins. Jesus said three things about the Holy Spirit's ministry to the unbelievers.

A. He Convinces The Unbeliever Of Sin

The key to this first aspect of the Spirit's ministry is the word "convict." KJV translates it "reprove," but that rendering is not strong enough. The word is a legal term that means to pronounce a judicial verdict by which the guilt of the culprit at the bar of justice is defined and fixed. The Spirit does not merely accuse men of sin. He brings to them an inescapable sense of guilt so that they realize their shame and helplessness before God. This conviction applies to three particular areas: sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Spirit is the prosecuting attorney who presents God's case against humanity. He creates an inescapable awareness of sin so it cannot be dismissed with an excuse or evaded by taking refuge in the fact that "everybody is doing it." The Spirit's function is like that of Nathan the prophet, who said to David, "You are the man," (II Samuel 12:7) and compelled him to acknowledge his misdeeds.

Note carefully the singular word for sin in v. 8. There is one sin in the life of the unbeliever that concerns God more than any others --the sin of unbelief. And what does it mean to believe "on" the Lord Jesus? It means not only to agree intellectually with the Scripture that Jesus lived, died, and rose again. It means to accept the "cure" He provided for man's sin in His death on the cross for oneself. The Holy Spirit convinces the lost of this need.

We sometimes go astray here, and think of powerful preaching as the means whereby men are convicted. Preaching may be the means the Spirit uses but it is always the work of the Spirit to convict men. If the Spirit does not convict, then there is nothing that man can do to bring about that result. We have a responsibility. Preachers ought not to skimp in the work of preparation or of delivering messages. But we ought not to trust in them either. Basically the deep-seated work that goes on in men's hearts when they are awakened to their sinfulness is the work of God's Spirit, not of human preachers. I have seen many experience that conviction, only to defiantly reject it. What is your response?

B. The Holy Spirit Reveals To The Unbeliever The Essence Of True Righteousness (v. 10).

It is natural for man to believe that he can make himself good by doing good deeds, by being lawful, by being kind to his neighbor, and so forth. But as commendable as these acts are, they are not good enough for God. God wants to give his own righteousness to man--the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit enforces the absolute standard of God's character, to which all thought and action must be compared. Apart from a standard of righteousness there can be no understanding of right or wrong. There must by an awareness of the holiness of God before a person will realize his own deficiency. There is an infinite gap between the righteousness of God and the sinful state of man that man himself cannot bridge.

George Whitefield at the age of 16 became deeply convicted of sin. He tried everything possible to erase his guilt through religious activity. He wrote, "I fasted for 36 hours twice a week. I prayed formal prayers several times a day and almost starved myself to death during Lent, but only felt more miserable. Then by God's grace I met Charles Wesley who put a book in my hand which showed me from the Scriptures that I must be 'born again' or be eternally lost."

Finally by the work of the Holy Spirit in his heart, Whitefield came to understand Jesus ' words in John 3. He believed and was gloriously saved. After he became a preacher, he spoke at least a thousand times on the subject. "Ye must be born again." He fervently desired that all who heard him might experience the transforming power of God's grace.

The connection between righteousness and Jesus' return in v. 10 to the Father is not immediately clear. Probably it should be interpreted as meaning that his return to the right hand of God was a complete vindication of all he had done and consequently established him as the standard for all human righteousness. With Christ dwelling in heaven, it is now the place of the Holy Spirit to convince the lost about "rightness."

C. The Holy Spirit Declares To The Unbeliever The Truth About Judgement (v. 11).

Note that Jesus said, "The prince of this world is judged" (v. 11). He meant that the forces of evil, personified in Satan, have been defeated because of Christ's death on the cross. It is not necessary for the unbeliever to "beg" God to forgive him, but rather to accept the fact that God has already done it in accepting the death of His Son on the cross as full payment for man's sin debt. Every claim that Satan may have had on unbelieving man because of his sin has been dissolved. The tense used indicates that it is a settled issue. Let it be so.

God will not break the door of your heart. The Holy Spirit convinces the unbeliever, reveals what true righteousness is, and declares the truth about judgment.

II. See The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit To Those In The Kingdom

The Spirit does not simply convict men and leave it at that. He brings life. He can be called "the Spirit of life" (Romans 8:2). He "quickens " men (John 6:3; Romans 8:11).

When one responds to the threefold ministry of the Holy Spirit that we have just discussed, the experience of salvation takes place. Up to this point the Holy Spirit has been on the outside. However upon the response of the sinner, the Holy Spirit presides at a birth experience. The most miraculous transformation in the universe takes place as one is born into the divine family of God. A new nature  is implanted within the believer. Because the believer has "cooperated" with the Holy Spirit in His initial ministry of convicting of sin and bringing to pass the new birth, other ministries take place   upon one's conversion. Look at vv. 12-13. Jesus told His disciples directly that the revelation to date was incomplete. They were not sufficiently mature to understand all He wished to impart.

A second function of the Holy Spirit would be to lead them in to the full comprehension of all He could give them. The Spirit would not present an independent message, differing from what they had already learned from Him. They would be led further into the realization of His person and enlightened about coming events. He would unfold the truth as the disciples grew in spiritual  capacity and understanding.

Very quickly, let me go further into the ministry of the Holy Spirit to disciples.

A. The Holy Spirit Baptizes

"For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body,...and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (I Corinthians 12:13). What is the "baptism of the Holy Spirit?" It is not a second work of grace, but the act whereby, at the moment of one's conversion, the Holy Spirit places the believer into the

body of Christ. There is no other part of the salvation experience that is so far-reaching in its effect. It is by the baptism of the Holy Spirit that a believer is fused into the family of God at the moment of his conversion. First Corinthians 12:3b says, "...no one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit" (NIV). Romans 8:9 states, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of this."

B. The Holy Spirit Seals

Paul said, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, where by ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30). This is another way in which God protects His property. Not only does He "fuse" us into His family immediately upon our salvation, but He also "seals " us with His Holy Spirit. That is , His presence within us is the divine mark of ownership. It is the "heavenly brand" stamped indelibly upon every Christian. And this seal is to holy inviolably until "the day of redemption."

C. The Holy Spirit Fills

Again Paul said, "Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit" (5:18). This filling is not a one-time experience, but rather it is continual. It should be a daily experience for the believer.

Yes, the Holy Spirit has quite a ministry to those in the kingdom...but there's more.

III. See The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit To Jesus (vv. 14- 15).

The third function of the Spirit is to glorify Christ. His chief purpose is not to make himself prominent but to magnify the person of Jesus . The Spirit interprets and applies the character and teaching of Jesus to the disciples and by so doing makes Him central to their thinking. He makes God a reality to people.

Are you cooperating? Have you received Christ? If not, the Holy Spirit is on the outside waiting for your cooperation. If you have received Christ, then you are aware of the joys. He does want to get involved.