God's Sword of Truth - The Word

The Work of the Holy Spirit

By The Holy Spirit's Disciple, Raymond Laginess

"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. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me: Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more: Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." John 16:7-11.

Jesus told the disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to them. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and He will come to us and dwell in us. The Holy Spirit performs several ministries...one of them is to reprove, or convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. The initial activity of the Spirit of God, in bringing about our salvation, is His work of conviction. The spirit of God presents evidence in our hearts to bring us to a place of conviction, and that, of course, means bringing that someone to a place of making a decision. There must be a conviction before we can turn in faith and trust to Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit will convict the world of three things: Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment. The Lord Jesus Christ explains for us in the above verses what that sin means. "Sin, because they believe not on me". John 16:9. What is the greatest sin in all the world?Murder? NO!, Adultery? NO!, Blasphemy of Jesus Christ? NO!, It is UNBELIEF! Unbelief is a state and there is no remedy if you refuse to believe and trust Jesus Christ. If you do not trust Him, you are lost. It is just as simple as that. This is the decision that every person must make. The man today, whoever he is, if he is rejecting the conviction of the Holy Spirit, is, in the sight of God, the greatest sinner. Remember that Jesus said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." John 15:22. Everyone who has ever heard the gospel is responsible for his decision concerning Jesus Christ. To reject Jesus Christ in unbelief is sin. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36. "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." John 8:2 "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not."Jude verse 5. "But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." Hebrews 4:13-14.

There is another passage of Scripture in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 3, beginning with verse 6 that deals with the sin of unbelief - "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away." It is the Spirit that giveth life; for the letter killeth. But the law was done away. "For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." 2 Corinthians 3:11. The Word makes a contrast between the glory of the Law which actually made Moses' face shine and the greater glory that we have in Christ. "Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; and not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished." 2 Corinthians 3:12-13. You see, Moses didn't put a veil over his face as a dimmer, to dim the glory (which some people interpret), but the glory was disappearing and he put a veil over his face so that the people wouldn't know about its disappearance. But there is another glory now, the glory which is in Christ. "But their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their hearts." 2 Cor. 3:14-15. You see unbelief was the problem, it is a heart problem. Man cannot come to Christ because there is sin in his life and he doesn't want to give it up. The minute your heart is yielded to the Holy Spirit's conviction of sin, He will take the veil away from your heart and you can come to Christ and be saved. Notice in 2 Cor. 3:16-17, "Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away." The veil will be removed from your heart when you turn to Christ. "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

The Holy Spirit will move into your life and you will find liberty if you come out of your unbelief. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.

Secondly, He will convict the world of righteousness. Jesus Christ was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification. "Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification."Romans 4:25. Jesus Christ returned to Heaven because He had completed His work here. When He died on the cross, He died a judgment death. He took the guilt of mankind and He died in our place. He was delivered for our offenses. But He was raised for our justification. He was raised from the dead that you and I might have our sins subtracted, but so that we might have His righteousness added. That is very important because you and I need righteousness. It is not enough to have our sin forgiven. We cannot stand in God's presence if we are nothing more than pardoned criminals. "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Romans 10:3-4. "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Philippians 3:3-9.

Jesus Christ has made us over like unto His righteousness. He not only subtracts our sin, but He adds His righteousness. If we are to have any place in Heaven, we must be in Christ and He is our righteousness. "That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 1 Corinthians 1:29-30.

Thirdly, He convicts the world of judgment - "Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." John 16:11. The prince of this world is Satan and he has already been judged. "Hereafter, I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh; and hath nothing in me." John 14:30. And, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

It is a glorious gospel, because it reveals the glory of Christ. But, apparently that is what man does not want to see. Therefore they are judged. "Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out." John 12:31. It is difficult for a great many Christians to understand that we live in a judged world. You hear people say that they will take their chances living in the world. They act as if they are on trial. But the world has already been judged guilty. God has already declared you a lost sinner and He has already judged mankind. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. The world is like the man waiting in death row for his execution. The judgment against mankind is guilty because all our own righteousness are as filthy rags in the sight of God. "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." 2 Peter 3:7. If we had to stand before God in our own filthy rags, we would not only be guilty, but we would also be judged unrighteous. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." Hebrews 10:26-27. "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8.

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." John 16:12-14. Man does not know all things. We are to keep growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord. But how do we do that? Just reading the Bible is not the complete answer. The Holy Spirit must be our teacher as we read. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth. He will lead and guide man into ALL truth. He guided the Apostles just as the Lord Jesus said He would, and we find these truths throughout the Word. And He leads and guides Christians. The ministry of the Holy Spirit, during the age of grace, has been to complete the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament glorified Christ and shows Him as the Head of the church. It speaks of his blood atonement for mankind. It speaks of His coming again to establish His kingdom on earth.

 Notice the seven steps that are in John 16:12-14:

1. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, has come;

2. He will guide you into all truth;

3. He will not speak of Himself;

4. He shall speak whatsoever He shall hear;

5. He will show you things to come;

6. He shall glorify Jesus Christ and;

7. He shall receive of mine and show it unto you.

 Since we have been told these steps, we have a way of testing what we hear and read. How can man tell when the Holy Spirit is working? He will glorify Jesus Christ. When in prayer or Bible Study, and Jesus Christ is very real, meaningful, and wonderful to you, that is the working of the Holy Spirit. When you are in Christ, that is the Holy Spirit. "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." John 17:23. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and heights; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19. "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given of his Spirit." 1 John 4:13.

The Holy Spirit gives us discernment which is the unction from God which enables us to know error from truth. "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." 1 John 2:20. Through study of the Word and being taught by the Spirit, you will have this spiritual discernment. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15.

Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is able to detect and resist the teachings of apostates and heretics. A true Christian should never have an excuse for being deceived or led astray by false teachers. The Christian has the Spirit of God who illumines the Word of God; and should not fall for the deception of the enemies of God. "We are of God; he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of truth, and the Spirit of error." 1 John 4:6. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12.

Another ministry of the Holy Spirit is that He comforts us. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you." John 14:16-18. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." John 15:26. "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." John 16:7.

The Holy Spirit resides within the body of every believer. A Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit. - "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's". 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." 1 Corinthians 3:17. "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."Ephesians 5:18.

The Word of God draws an analogy between being drunk with wine and being filled with the Spirit. The individual who is drunk relinquishes the control of his words and actions from his own power and gives in to alcohol. Strong drink becomes his master, and his behavior undergoes a complete transformation. He has surrendered himself to the domination of strong drink.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit." 1 Cor. 12:13. In much the same way, the Christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit is completely under His power and direction. In sharp contrast to the effect of being full of wine, however the believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit lives on a much higher plane than the "natural man"....the flesh. His manner of living is far above those who give in to their flesh. To be filled with the Spirit, then means to live a Christian life in the power and under the guidance of the Spirit of God.

Again, don't be drunk with wine. Why? Because it will stimulate temporarily; energizing the flesh, but then it will let you down and lead you in the direction of hell. That is not what man needs. Now it is true that mankind today feels a need for something, which I think explains the cocktail hour in the bar-room, and if they are not children of God they turn to hard liquor to fill that need, they have no other resource, or recourse in that state. However, the child of God is to be filled with the Holy Spirit - this is to be the experience of the believer.

The man who is drinking is possessed by the wine. You can tell when a man is drunk. In contrast, it is the Holy Spirit who should be the One to possess the believer. It is a divine intoxication that is to fill that need. This is not an excessive emotionalism but that which furnished the only way of living as a Christian. When we are filled by the Holy Spirit, it means that we are controlled by the Holy Spirit. (See Luke 1:15, 4:1, Acts 2:4, 4:8, 4:31, 7:55, 11:24, 13:9 and 13:53).

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." Col. 1:9. This filling of knowledge is a constant renewal of the believer's life for strength and action which is indicated here. The Spirit-filled believer not only walks wisely, but his Christian character is evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit.

To be filled with the Spirit is as simple as driving to a filling station and saying "fill it up". Believers need to be infilled with the Holy Spirit just as a car needs gas to run. You may have been filled with the Spirit yesterday or last week, but that won't suffice for today. The gas tank must get another fill-up or you run out. So it is with being filled with the Spirit.

This is the reason some people can be so mightily used of God one day and feel so empty the next. We all may have had this happen. We need the infilling of the Holy Spirit to enable us to walk in the Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit so there will be love and joy and thanksgiving in your life. "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11. "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:19.

Why don't we "drive into the filling station"...because the old gas tank of man is empty without the Spirit...go to the Lord and tell Him that we are empty and need the filling of the Holy Spirit so that we can live for Him. "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 his." Romans 8:9.

The Lord wants us to learn to walk in the Spirit. He wants us to be filled with the Spirit.

The choice is up to you.
 
 

All scripture based on the King James Authorized Version or 1611 Bible, New Testament only, otherwise known as THE WORD.  All Old Testament scriptural references used in this article is Jewish History, not canonical, and is used as additional references.