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Spirit Says What? (part 2 of 2)


Imagine a young child who is reaching for a pot of boiling water. The parent barks out, ‘NO!’ but the child continues to reach for the pot, grabs it and it pours on his feet, burning him badly. The parent looks at the crying child in pain and tells them how wrong they were for disobeying. Crazy right? Yet, this is how many perceive the Holy Spirit working in the life of a Believer.

Yesterday, we discovered that the Holy Spirit doesn’t convict the Believers of sinning, like the above illustrates, but convicts the world of three things found here:

When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. John 16:8-11

The Spirit convicts UNBELIEVERS of their need to believe (it is the sin that leads to eternal life apart from God) because Jesus had been doing this and would be leaving. The Spirit further tells those who don’t believe of the coming judgement awaiting them. This is the work of the Spirit for the world but what about for us who believe? We find that answer as we look further in John:

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you. John 16:13-15

The Spirit will guide- counsel us. He leads us to do what the Father wants. Jesus tells us that all the Father has (His plans, purpose, will, etc.) is declared to us. The Spirit is like the parent who rightfully tells the child, ‘No’ and follows up by grabbing or smacking the hand away from the boiling water. It’s not convicting or condemning- it is lovingly guiding them, ensuring they don’t get burnt by sin. The Spirit reveals truth to us and much of that truth surrounds the right path, the path avoiding sin and following God’s purpose and plan. Paul put it this way:

I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal 5:16

Make no mistake, the Spirit doesn’t want us to sin and does all He can do to lead us away from sin but when we do sin, He doesn’t convict us- He ministers to us, reminding us of who we are in Christ. Paul again helps us with this:

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. Col 3:1-10

Paul, guided by the Holy Spirit, shows us how the Spirit deals with us. He leads us to focus on Christ so that we remember who we are in Christ and why we shouldn’t sin. There is no condemnation or conviction here. Paul doesn’t say we will be judged or get on God’s bad side if we sin, he says the opposite, that those who do these things are disobedient to God, BUT that is the life we ONCE LIVED. It is not our life anymore.

The Spirit counsels us and helps us remember how rich the blessings are when we follow Him. It isn’t about being punished or guilt tripped when we sin, it is about the blessings of our life in Christ. That is a world of difference from the popular teaching today. Just because the Spirit doesn’t convict Believers does not mean we can sin without worry- no, when we listen to the Spirit tell us the truth, we won’t want to sin! Who wants to miss the wonderful life of being led by the Spirit? I don’t and it’s not because I fear sin- it’s because I fear missing out on what the Spirit shows me.

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