Friday, December 14, 2018

The Vision (12.14.18): The Work of the Holy Spirit

Image: Snow on cedar trees, North Garden, Virginia, December 2018

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 16:1-16.

And when he [the Comforter] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8).

Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:13a).

He shall glorify me (John 16:14a).

In the upper room before he went to the cross, Christ promised to send to his disciples the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and he explained what the ministry of the Holy Spirit would be during the time between his ascension and his glorious coming.

He describes three basic works of the Holy Spirit:

First, the Holy Spirit will reprove the world (unbelievers) of sin, righteousness, and judgement (vv. 8-12):

Christ says that the Spirit will reprove the world in three ways:

First, the Spirit will reprove the world of sin (v. 9). Notice how sin is defined. No vice list is given: lust, excessive anger, envy, stealing, murder, etc. The prevailing sin, the King Sin, is unbelief.

Second, the Spirit will reprove the world of righteousness (v. 10). Righteousness here refers to the righteousness of Christ. The Spirit will show that the Lord Jesus Christ was an altogether righteous, just, and upright man. Correspondingly, it declares the unrighteousness of the world and makes plain their need for Christ.

Third, the Spirit will reprove the world of judgment (v. 11). I think Christ is here saying that the Spirit will bring unbelievers to understand that apart from Christ they are held under the sway or judgment of the prince of this world, blind in unbelief (John 14:30; 2 Cor 4:4).

Second, the Holy Spirit will guide believers into all truth (v. 13):

We turn from the Spirit’s work among those in the world (evangelism) to his work among the apostles and all believers (edification and sanctification).

The first application is to the Spirit’s guiding of the apostles, especially in writing the Scriptures. Secondly, it is applied to the Spirit’s guiding of all believers.

The Holy Spirit is called here “the Spirit of truth” (cf. 14:17; 15:26). The Spirit points men to Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life (cf. John 14:6).

Have you ever used a guide to take you to explore some natural wonder? Or to show you the hidden sites of some city?

The Holy Spirit is our guide to living the Christian life. He takes us to what is most important. He directs us away from danger and toward that which is holy, good, true, just, and beautiful.

Third, the Holy Spirit will glorify Christ (vv. 14-15):

We have seen the ministry of the Spirit to the world, to believers, and now to Christ (which is also related to the ministry to believers).

The work of the Spirit in believers will lead them to glorify Christ, to give him glory, to give him “worth,” to worship him.

Let us then look to the work of the Holy Spirit to reprove unbelievers, guide believers, and glorify Christ.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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