What in the World is the Spirit Doing Today?
May 4, 2014
We live in a crazy world. I know it’s always been that way. But it certainly seems to be getting worse, doesn’t it? It is easy to look at the world and shake one’s head in disbelief at what is happening. It makes one want to ask the question, “is there any hope?” “What is God doing in the world (if anything)?” “Doesn’t God care about all the foolishness and sin?” “Are we alone in the quest for morality?” “Is it all up to us to preserve a semblance of moral rightness?”
We are not the first generation to ask these questions. In the first century, as Christ was preparing to go to the cross, the disciples were asking the same things. And in the upper room on the night of His betrayal Jesus affirmed to the disciples that He would leave them One who not only would work in them, but He would also be at work in the world.
Those who are being persecuted and mocked for their faith are not being left defenseless. The Holy Spirit is on hand to provide all that they need. He is their Helper and Advocate (John 14:16, 26; 15:26) and now Jesus tells them in chapter 16 that the Spirit is also the Prosecutor — convicting sinful people of being in the wrong and bringing them to salvation. In a sense, this passage explains the Holy Spirit’s work as an evangelist. While we are His mouthpieces articulating the gospel to unbelievers, we understand that we are incapable to change the hearts of unbelievers. That’s the Spirit’s work and that is what He is actually doing in the world.
The Holy Spirit resides in believers to conform them to Christ, and He is also active in the world to convict unbelievers and lead them to salvation.
CONTEXT: The Profitability of the Holy Spirit (vv. 5-7)
- The Work of the Spirit to Convict the World (v. 8)
- The Work of the Spirit to Convict the World of its Sin (v. 9)
- The Work of the Spirit to Convict the World of its Unrighteousness (v. 10)
- The Work of the Spirit to Convict the World of Coming Judgment (v. 11)
Download the rest of this sermon on John 16:5-11.