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The Work of the Holy Spirit

This lesson studies the work of the Holy Spirit in the world today.

By

Hope Baptist Church, Anjo, Japan MIssionary Jeff Brigham

Title: The Work of the Holy Spirit Text: John 16:7-11

Joh 16:7-11 (7) 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. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

I. Introduction

In John 16:7 Jesus says something interesting to his disciples before His death.

Joh 16:(7) 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.

Expedient = Proper, suitable; necessary to promote or advance

Jesus was telling the disciples that it was best if He would leave and not be physically present. This seems odd, for it seems that if Jesus were still on earth, much could be accomplished. In this verse, however, Jesus is telling us that the Christian is better off with the presence of the Holy Spirit than with the bodily presence of Jesus.

There are many reasons for this but one reason is that Jesus in His physical body could only be present in one place at a time. But the Holy Spirit can be present with all believers at the same time.

When Jesus Christ left this world to return to heaven, God the Father sent the third Person of the Trinity to come to this earth to be with the believer. (The Holy Spirit is a Person, not some unknown force, or power.)

It is important for us to know the work of the Holy Spirit because it helps reveal to us what the will of God the Father is.

It would be a tremendous tragedy if you got to heaven and saw God’s plan for your life and suddenly you realized you were working in opposition to it. It would be a tragedy if you got to heaven and found out that you were a hindrance to God’s plan for your children; Would it not be a great tragedy if we got to heaven and found out that we were a hindrance to God’s plan for Japan and the Japanese people.

Therefore it is important to know the working of the Holy Spirit in the world today.

Illustration:
One day Paul met the Lord on the road to Damascus and it changed his life. You see Paul was a Pharisee who worshipped God in a very strict way. Some Pharisees fasted two times a week and gave tithes faithfully; they prayed often. But the problem was that Paul had never met the Lord.

Some people are very religious, but they have never met the Lord.

In Acts we have the account when Paul met the Lord.

Act 9:3-5 (3) And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: (4) And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (5) And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Paul found out that day that the God he was trying to serve, he was actually persecuting.

So, it is very important for us to know the working of the Holy Spirit. It reveals to us the heart and mind of God.

II. The Work of the Holy Spirit

A. Toward the Unbelieving World

It is important to understand the role the Holy Spirit in the world we live in today, because we can then better understand what God is trying to do in our world today.

Joh 16:7-11 (7) 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. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

  1. The Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin (v8)

Reprove: To convince, to manifest, to charge with a fault

(Rom 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

This verse states that the Holy Spirit’s work is to reprove the world of sin. In other words, the Holy Spirit will prick a person’s heart until they know that they are guilty about a matter. The Holy Spirit manifests to people’s conscience the sin and evil in their lives.

The reason the Holy Spirit does this is because people reject Jesus. (v9)

People do not understand and even many Christians don’t understand that if a person does not put his/her trust in Jesus they are headed for eternal damnation in hell.

(Joh 8:24) 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.

(Heb 2:3) How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

A person does not go to hell because of sin. They go to hell because they reject the cure for sin. (Jesus Christ) So, unbelief is the reason people go to hell. It is a tragedy, but many kind people will be in hell. Why?…because of unbelief. Many outstanding citizens in society will be in hell. Why?…because of unbelief.

Example: Tokyo Governor after March 11 2011 quake/tsunami (Said Japan has become greedy, etc. The general public was shocked at his statement and wanted him to retract his statement.)

Without a person understanding their sinful condition, there is no possibility of salvation and eternal life. (When we witness to others we should never ask them to get saved if we have not explained to them about sin.)

A preacher’s job should compliment (or work hand in hand with) the ministry of the Holy Spirit in this world. He should not be working in opposition to the Holy Spirit. (Notice in these verses the work of the Holy Spirit is negative.)

Let’s look at what Paul said to Timothy…

2Ti 4:2-5 (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (5) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Paul says to Timothy that your preaching should include 4 things:

a - Reproving – To convince, to manifest (sin) This is preaching the word of God so that the hearers are convinced of sin.

b - Rebuking – Chastisement, punishment, scolding for the purpose of restraint This involves warning and telling people to stop sinning. Ex. Paul did this to the church at Corinth for their sin

c - Exhorting – To Encourage, to embolden

d - Doctrine – Teaching the body of truths given to us by Jesus Christ

  1. The Holy Spirit reproves the world of righteousness

The Holy Spirit manifests to a person their lack of righteousness and the need for God’s righteousness, which is by faith of Jesus Christ.

(Rom 3:10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Some people may think they are righteous but they are condemned by God.

(Isa 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Many people know, however, that they sin and do wrong.

(Rom 3:22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

This verse is saying that you can have God’s righteousness. How? …by faith.

(2Co 5:21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

God offers people His righteousness, and yet they reject it.

  1. The Holy Spirit reproves the world of judgment

The Holy Spirit convicts the world that there is a judgment coming; that one day he will meet God. In other words the Holy Spirit convicts men that they are accountable to God.

(Rom 14:12) So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Many unbelievers know that they live wrong. That is why they worship some higher diety or god and try to make peace with that higher power through an offering or gift, etc. Why?…Because they fear some future judgment.

(Heb 9:27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Summary:

So the work of the Holy Spirit in the world today is not to make the world a better place. It is not to bring in a one world system. The Holy Spirit’s job is not even to eliminate poverty or sickness. The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world that they are guilty before God! (The work of the Holy Spirit toward the world is primarily negative.)

This allows the human race to be placed into a position whereby they can accept the Saviour and obtain eternal life!

Then, after a person gets saved the work of the Holy Spirit becomes positive.