Yesterday we were exploring some of Jesus’ last words to His disciples … explaining that He would be leaving, but He would not leave them alone.
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: (John 16: 6-8)
What does Holy Spirit want to show us about sin, righteousness and judgment? In the next verses, Jesus explains what He is talking about.
…concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:9-11)
Jesus did NOT say, “Concerning sin because they do awful things, hurt each other, break my commandments…. Concerning righteousness because without Me, no one is righteous, and concerning judgment, because everyone will be judged guilty without Me.”
Jesus said it is sin to not believe in … or on … Him! This is much more than believing that He exists. Satan believes … actually knows from first-hand experience … that Jesus exists, but he doesn’t believe ON Him. Satan’s belief, trust, allegiance was to himself and what he wanted. He wanted to be number one. He wanted all the glory… all the attention. He wanted what he wanted, when he wanted it and how he wanted it! And he lost everything! Where is my allegiance? Do I want what I want… when I want it… how I want it?
For me, this changed my whole perspective on what is sin. For too long I believed it was what I did… or didn’t do … that fell short of what God required. It meant lying, cussing, not obeying the speed limit, getting angry, being unkind, disobeying what God was speaking to my heart… letting fear stop me from doing what He is leading me to do… things like that. Don’t get me wrong, these are sinful, but they are not at the core of what Holy Spirit is showing me about sin. The real sin is in trusting something or someone (even myself and my understanding) more than I believe God. It is not believing that God is Good, and that what He says is true … even if I don’t understand it … or like it. For example, that He loves me and that He’s got me … that He is working out everything for good … that love (His Love) covers a multitude of sins and that I can put hurtful people and situations in His hands. I can choose to live in the truth of His love and acceptance… not in everyone else’s love and acceptance … or not.
It is not believing that His ways are better and higher than mine.
It is not believing that He loves my children even more than I do.
It is not believing that He is my Provider … not my job … not my talent … not my hard work. That doesn’t mean I can sit on my hands, but I can work my tail off and not really prosper without Him. Proverbs 10:22 tells us “The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.”
The second thing Holy Spirit will convict / convince us of is righteousness … because Jesus went to His Father. He had finished His assignment … He even said so from the cross. “It is finished!” He paid the price for all of our sins … past, present and future … for everyone. He paid the ransom so we are no longer slaves to sin. He didn’t have to stick around down here because what He had done … being crucified and then rising from the grave … was enough … more than enough! There is no “outstanding balance!” And remember, Jesus had laid down His deity. He was fully man … a fully righteous man … and He is now with Father God. And because of what He did, we can now boldly approach the throne of grace – God’s throne – and receive mercy. Without His righteousness, this would not only be impossible, it would be dangerous. Anything unclean or unrighteous would be instantly destroyed in the presence of God’s utter holiness. So, how can we be sure that it is safe for us to go into God’s Presence? In John 14:20 Jesus told his disciples “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” Because we are in Christ… and we are His Body… we couldn’t be in a safer, more loved place!
Thirdly, Holy Spirit convicts us of judgment, because the ruler of this world stands judged – and condemned. We don’t! Our enemy is condemned! Wow! Jesus has won the battle. We are his. Satan knows he has lost and that his destiny is the lake of fire. He can’t have those of us who have believed on Jesus, but he will harass and torment and lie to us. He doesn’t want us to walk in our freedom. He lies to us, reminding us of our past … of our failures … so that we feel condemned. But we are not – he is. Don’t believe his lies. Know the Truth!
Jesus is the Truth, but there is also the truth of His Word. Knowing these truths … and believing them … AND USING THEM … gives us a spiritual weapon and ammunition to send our enemy packing! A loaded gun in our hand will not chase away an enemy determined to hurt us. A loaded gun THAT IS USED will! So, how do we use the weapons that we have been given? We speak the Word.
I was going to write “when” our enemy lies to us … but if he is speaking … if his “lips” are moving … he is lying. Jesus said in John 8:44, “[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” But, since we know his nature, we don’t have to listen to him … let alone believe him. Not only does it help to know the truth, we must speak the truth. Our God is Faithful. So, if we are going through tough times – and everyone has them – we stand on God’s Word. Here are a few truths that we should be speaking:
- Nothing can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38)
- God is with me and He has promised to NEVER leave me. (Hebrews 13:5)
- God chose us before the foundation of the world… before I could do anything to earn His love. (Ephesians 1:4)
- No weapon formed against us will prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)
- All my children will be taught of the Lord, and great will be my children’s peace. (Isaiah 54:13)
- When God opens a door, no one can shut it; when He closes a door, no one can open it. (Revelation 3:7)
We trust You,
For You are indeed