Help is on the way!
One of the most bittersweet moments in the Bible is when Jesus informs His disciples that the time has come for Him to leave them. The disciples have become accustomed to His teaching, instructions, and His miracles. And now He tells them they will see Him no more. But He’s not leaving them (or us) alone.
As first announced in John 14 Jesus tells the twelve that He is sending “Another Helper.” “Another” means this “Helper” will be similar in function and relationship as Jesus has with them. This Helper will assist them in the capacity as Jesus helped them. He will have the same authority and wisdom that Jesus possessed. Here’s the exciting thing, “He will be ‘in’ you,” John 14:17. We learn in John 14 that this Helper is called the “Spirit of Truth.”
In John 16 we uncover three areas in which the Helper, who we later learn is the Holy Spirit, will help. He will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment, John 16:7-11. These are evangelistic in focus and are not the only way He helps, but one of the ways He does.
I would imagine that sharing your faith with friends or strangers is a challenge for you like it is for me. You don’t know what to say, how to direct the conversation towards Jesus, or you’re afraid of rejection. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
I’ve got good news; you can’t save anyone! Our job is not to save them it is to disciple them, Matthew 28:19. We have a role to play in the sharing the gospel, but sharing the message is the extent of our participation, “How will they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14
It’s the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to reveal to them that the words you are sharing about Jesus are true. If they don’t receive what the Holy Spirit is saying, there is nothing you can do.
As much as we talk to people about God, we also need to spend time talking to God about people. We need to actively engage in praying for people to hear and receive the voice of the Spirit. Sin separates us from God and blinds us to His reality. Prolonged sin will convince us that we do not need God or worse that He doesn’t exist. Sin damages your moral compass deafening you to the conviction that leads to salvation.
The word convict in this context is best understood as “to convince or persuade,” not in the legal sense of exposing wrongdoing.
#1 He will convince the world that sin is ruling and ruining their life. He exposes sin for what it is and reveals its primary purpose of controlling their life. You or I can’t convince people of the nature of sin; only the Holy Spirit can.
#2 He will convince the world concerning righteousness. The word righteousness means “to be in right standing with God.” Righteousness requires perfection. We can’t be in right standing with God unless we are perfect. Jesus’ death and resurrection makes us positionally perfect and righteous. When we accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness, He not only erases our sin, but He gives us His righteousness so that even in our sinful human state we can be perfect before God.
There are a lot of people, outside of the church and even some within, who struggle with believing they can be made right with God. They feel they have done too many bad things, said too much and have too much baggage for God to forgive them. The Holy Spirit is actively engaging humanity informing them that they can be righteous.
#3 He will convince the world concerning judgment. The world is plagued with sin and the consequences thereof. Satan goes around condemning people and overwhelming them with temptation. But thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice, his days are numbered, and his power is diminished. He has been judged.
The enemy’s whispering that you can’t change or will never change is a lie and we now can be free! The Holy Spirit informs the world that change is possible, heaven is real, and the enemy is a liar.
If you have made Jesus Christ your Savior, you have a been given a helper in the Holy Spirit. He walks with you and is in you. As the Spirit of truth, He will lead you in paths of righteousness! Take hold of the help that has been given to you and experience the abundant life God has promised!