Born again – Part 15
“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” (Jn 16:7-8) KJV
16:7 If I depart, I will send Him.
The Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit will occur only after Christ goes away (cf. Acts 2:33). This outpouring at Pentecost fully ushered in the Age of the Spirit.
16:8 reprove the world. When the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost, His principal work with respect to proclaiming the gospel will be that of convicting. The term “reprove” (Gk elench) means to expose, refute, convict and convince.
(1) The Spirit’s ministry of convicting operates in three areas. (A) Sin. The Holy Spirit will expose sin and unbelief in order to awaken a consciousness of guilt and need for forgiveness. Conviction also makes clear the fearful results if the guilty persist in their wrongdoing. After conviction, a choice must be made. This will often lead to true repentance and a turning to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour (Acts 2:37-38). (B) Righteousness. The Spirit convinces people that Jesus is the righteous Son of God, resurrected, vindicated and now the Lord of all. He makes them aware of God’s standard of righteousness in Christ, shows them what sin is and gives them power to overcome the world (Acts 3:12-16; 7:51-60; 17:31; 1 Pet 3:18). (C) Judgment. The Spirit convinces people of Satan’s defeat at the cross (12:31; 16:11), God’s present judgment of the world (Rom 1:18-32) and the future judgment of the entire human race (Mat 16:27; Acts 17:31; 24:25; Rom 14:10; 1 Cor 6:2; 2 Cor 5:10; Jude 14)
(2) The Spirit’s work of convicting people of sin, righteousness and judgment will be manifested in all who are baptized in the Holy Spirit and are truly Spirit-filled believers. Christ, filled with the Spirit (Luke 4:1), testified to the world that “the works thereof are evil” (see 7:7; 15:18) and called people to repent (Mat 4:17). John the Baptist, “filled with the Holy Spirit” from birth (see Luke 1:15) exposed the sin of the Jewish people and commanded them to change their ways (see Mat 11:7; Luke 3:1-20); Peter, “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4), convicted the hearts of 3,000 sinners and called them to repent and receive forgiveness (Acts 2:37-41).
(3) Clearly, any preacher, or church that does not publicly expose sin and call for repentance
and Biblical righteousness is not directed by the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 14:24-25 explicitly states that
God’s presence in the congregation is recognized by the exposure of the sin of unbelievers (i.e.,
secrets of their hearts), and their consequent conviction and salvation.
— “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth; for he will tell you things to come. 14He will glorify me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13, 14).
16:13 He will guide you into all truth. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit is not only directed toward the unsaved (vv. 7-8), but also operates in believers and the church in order to teach, correct and guide them into truth (Mat 18:15; 1 Tim 5:20; Rev 3:19).
(1) The Holy Spirit will speak to believers concerning sin, the righteousness of Christ and the judgment of evil in order to (a) conform them to Christ and His standard of righteousness (cf. 2 Cor 3:18)
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