2008-06-11 / Religion

The Gospel Truth

The Holy Spirit works through all
Dr. Charles F. DeVane Jr. First Baptist Church

 
One of the great characters in the gospel of John is actually present with us today, right now, right here. The only problem is, you cannot see him. Jesus told us about him in John 16:5- 15. He is the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is a

person

The Holy Spirit has a name; or, perhaps more accurately, a title. He is the "Paracletos," a compound Greek word formed by the preposition "para," meaning "beside, alongside, or perhaps even inside," and the noun "cletos," meaning "called, summoned or invited." The Holy Spirit is the one called alongside to help, comfort, counsel, teach, defend and empowerer.

The Holy Spirit is with God the father in the creation and governance of the universe. The Holy Spirit is with God the son in incarnation and atonement, resurrection and return. The Holy Spirit is with the child of God in salvation and christian service. The Holy Spirit is always with God and always involved in the things of God because the Holy Spirit is God.

The father and the son are one (John 10:30). The son and the spirit are one (John 16:7 and 1 John 2:1). Therefore, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit are one triune God.

But just what is the Holy Spirit empowered to do?

The Holy Spirit has a

purpose

In verse 8 Jesus says, "He will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness and judgment." This is a sort of purpose statement for the Holy Spirit. His primary purpose is the propagation of the gospel.

The Holy Spirit is the ultimate newspaperman. He gets out the bad news, the good news and the real news that's fit to print. Only he does not use paper. He writes on the human heart.

The bad news is "sin." Everyone in the world is a sinner. We have all violated the perfect word and will of God. However, only some people realize it. Even fewer are convicted by it. But when a person knows they are truly guilty, when they confess that their sin is against God, when they desire and demonstrate deep repentance, then a person knows that the Holy Spirit is at work in their life delivering the bad news.

The good news is "righteousness." "Gospel" means "good news," of course, but a one-word summation of the gift of the gospel is "righteousness." To "go to the father" Jesus had to pass through the cross. In the cross, the great plan of double imputation was planted. Christ takes our sin and gives to us his righteousness when we believe. But how can a person believe such an unbelievable story? It takes a persuasive and powerful teacher, namely the Holy Spirit.

The real news is "judgment." The reason the Holy Spirit brings you this good news and bad news is because of the real news of the judgment to come. In fact, judgment has already begun with "the ruler of this world." Most interpreters interpret "the ruler" to be Satan. If worldly things - money, sex and power - are your chief desires, then in the words of an Eagles tune you are "following the wrong gods home." However, if you desire spiritual things in the realm of the father, son and Holy Spirit, then be sure it is the Holy Spirit leading you to follow the son so you may escape the judgment of the father.

Since the Holy Spirit is here today, I hope he will help you to understand that the gospel is God's news of sin, righteousness and judgment. I beg you to believe this gospel of sin, righteousness and judgement. And I know if you do, it is the Holy Spirit fulfilling his purpose in your life.

The Holy Spirit uses

people

The Holy Spirit is an invisible, divine person. The Holy Spirit brings the gospel to bear upon the lives of Christian believers. But just how does the Holy Spirit accomplish this great, gospel mission?

Our text tells us he guides, he speaks, he discloses and he glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. How can the invisible God do these things? The Holy Spirit uses people, gospel people, believing people, Christian people.

The Holy Spirit was at work in the old testament from creation to the conception of the messiah. The Holy Spirit filled the life of John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ and empowered them to perform their earthly ministries. The Holy Spirit came upon every member of the newborn Christian community on the day of Pentecost. Since then the Holy Spirit has been at work in the lives of every Christian, enabling them to believe and empowering them for worship, witness and Christian work.

Does the Holy Spirit guide you to public worship on the lord's day, to holy scripture for daily readings, to fellowship with Christian people, witness to non-Christian people, and love for all people? Does the Holy Spirit speak to you, does he take the words of biblical sermons and the biblical text and tell you, "This is true and this is how you are to truly live?" Does the Holy Spirit clearly disclose to you the difference between right and wrong, truth and error, godliness and ungodliness? And the bottom line, are you living a life that glorifies our great God and Savior Jesus Christ? Only the Holy Spirit can enable you to do that.

The Holy Spirit is here today, right here, right now. God's people are here. God's word is here. God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, is here. Do you see him in you?

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