Monday, November 26, 2012
How the Holy Spirit Works on All
Did you ever come across an explanation of something that finally put into words what you had been trying to say, but couldn't?
Well, a daily devotional in Charles Stanley's October 2012 devotional magazine, In Touch, has done just that regarding the working of the Holy Spirit.
See, people have often asked me how an individual comes to belief in Christ, and I believe the following explains the process. Then, people will ask me how the Holy Spirit works in a Christian's life, and again, I believe the following explains that process as well. Certainly one can delve more deeply into this. But for a plain-as-day summation, this is how the Holy Spirit began its work on me before I was saved, and how it works on me now that I am saved.
Here it is:
"Jesus assured His disciples that it was to their advantage that He go away so the Helper could come (John 16:7). God sends His Spirit to convict people of their sin. Since the Holy Spirit is unlimited by time or space, He can reach out to every individual on the planet. However, His work differs with regard to believers and unbelievers.
God's spirit penetrates the unbeliever's heart and brings awareness of wrongdoing. He reveals that according to God's holy standard, that person has sinned and stands condemned by his or her transgression. Unbelief is the greatest sin against God, so every prick of the heart is meant to point out one's need for the Savior.
As for believers, the Holy Spirit deals with us on the basis of our relationship with Jesus Christ and convicts us of disobedience to the Lord. In other words, He makes us aware of specific sins and God's attitude about such behavior. He also prompts us to confess our wrongs and repent, which helps us to become accountable.
Convicting believers of sin is an important part of the Holy Spirit's job, but He is equally delighted to make them aware of the Lord's approval. God commends righteous living, obedient actions, and loving acts done in his name.
While conviction is often uncomfortable for unbelievers and believers alike, it's a beautiful demonstration of God's love. He desires to bring us into the center of His will and keep us there for our good and His glory. The Holy Spirit's work makes that possible, if we choose to follow His promptings."
From "The Nature of Conviction," Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, In Touch
"But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. " John 16:7-13a