John 16:8-11 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged."
John 16:12-13 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
The opening passage for today's post has been put into two distinct sections that highlight the Holy Spirit's work in the lives of unbelievers (John 16:8-11) and believers (John 16:12-13). As a quick note on the latter of these, although Jesus' instructions are primarily toward the apostles, by extension, the Spirit's work described by Jesus can include all Christians (see for instance 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 1 John 2:20,27).
The Divine Person of the Holy Spirit and His workings among and in people
Today's post features the Holy Spirit's work among non-Christians and Christians. Whether people realize it or not, God in the Person of the Holy Spirit is ever working to bring the glory of God to people. The Divine Person of the Holy Spirit is the Member of the Trinity that works as the chief agent in affecting conversion in sinners and ongoing change in the lives of Christians. As a Divine Person, the Holy Spirit is truly God - thus making what He does among people a work of God and entailment of the other two Members of the Trinity (the Father and the Son).
The Holy Spirit works as the Ambassador of the Trinity, bringing to unbelievers the power and Person of the Son for them to place their trust. Unbelievers need His works of conviction and soulish illumination to enable them to either perceive the message of general revelation that leaves them without excuse or to quicken them to the special revelation of the Gospel that leads to true saving faith.
Christians need the Spirit's working from the inception of regeneration all the way through to the end before their leaving this world. By the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, each Christian is reminded that they are an adopted son or daughter of the Heavenly Father (see Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:4-6) and have Jesus as their elder brother according to the flesh (see Hebrews 2:14-17). Below is an unfolding of these general observations in further, specific applications as it regards the Holy Spirit's workings among non-Christians and Christians.
First, sinful man must have the Spirit’s work of convincing Him that Jesus is worthy of worship. The problem is that sinful man has no desire to worship this great God. The Holy Spirit’s task in regenerating lost sinners in saving faith is to remove the heart of rebellion against God and replace it with a heart that desires God. Romans 8:5-6 tells us – “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Then in terms of the Holy Spirit's working in the Christian life, the New Testament details the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life from its inception as seen in the following ministries He performs:
As we close out today's post, we have toured the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of unbelievers and Christians. May all of us be ever receptive to His work in our lives.
(1) This particular point is not water baptism, which follows and signifies the reality of this work of the Spirit already having occurred in conversion. Water baptism is a God-ordained picture that re-enacts and illuminates the new believer to the truth of what happened to them at salvation. People don't get water baptized to get saved and spirit baptized, rather they are water baptized following their salvation.
Water baptism logically connects the new Christian back to the reality of their prior spirit baptism, however it does not impart the salvation which it pictures or points. In the death, burial, resurrection sequence of believer's baptism by immersion, the Christian acts out in sign form the Spirit's uniting of them to Jesus Christ which occurred in His spiritual baptism or uniting of them to Christ at prior saving faith.