SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 03/03

The Holy Spirit's Work

1. Yahweh is Spirit

Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel is a Spirit Being and He is holy. So when we speak about the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost we are in fact speaking about Yahweh who manifests Himself through His Spirit in the lives of His children and in the management of the universe. In this sermon we will discuss a few aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit: not the structure or make up of God. That is a subject far beyond my understanding.

2. The Spirit's Work

The Bible has a great deal to say about the work of the Holy Spirit. I will list a few of His duties and examine one in particular - His work of convicting souls of sin. We will examine the Spirit's other duties in subsequent modules.

Teach / Remind
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall:
teach you all things
And bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Testify of Yeshua
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father,
he shall testify of me:

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9: Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10: Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11: Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Notice the Holy Spirit's threefold duties of reproof:

3. To Reprove the World

Before we can understand this particular aspect of the Holy Spirit's work, we need to define the word 'world.' What is the world? At its lowest level the world is planet earth, the physical orb in the solar system on which we humans live. On its spiritual level the 'world' is a rebel outpost. It has been taken over by Satan and his lifestyle. The 'world' in this sense is more than just a physical place. It stands for ideologies, lawlessness and Satanic lifestyles which are diametrically opposed to those of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is these sinful life-styles that the Holy Spirit reproves: simply because they are in violation of the Almighty's commandments. Here are some texts to prove this point.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
1 John 3:1-13 ...The world knoweth us not...

In other words, the sinful practices of the world should not find a welcome home in the minds and lives of true believers. The Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin. He convicts people of their disobedience. He then points out the paths of righteousness, which is obedience to the Almighty's law. The Holy Spirit also warns of the coming Day of Judgement. In short He identifies sin and righteousness and warns us what will happen if we choose to continue in sin.

Christian preachers may point out error. We may define sin with absolute clarity and untiring zeal. We may silence the opposition with an array of unassailable scriptural facts. But that is only a minor part in the process of salvation. In the final analysis it is up to the Holy Spirit to convict the sinner of sin. Until that divine work is done, salvation is not possible. The work of conviction is Yahweh's work. His Spirit alone can convict the sinner of sin. No evangelist, pastor, priest or teacher should ever try to duplicate the work of conviction. It is the work of the Holy Ghost and He alone can do it. The Holy Ghost uses Yahweh's law to convict a person of sin. The law identifies sin. It points out sin. But the real work of conviction is done by the Spirit of God! Remember that fact.

4. Conscience

The dictionary defines 'conscience' as a moral sense of right and wrong; an inner voice classifying one's thoughts, words and deeds as worthy or unworthy. Like a High Court judge in the domain of human behaviour, conscience passes sentence on every man, woman and child in the court room of the own mind. No one can dethrone conscience without paying a frightening price. One may choose to ignore conscience or momentarily stifle its voice (cauterise it - point 5). But those who do this invariably suffer the consequences.

Why do we all have consciences? What part in the process of salvation does conscience play? What does the Bible say about conscience?

Brings Conviction
John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience...

Bears Witness
Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.
Romans 9:1 My conscience also bearing me witness ...

2 Corinthians 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

5. Seared Consciences

But as we all know only too well, the voice of conscience can be ignored. If we continuously ignore the still small voice of conscience, (the voice of God's Spirit speaking to our souls) we grieve the Holy spirit: we blunt conscience. The Bible refers to the result as a 'seared conscience.' It is as though the nerve ends of the soul have become dead and no longer register guilt. This is a deadly condition.
1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.

This is an effort to stop the flow of conscience; to silence its voice.

6. Purged Conscience

It is said that: When you fight with your conscience and lose, you win. Indeed when you follow the dictates of your conscience as prompted by Bible truth you can be sure that the Holy Spirit is at work in your life. A guilty conscience is evidence that Yahweh's Spirit is at work in your mind. Do not stifle His voice. Instead seek to serve God with a clear conscience. It can be done.
Acts 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.

Make it a personal goal to be able to say those words and mean them.

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Placed on Internet Dec.1995 ... Updated with KJV references July 1999