Thank you to David for this message.

What does the Holy Spirit do?

John 16 : 5 – 15

5:  “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’

6:  Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief.

7:  But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

8:  When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement:

9:  in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;

10:  in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;

11:  and in regard to judgement, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12:  “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.

13:  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

14:  He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

15:  All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

Throughout this series looking at the person and work of God the Holy Spirit and trying to understand the mystery of the Trinity, as Christians, we should always remember that the focus of our faith is Jesus our Saviour. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews wrote:

Hebrews 12 : 2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Previously in our Holy Spirit Series.

In earlier weeks we established that the Holy Spirit is God’s presence in the world and his people as part of the Trinity, therefore where God is working the Holy Spirit is active:

  • The Holy Spirit was active in creation
  • The Holy Spirit Inspired the Prophets and writers of Scripture
  • The Holy Spirit was given to selected people in the Old Testament  for specific practical tasks. (Bezalel see Exodus 31 : 1 – 3)
  • The Holy Spirit made Mary pregnant
  • The Holy Spirit inspired Simeon and Anna to prophesy about Jesus in the Temple
  • The Holy Spirit was present in the form of a dove when Jesus was baptized.
  • Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert where he was tempted. Jesus was the man perfectly filled with the Holy Spirit!
  • Jesus quoted Isaiah saying that the Spirit of the Lord was on him.
  • Jesus spoke a lot about when the Holy Spirit would be sent to the disciples
  • On the morning of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in power.

In future weeks we will learn how:

  • The Holy Spirit works in your life to make you more like Jesus:
  • The Holy Spirit enables you to find your place in the community of God’s people (the Church)

For this week we are to consider the Holy Spirit’s role in bringing people into a relationship with the Father God through faith in Jesus Christ.

1.The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sinful state.

John 16 :8:  When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement: 9:  in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;

10:  in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11:  and in regard to judgement, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and became self-aware, their willfulness brought sin into what was a perfect creation and formed a barrier between people and God. The whole of scripture is the story of how God put together a plan to deal with sin. He prepared a specific nation, Israel and revealed himself to them through the Law given to Moses, the various prophets, priests and kings.

Firstly God made clear to them his own holiness, glory and majesty insisting that he should be their only object of worship. Secondly the Law made it clear that people were sinful and If they were to approach God then they should be ritually clean, not only by physical washing but by a blood sacrifice for the cleansing of their sins..

Within in the Law given to the nation through Moses God gave them a system of sacrifices for the  forgiveness of their sins which entailed not only the blood of animals but the first fruits of the harvest. This  was not a permanent solution as it had to be repeated again and again.

It is only by understanding these things, God’s holiness, our sinfulness and our need for cleansing and forgiveness by a sacrifice that we can understand and fully appreciate what God did for us in Jesus Christ who died on Calvary as the perfect, once and for all sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to awaken our consciences and convict us that the burden of guilt we carry is due to our sinful nature separating us from God.

2. The Holy Spirit is active in our spiritual re-birth

John 3 : 5:  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

Once we have been awakened to our need for God and we hear, understand and accept that Jesus offers to lift our guilt then it is the Holy Spirit who brings about our spiritual birth, we are born again! Our sins are dealt with, our guilt is gone and we can start a new life.

The universal church has a problem! (Only one I hear you say). As humans we like to define and codify things and then argue about them when we come to differing conclusions. In trying to understand and describe the great mystery of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ and in the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing us into a new relationship with our Father God we the church have developed our own vocabulary.

We have various ways of explaining our new status here are just three of them:

  • We have been “Saved” which means that we no longer have to face the prospect of eternal punishment but have eternal life with God.

Ephesians 2 : 4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,

made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

  • We are “Justified” which means that when we stand before God to be judged he will find us “Not Guilty” because we have put our faith in Jesus.

Romans 3 :21  But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

  • We are “Redeemed” which means that Jesus has paid the price to release us from the bondage and power of sin.

Galatians 3 :13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to help us understand the truth of these things.

John 16 :13  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth

3. The Holy Spirit sanctifies

2Th 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
C.S. Lewis

When we believe in Jesus as our Saviour and friend the Holy Spirit washes away our sin and takes up residence within us. We have already seen that the people of Israel had to go through a cleansing process before they could approach God and it is the same with us. Only when have been cleansed of our sin can we have a relationship with God. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to spiritually clean us out ready for God. He sanctifies us, he consecrates us and he makes us separate and holy, ready to set out on our Christian pilgrimage with God. The process of sanctification continues  throughout our journey of faith

The last word goes to C.S. Lewis:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” ― C.S. Lewis


Heavenly Father fill us once again with your Holy Spirit that we might truly understand your love for us expressed in your Son Jesus Christ. Convict us, cleanse us, Sanctify us and equip us to be the people you want us to be. In the name of Jesus our Saviour Amen.

Category: Sermons , The Bridge

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