November 13, 2022
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, When the Spirit Speaks.
There are things you will never know, until you lay your intellectual pride in the dust and let God the Holy Spirit speak to you.
Some people are cowards, afraid of the truth. Some are lazy, willing to accept half-truth. Some are arrogant; they think they know all truth. But if you have humility, God will speak to you.
Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the Paraclete, which means helper, comforter or advocate.
Jesus said, “…It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:7-11).
Here are three truths you will learn when the Spirit of God speaks.
Jesus said the Holy Spirit convicts the world “of sin, because they do not believe in Me” (see John 16:9).
We are born with a sinful nature. Therefore, unless there is a change, we are hopelessly lost.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
One day, you will meet every curse word and gossip you have said, every disobedience, every dishonesty. (Read Matthew 12:36, Revelation 20:12.) Think of your thought life. You hated; God called it murder. (See 1 John 3:15.) You lusted; God called it adultery. (See Matthew 5:28.)
Why did God make you? To know Him, love Him, and serve Him. If you have not ALWAYS done that, then you have been walking on God’s Earth, eating God’s food, using God’s sunshine, breathing God’s air, and not returning to God what is His—glory.
But these are not man’s basic problem.
This is the greatest sin. You might say, “I don’t agree. Murder is worse.” No. God says unbelief is the greatest sin. And you will not agree, unless the Holy Spirit teaches you. Unbelief is the crowning sin, the proof of man’s wickedness. It is the sin that will damn you forever. It is the parent sin, from which all other sins come.
If you say, “I can’t help it if I can’t believe,” you are wrong. The Holy Spirit will enable you to believe. Unbelief does not come out of the head; it comes out of the heart.
Unbelief is refusing Almighty God. A man is not eternally condemned because he lied, stole, or committed adultery, but because he did not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (See John 3:18.)
Jesus said the Holy Spirit convicts the world “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more” (see John 16:10).
What did Jesus provide? Healing? Teaching? Not primarily. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He came to provide righteousness.
Jesus was virgin born and lived a sinless life. He took the sin of His people upon Himself, and with His blood on the cross He paid the sin debt. He went into that dark tomb, came out on the third day, and ascended to Heaven. He said to the Father, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4).
The world’s idea of righteousness is as warped as its idea of sin. It thinks a man is righteous if he does right. In this idea, God is like Santa Claus, making a list to find out who’s naughty or nice. The world thinks that when we die, our bad works are put on one side of the scales and our good works on the other, and if our good works outweigh our bad, God will say, “You made it.”
But listen to God talk about Israel: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3).
If you could be accounted righteous before God by doing good deeds, why did Jesus die? “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21).
You say, “I’m a good person.” Here’s what God says about you: “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6a; emphasis added).
Depending upon self-righteousness rather than Christ’s righteousness is a deadly mistake. Only the Holy Spirit of God can convince you that you do not have a chance of Heaven, apart from the shed blood of Christ.
When you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the righteousness He gives you:
Christians are not just nicer people; they are new creatures. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17.)
Every stain, blot, and blemish are washed whiter than snow, buried in the grave of God’s forgetfulness. (See Psalm 51:7, Isaiah 1:18.)
We need righteousness. “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works” (Romans 4:5-6). If you don’t understand this, pray that the Holy Spirit will open your heart.
The Holy Spirit convicts the world “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (see John 16:10). Notice the past tense—Satan is already judged. When Jesus faced the cross, He said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31).
Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels. You either believe in Christ, or you do not. If you believe in Christ, one day you will be like Him. (See Romans 8:29.) But if you trust your own self-righteousness, one day you will be the perfect image of Satan, and you will go to the Hell prepared for him and his angels. (See Matthew 25:41.) When you get where you’re headed, where will you be?
The devil has already lost, and Jesus must reign. His enemies must bite the dust. Truth is mightier than error, love is stronger than hate, and holiness is higher than sin. Choose sides carefully.
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of the sinner’s basic problem, the savior’s provision, and Satan’s broken power. (See John 16:8-11.) Notice the order.
Usually, first the crime is proven, then there is punishment. With God, the order is different. First sin, then righteousness, then judgment. God has interposed the precious blood of His Son between sin and judgment.