Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Spirit of Grace:Comforting, Counseling, Convicting?

10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace...Zechariah 12:10a NASB

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14 NKJV

 Today, I want to share with you the wonderful good news of the precious Holy Spirit. I've alluded to the Spirit and His work often in times past. This is the first series of study I've devoted to knowing and understanding God's Mighty Spirit. 

 The third person of the triune Godhead sometimes gets overlooked. Whenever we do hear about the Spirit it's usually because religion is teaching how we grieve and fail the Spirit. Or it is tradition's voice steadily teaching that all of His power and gifts are regulated to the first one hundred years of the Church's existence. 

 Today, I wish to begin a journey with you where we go deeper in intimacy and communion with the precious Holy Spirit. The Spirit yearns for and earnestly desires to spend time with each of us. I know some may be saying He is within so, I am always with Him. Yes, that's true He is ever present, He dwells within us. He can't get any closer. However, it is not so much about the abiding presence within but maximizing our relationship and fellowship with Him. 

 You know my wife and I could spend all day together. That means she is ever present with me throughout the day. However, what if we quarreled throughout the day? Would that be refreshing and intimate fellowship? Of course not. So in like manner, though the Spirit abides within all believers, some really have no fruitful, joyous, intimate fellowship with Him on a regular basis. 

Comforter, Counselor, "Convicter"?

 When Jesus introduces the Spirit to the disciples He references Him as the Comforter. This word in the Greek is a beautiful description of God's Spirit. 
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John 16:7 KJV
 This word Comforter in Greek is parakletos. It means one called to come along one's side and help. It means intercessor, consoler, advocate, and comforter. 

 For many, though, they've been taught and therefore believe the Spirit is also the one convicting them of their failures, and shortcomings and faults. How can one have intimate fellowship with the one who is constantly reminding you of your failure and sin? So many traditional religious folk believe strongly that the Holy Spirit convicts Christians of their sins and failures. 

 They use this passage in John's Gospel to "prove" this is true. 
And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 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 16:8-11 NASB
 See brother it's right there. It says He will convict of sin. It seems some just see one word or phrase out of Scripture and create whole doctrines out of it. 

 We can't add to or take away from the Word of God. The Word says plainly He convicts the World of the sin of unbelief. If you take this passage in full context what we see is an evangelistic message for all humanity. The Spirit comes to all humanity and convicts them of their unbelief or rejection of Jesus. In essence, He is asking what will you do with the Lord Jesus?

 The Spirit convicts the lost of their unbelief, revealing that because Jesus has risen and ascended He has made available the gift of righteousness. Because He has already judged the enemy, they don't have to fear judgment if they receive what Jesus freely offers. In this passage, where does it teach Christians are being convicted of their sins?

 It's not in there. Does this mean we will never be corrected when we miss it? Certainly, the Lord corrects and instructs those He loves. It is the how He leads and corrects that people don't seem to understand. He is not the one telling you how deplorable you are because you are such a disappointing failure. 

 John's Gospel also reveals the way of correction. 
1But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; John 16:13a NASB 
The Spirit leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth. The Word of God is truth. The Spirit reminds us of whose we are and who the Word reveals we are. This is where correction and growth come to fruition. 

 When we understand just how much He loves us and how He sees us in His sight we will experience real growth and begin to realize more fruitful fellowship with the Spirit. God's not mad at you. God's not disappointed or upset with you. The Spirit longs for times of refreshing intimacy with you. Awaken to His abiding presence and walk conscience of His comfort and guidance in your daily life and you will come to know more lasting joy and peace regardless of circumstances. 
Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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