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Sunday, April 17, 2011

4/18/11 John 16:1-11 Spirit convicts

1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
(Persecuted Christians in Pakistan- left picture of Joseph Francis a lawyer in Pakistan trying to repeal Muslim blasphemy laws.  He has received many death threats).


Thoughts: The disciples had already asked "where are you going?"  Thomas asked it in John 14:5, and was told He was going to the Father.  Jesus was trying to steel their nerves by pointing out that they would be persecuted and even killed- as He was.   But Jesus would send them a helper- the Holy Spirit- the advocate (think lawyer) who speaks up for them and us.  The Spirit would even convict their persecutors of their own sin.  The Spirit shows us what is right and wrong, and inspires us to respect and fear God properly.   Most often the Spirit speaks through scripture.  The problem of our day is we want to leave scripture out of our debates.  But today we need to hear the Spirit more than ever.

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to see my sin.  Convict me, show me where I am wrong, and lead me in your righteous path.

John Calvin Abridged: Christ does not send his followers into the spiritual battlefield unarmed.  He equips them by telling them what to expect, and sending the Spirit to them as an aid.  This was not just spoken to the apostles, but to us as well.  So ministers of the gospel should expect to be reviled even by the pillars of the church. 

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