JOHN 16:7-11: “But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” NASB
OBSERVATION: Are you experiencing the Holy Spirit Advantage? Are you struggling to live life, to find direction, to know what choices to make, to overcome the obstacles and enemies of life? If you answered yes to any of these…
YOU NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT ADVANTAGE!
The setting of this discourse between Jesus and His disciples was the last Passover meal and His final words to them before going to the Garden and being betrayed. Jesus tried to tell His disciples what was going to happen and to prepare them for the time when He fulfilled His ministry and returned to the Father.
Naturally, this news was hard to swallow. It was hard to believe and understand. Why would Jesus talk about death when He is the Messiah? Why would Jesus talk about leaving when He had only just begun His ministry? In the midst of the disciple’s confusion, sadness, and questioning, Jesus says these important words.
IT IS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!
Have you ever watched the recap of a championship sports game? They list the stats side by side of each team. As they lay out these stats a summary is compiled and each skill is awarded to the team who has the ADVANTAGE. What is an advantage? Webster defines advantage as,
“Any state, condition, or circumstance, favorable to success, prosperity, interest, or reputation.” (Websters 1828 English Dictionary)
Jesus made it very clear what the believer’s advantage would be. It would not be based on his skill or education. It would not be a result of his personal strength or faith. The believer’s advantage was not something they possessed. Rather, it was something that would be given to them when Jesus left and returned to the Father.
THE BELIEVER’S ADVANTAGE WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT!
When Jesus walked this earth He was filled with the full measure of the Holy Spirit. He was the living cloud and pillar of fire of God that led the children of Israel in the desert. He was the Light of Life. As long as Jesus walked this earth the Holy Spirit could not be given to His disciples. However, when He returned to the Father, then the words of John the Baptist would be fulfilled.
- ‘“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11 NASB
Why do we need the Holy Spirit? Why is He our advantage? Why is He central to all that we are called to do and become? Jesus answers these questions with three clear and decisive statements of which entire books could be written on each one.
- “And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”
The purpose of my reflections this morning is not focused on developing these three points. It is focused on emphasizing our need for the Holy Spirit in everything we do. So, I will simply list these three critical things we cannot do without the Holy Spirit’s vital ministry and presence in our lives.
- CONVICTION OF SIN: We cannot convince anyone of their need for Jesus. We cannot convict anyone, including ourselves of our sin and need for repentance. When we try to change our lives or the lives of others with mere human efforts we will always fail. Only the Holy Spirit can convict one of sin and their need for a Savior!
- CONVICTION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: We cannot discern the truth, understand the Bible, or walk on the path of righteousness without the Holy Spirit. Left to ourselves we will all wander down the wrong path. The disciples had the physical presence and teaching of Jesus to guide them. Jesus, now sitting on the right hand of the Father, has sent for the Holy Spirit to be our teacher, comforter, and guide in His place!
- CONVICTION OF JUDGMENT: We cannot win the battle against sin and the enemy without the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who proclaims the victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection through the gifts that He bestows upon the church. It is through these gifts that we partner in Jesus’ victory and break the strongholds of sin and the power of the enemy in our lives.
I don’t know about you – but I want to live with God’s ADVANTAGE! This advantage was so important that Jesus told the disciples to wait until they received power from on high before they did anything! When they walked with the risen Christ they were ready to go. Yet, if they had started prematurely they would have quickly met defeat. When they were baptized in the Holy Spirit on that wonderful day of Pentecost the –
ADVANTAGE HAD COME!
The Holy Spirit was the changing factor as He indwelt the lives of the 120 that were gathered in the upper room, the 3000 that believed and were baptized when Peter preached, and all those who from that point would repent, believe, and receive!
- “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39 NASB
Every person who repents and believes in Jesus Christ receives the Holy Spirit when they are saved. However, there is a baptism of power when a believer yields their life to the Holy Spirit and allows Him to lead, correct, teach, and empower their life. This is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which is available to everyone who asks in Jesus’ Name!
- “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NASB
- “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13 NASB
Lord, I thank you for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. I also thank you for the Holy Spirit’s baptism of power that You freely give to everyone who asks! Today I desire to yield my life fully to the work of the Spirit. I want to live with the ADVANTAGE that You promised.
Holy Spirit, convict my life of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
In Jesus’ Name!