Wed., Feb. 9/22
Toward the end of His ministry Jesus explained to His disciples the fact of His departure and of the coming of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Until this time His people had only the written Law as their guide; there was no one person to whom they could look who kept the Law perfectly, and there was no indwelling Spirit of God to guide them. When Jesus was about to return to the Father He explained to His disciples about the Spirit’s coming and function…
The Holy Spirit Convicts the Soul
In the believer the Holy Spirit is their dearest Friend. He “…will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.” (John 16:13-14, NLT). The Holy Spirit brings that sense of unity when Christians gather together. It is He Who speaks that inner “This is the way you should go” (Isa. 30:21), or Who at times just won’t let you do or say a thing (see Acts 16:6-10).
In the unbeliever the Holy Spirit is ‘the hound of heaven.’ He “…will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8). He brings the unsaved soul under the conviction – the undeniable knowing –that they have fallen short of God’s holiness. He convicts the soul of God’s righteous standard, of how one ought to behave, and He brings to the unsaved soul that horrible sense of dread of the judgment which awaits them. (see v. 9-11, NLT).
Satan Condemns the Soul
In the believer Satan is called the “Accuser” of the people of God (Rev. 12:10). Jesus said of him, “there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44). The devil seeks to bring the believer down, to remind him of past sins and failures even though God has both forgiven and forgotten them (Isa. 43:25; Micah 7:19; Heb. 8:12). The truth is as Paul affirmed “…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
In the unbeliever Satan works in much the same way, first luring the soul into sin, assuring him there is no God, no consequence for his actions, then, in the end bringing upon him the most severest dread!
In both the believer and the unbeliever the Holy Spirit Convicts out of love and with the goal of making us better, drawing us to or making us more like Christ. Satan Condemns out of hate and with the goal of making us worse, more like himself. We ought respond to the Holy Spirit’s Conviction by confession and correction. We ought respond to Satan’s Condemnation by turning to or claiming the Truth of God’s Word and deliverance by Christ Jesus.