Salvation Comes from God

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5)
 
Since the whole world stands guilty of sin before God, what hope do we have? As Jesus explained to His disciples on the eve of His crucifixion, “it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” (John 16:8)
 
Let’s take a look at these three works of the Holy Spirit that our Lord describes:
 
  1. “In regard to sin, because men to do not believe in me” (John16:9) – Here, Jesus gives greater depth, significance and gravity to the fact of sin by pointing out the greatest sin of all – unbelief. Apart from the convicting work by the Spirit using the Word of God, the world would have little idea of what sin is, its inward working, its universal nature, and its awful effect in poisoning man’s whole being and his relationship with God. And what would the world care about the effect of sin until the Spirit convicts man’s reluctant conscience through the Word?
  2. “In regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer” (John 16:10) – The next step after mankind is convicted of sin and stricken with guilt is to bring hope that righteousness is available. Just as Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven revealed His perfect righteousness, the Spirit now convicts sinners that His righteousness can also be given to them for the asking.
  3. “And in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:11) – The Spirit also teaches us that there will be a judgment, in which righteousness will triumph over sin, and sin will be destroyed. If Satan, who is also called the prince of this world, has already been judged and condemned, we can be sure that we too will be condemned if we lack the righteousness that only Christ offers.
 
The Spirit’s message is a three-fold, heartfelt conviction of sin – which is mine; of righteousness – which may be mine; and of judgment – which must be mine.
 
Where do you stand? Are you convicted by the Spirit, who is trying to convince you of these realities? Or do you remain in a state of obstinate unbelief, or an indifference which is just as impenetrable? Be on guard not to resist the Spirit of God.
 
By Jim Connell

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