|John 16:7-9 |
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is advantageous for you that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.
8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong [reprove all men] concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment.1 [Every man has his day of visitation from the Holy Spirit, when he hears the Lord's quiet and anonymous reproofs. Those, who do not believe Him, (his words of reproof), remain in condemnation. But if a man heeds His reproofs, the Lord pours his Spirit and words on him, Pro 20:23,33; teaching a man how to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; to then finally judge a man, gathering his wheat, (his works of love, energized and motivated by operational faith), into the barn and burning up the chaff (works of sin) with unquenchable fire — the Holy Spirit's baptism of death to the selfish spirit of Satan in a man.]
9 Of sin, because they do not believe in me. [When a man hears the gentle, anonymous call to forsake his evil ways, if he repents, God gives him more of His spirit and hunger to seek Him. Those, who do not believe Him, (the Lord's words of reproof), and continue sinning until death, suffer a hard judgment; and the words that man heard and ignored will be remembered, which same words will judge him, John 12:47-48, to his great shame and sorrow. The light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:5. For everyone who does evil deeds (sins) hates the light (so hates Christ, who is the light) and does not come to the light for fear his deeds will be exposed and reproved. John 3:20. If we heed His reproofs and seek His kingdom and His righteousness as our life's first priority, by doing the one thing needed, (to sit at his feet and listen to His spoken words, Luke 10:39-42 ), grace first teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, removing the sins from our heart, one at a time; this function of the Holy Spirit is named the Ministry of Condemnation.]
1 I will send him, (the Comforter), to you; and when he comes, he will prove the world wrong [reprove all men] concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit was poured out on all men at Pentecost. There is an additional measure of the Holy Spirit, given to those who obey. The Spirit of Christ convicts and convinces people of their sins, shows them the righteousness of Christ, which each must attain, and judges them.
Man and God are further apart in character than a rat is from a man. Man must first learn what a low beast he is; in the process he begins to understand how the whole world lies in wickedness because all men are subject to the Spirit of Satan. A man must be taught about sin and convicted for his sins. Then a man begins to understand what the righteousness of God means: he will prove the world wrong about sin, and righteousness. Then he is judged at the conclusion of his spiritual journey.
Isaac Penington wrote in his Catechism: "The first operation of the Spirit towards man lying in the sin, is to convince him of the sin; and he that receives not the convincing light of the Spirit, the work is stopped in him at the very first; and Christ can never come to be formed in him, because that light by which he should be formed is kept out. And then he may talk of Christ, and practice duties, (pray, read, and contemplate much), and gather comforts from promises, and run into ordinances, and be exceeding zealous and affectionate in all these, and yet perish in the end. Yes, the devil will let him alone, (if not help him), in all this, knowing that he has him the surer by this, he being, (by the strict observation of these), kept out of the fear of the danger of his condition, which otherwise perhaps he might be made sensible of."
Until the Spirit shows a man his sin, he cannot understand or recognize most of his sins. For the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2:14. Because what may be known of God is revealed in them; for God has shown it to them. Rom 1:19. So as in 16:8 above, the Holy Spirit shows man about sin, about Jesus, and judgment within a man; the soul's eyes must see, and the soul's ears must hear, to learn the things of God. The things of God are not learned by reading the Bible, nor listening to someone speaking, (unless they speak from words supplied by the Spirit of God at that moment). Jesus said: "There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her"— to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear his word. Luke 10:39-42. Hearing his voice and following him (obeying him) is critical to your future — critical to obtaining life: The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. John 6:33