The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Work of the Holy Spirit

Scripture: Romans 15:13, John 16:8-11, 1 John 5:12-13
Date: 03/25/2017  Lesson: 12
"It is a great tragedy that Christians, however well-intentioned, often approach sinners with an accusing spirit rather than a helping one. If we go around pointing out sin in the lives of other people, then we do something that Jesus has not called us to do. After all who are we to point out sin in others when we are hardly sinless ourselves?"

Man's Flicker or God's Flame (PB) by Joe Crews

Man's Flicker or God's Flame (PB) by Joe Crews
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Good morning, friends. Welcome to Sabbath school study hour. A very warm welcome to the members and the visitors here at the Granite Bay church and also our friends joining us across the country and around the world - our extended Sabbath school class. Today we're going to be studying our final lesson in this quarterly dealing with the Holy Spirit. We're on lesson #12 entitled the work of the Holy Spirit.

Now next week we start a brand-new lesson quarterly dealing with the first and the second books of Peter entitled feed my sheep. So, for our members and our visitors right here, we do have our lesson quarterlies in the back in the foyer - you can pick it up as you leave. For our friends joining us, if you don't have a lesson quarterly, we encourage you to contact a local seventh-day adventist church - you'll be able to receive one there - or go to the Amazing Facts website, just amazingfacts.org and you can download the lesson that we're going to be studying next week. We have a free offer that goes along with our presentation today, a book entitled life in the Spirit. For those who are viewing, if you would like to receive this free offer here in north America, call our resource phone number.

That number is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #155. Well, before we get to our study portion of our lesson today, we'd like to begin by lifting our voices in song. I'd like to invite our song leaders to come and join me here on stage and they'll lead us in our singing. We're going to start our song service out today with #499 - what a friend we have in Jesus - and we'll sing all three verses. Have a blessed Sabbath.

I'd like to invite you to bow your heads for our opening prayer. Dear Father, what a privilege to be able to gather together in your house to open up Your Word and study. And, as we spent the last twelve weeks looking at the importance of the Holy Spirit and his work in our lives, once again we ask the Holy Spirit to be with us as we study this important chapter - this passage dealing with the work of the Holy Spirit. So bless our time together today for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson this morning will be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Good morning everybody. Good morning. Good morning to our class here at Granite Bay. It's good to be home. As you know, Pastor Ross and I have been back on the east coast.

We were doing the prophecy encounter programs and it was wonderful seeing so many people out there that said they are part of our study class. And so, we want to welcome, once again the online members. We've got some who are members who have no local church they can attend for one reason or another. Some are shut-ins, others are just living remotely and, through the internet or through satellite, they are online members of Granite Bay. I want to welcome you and I want to welcome class members who just study with us around the country.

And it was good meeting so many of our friends there in the greater Orlando area. We actually had people that drove in to our meetings that came from Virginia and from southern florida, and some from a long way off. And so, it was a delight to be there, but it's good to be home. Now, my regular Bible is somewhere, right now, in a suitcase between here and florida and so, I was so thankful that one of these Amazing Facts study Bibles was in the pastor's office, otherwise I was going to have to revert back to - I had a Bible I used to for 20-something years and it got so bad the spine was broken, I had it taped together with gorilla tape and, finally, the studio said, 'doug, you need another Bible. It looks really rough.

' And so I was glad I had a nice Bible because, otherwise you were going to see my duct tape Bible today. But we're doing our last lesson, now, dealing with the subject of the Holy Spirit and it's talking about the work of the holy spirit. And I'm thankful I could be here for this study today. We have a memory verse. The memory verse is from Romans chapter 15, verse 13.

Here in your quarterly it's quoted from the new American standard Bible - Romans 15:13, if you'll find that, even if you're quoting it out of the King James or new king James, I think you'll find it's pretty close. You ready? "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Now if, God willing, I get to the end of the lesson, we'll talk about the Holy Spirit in hope, but the first thing we want to deal with is a verse coming from Jesus where he talks about - in one verse he has a lot to say about what the work of the Holy Spirit is. And you're going to find that in John chapter 16, verse 8 and we'll read chapter 16, verses 8 through 10 - John 16, verses 8 through 10. And here, Christ says, "and when he" - who's the 'he' he's talking about? The Holy Spirit. Now we've learned - is the Holy Spirit an essence? Is the Holy Spirit a force? Is the Holy Spirit the power through which God works? Or is the Holy Spirit a unique person in the Godhead? The Holy Spirit is a person.

God ascribes and Jesus ascribes to God the Spirit all of the characteristics that would give a person the essence of a person. And so, here it says, 'when he has come' - Jesus is talking about something outside of himself because he said, 'I'm going; he's coming' - "and when he has come, he will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness," - so you've got he says he convicts sin and righteousness - "and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to my father and you see me no more;" - and so, we're going to talk in the first three sections of the lesson here, about the Holy Spirit that will bring conviction, the need of righteousness, conviction about judgment. Now, I think it's probably been covered in other lessons, but I hate to assume everybody's seen every study. The Holy Spirit is called the perakletos and that means - you know, it's hard to find an exact equivalent, but when you look at the ancient literature, the way that Greek word is used, it's talking about someone who is a defender - as in like a defense attorney. Yes, they had people who would help you in court back then.

Not everybody knew the law. Not everybody was articulate before the judge and you could have someone that would be your representative to plead your case. Another word is 'comforter'. That word is sometimes translated as a comforter. It's a word that sometimes is translates as 'an advocate' or 'a helper'.

And you can also find in ancient literature it means 'someone who will come alongside you'. They're coming alongside you to plead for you, to represent you, to advocate, to help, to comfort - and Jesus said this is what God the Spirit will do for you. Now, talk about conviction of sin, how many of you like to be convicted? Do you have mixed feelings? Does conviction feel good? Have you ever had one of those 'oh!' Moments, where you just say, 'oh' - it's like when Isaiah saw the Lord, what was his declaration? 'Woe is me'. He saw the goodness of God and, by contrast, he saw his badness and it's the goodness of God that leads us to repentance, but it is good to be aware of your badness, because until you understand the problem, sin, you will not recognize and appreciate the solution, a Savior. And so, conviction, in that sense, is a good thing, but it doesn't feel good right away.

It's - it's like getting the diagnosis and - before you get the medicine, the diagnosis can be frightening. There are some examples in the Bible where that happens. Now, in a moment, we'll go to someone who's got - you're queued up for our first verse, which is what? Luke 21:15 - you'll have that? Okay. If you read in acts chapter , Peter's preaching there at pentecost. He's filled with the Holy Spirit and he's preaching and the fruit of his preaching is, you find in verse 37, "now when they heard this," - now who is the 'they' that is listening? 'There were dwelling in Jerusalem devout jews out of every nation under heaven.

' They had come for the pentecost feast. There was thousands of them there. Keep in mind, at the preaching of Peter just in that first sermon, there are 3,000 baptisms. There are many more than that there, so there could have been ,000 people listening and Peter must have had a pretty good set of pipes for everybody to hear him. And when they heard Peter preach and the others, because they're all hearing in their own tongues - he disciples were given the supernatural ability to preach in these languages they did not know or study - "now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart," - there you've got it.

That's conviction - "...they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles," - the others who were preaching - "men and brethren, what shall we do?" Now, that's why conviction's wonderful, it brings you to that next question is 'what now?' Does the Lord just leave us convicted or, after conviction, does he then say, 'repent and God'll lift you up. Be baptized. He'll give you the gift of the Holy Spirit.' The Bible says, 'humble yourself in the sight of God and he will lift you up. But before you can be lifted up there's that conviction - that sense of awareness. It's like when nathan said to David, 'thou art the man.

' Nathan was a prophet. He was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Can you imagine how David felt when just he was totally blind-sided by the Holy Spirit? Because, here, David was, you know, nathan shares this parable about this man and David doesn't know it's an illustration - steals his neighbor's sheep, even though he's got lots of flocks and herds, so he can feed a visitor, but it's his neighbor's only sheep. It was the family pet and he steals it and he kills it and David says, 'that man's going to pay four-fold!' And 'that's terrible! He's going to die.' And nathan said, 'you're the man.' That's conviction. It's like when all the apostles at the last supper are saying, 'Lord, is it i? Is it i?' They were all under conviction.

'Could I betray the Lord?' And Judas says, 'Lord is it i?' And Peter said, 'thou hast said. Thou art the man.' I'm sorry, Jesus said - yeah. Thank you very much. Jesus said to Judas, 'thou art the man.' And so, that's a terrible feeling. When John the baptist was preaching and the crowds came and they said, 'what then shall we do?' It's like what the disciples said to Peter and the apostles, 'what do we do now?' What brings conviction? Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit. Typically, it's the Holy Spirit who attends what? What was Peter doing when the conviction came? Preaching. What was John the baptist doing? Proclaiming the word. And it's often under the proclamation of the word - Jesus, many were convicted by what he said, but it was as he was proclaiming the word. So, the answer is, if you don't want the discomfort of conviction, don't read your Bibles.

But conviction is a good and a healthy thing for a Christian. And sometimes I'm actually happy when I'm convicted because I thought, 'wow, Lord, I wasn't aware what I was doing or what I was like and I needed that slap.' And sometimes that comes from the Holy Spirit, where we go, 'wow, that woke me up. I had no idea. Woe is me.' And after Isaiah confesses 'woe is me', God cleanses him and God puts him to work, but he needed the 'woe is me' first, right? Alright, go ahead, read for us Luke 21:15, talking about conviction. "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

" So when you talk about the gift of conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit, you've got both the giving and the receiving. Not only would they be receiving conviction, but the disciples would be sharing conviction in their preaching. It means that you - they would be reproving others - and that's one of the things Jesus says happens. You know, I left out one verse I wanted to share with you, talking about conviction, an old testament passage again, Zechariah 12:10. It says, "and I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication;" - it's talking about the Holy Spirit - "then they will look on me whom the pierced.

Yes, they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn." So when we see Jesus on the cross, and we know he's there for our sin, does that invoke sorrow and conviction and the weeping? And this is what this is talking about. And it says the Spirit brings this mourning, and that's the mourning for sin, okay? But then, also, to convict means 'to reprove' or 'to demonstrate by argument; to prove or to persuade someone to do or not to do something by presenting reasons'. So, when Jesus said the Holy Spirit would reprove, was the generation of Christ reproved by the preaching of the apostles? Were they convicted? Not only there at pentecost - look, for instance, in acts chapter 6, verse 10. How many of you can name three of the seven deacons? Can you name one of the seven deacons? Stephen. Which one can you think of? Stephen.

Can you name the second one? Philip - two of them stand out. Another one that kind of stands out with infamy is probably nicholas. Later, he apostatized and it was known as the doctrine of the nicolatians. But, among the seven deacons that were - they became spirit filled - and preachers, we have stephen. When stephen was tried for his faith it was because he was studying with the hEllenists and the jews and, it says, 'they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke' and it convicted them and it bothered them.

And - and through his preaching - I want to make sure I've got this verse included - yeah, through his preaching, it ended up getting him in a lot of trouble because they were convicted. They couldn't resist. It's talking about reproving. Look in acts 9:22, you have another example of that. "But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the jews who dwelt in damascus, proving that this Jesus is Christ.

" What does it mean there when it says 'he confounded' them? We don't use that word much right now - confounded. It means he confused. They couldn't answer. Some of you have another word in your Bibles for confounded, there? That - yeah, sometimes I prayed, 'Lord, confound the plans of the devil.' It means 'to frustrate; to confuse'. They could not answer the logic and the wisdom of stephen or Paul when they were showing from the Bible.

They just went, 'uh...uh...uh' - they wanted to argue but they couldn't find an answer. And so, that's part of the work of the Holy Spirit to convict - it means to reprove by strong argument. Now, Jesus said he will convict the world of sin and of righteousness. What does that mean? The need for righteousness is the next section we're going to talk about here. And in the lesson it starts out with Romans 5, "for if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

" So, through the life of Christ, we get his righteousness. First, we're convicted by sin, but then, through faith, through the death of Jesus, we accept his death in our behalf and we get credit for his righteousness. It goes on to say - look in Hebrews 4, verse 15. Now, in just a moment someone's going to have Romans 14:17 - okay albert, you'll have that? Hebrews 4:15 and 16, "for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." - I just want to pause here, quickly. When people read that verse - he was tempted in all points as we are - was Jesus ever tempted with haagen dazs ice cream? Probably not.

Was Jesus ever tempted with tobacco? Probably not - or crack, or heroin. When it says he was tempted in all points as we are, you know, all temptations really fall into three categories: lust of the flesh - the haagen dazs would fall into that category - the lust of the eyes - the things that people covet - that could be anything from materialism and buying things to online pornography - and then, well, that would probably fall into the third category, which is lust of the flesh. All - lust - pride of life, lust of the eyes - pride of life, rather - lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life - all temptations fall into those categories. When Jesus would not turn the stones into bread - lust of the flesh. He was hungry.

When he did not want the pride of being king of the world - the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world - pride of life. And when he would not - what is the third temptation I'm leaving out here? He wouldn't fall down and worship him. He said, 'if you fall down and worship me I'll give you all of these things. 'Cast yourself down' - that was the pride of life, sorry - 'cast yourself down and I'll give you all these things' - and lust of the eyes would have been all the Kingdoms of the world - they'll be yours - and so, Jesus was tempted in those same areas. You notice, those are the same three areas where eve fell.

So, when it says he's tempted in all points as we are, he knows how you feel because all temptation is really from the same family. "...yet without sin. Let us therefore come" - I'm still in Hebrews chapter 4, I'm in verse 16 - "let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Now when we're talking about the righteousness of the holy spirit, again you've got two facets of that. You've got the righteousness that comes through justification. I don't want to make this complicated, but I just remember when I first started coming to church and I'd hear pastors and preachers talk about justification and sanctification and glorification - they could have been talking about physics and calculus - I had no idea what they were talking about because those aren't words that, you know - normal people don't - when I say 'normal' the average person of the world doesn't use - I'm not calling you abnormal.

The average person in the world doesn't use those terms; and what it simply means is that when you come to Christ you've got a guilty past. You need to experience the justification that he gives you as a free gift by faith in him and it's coming - it's - you're declared righteous by faith. He completely covers you. But then, as you walk with the Lord, you don't want to always just be covered, you want to be living a righteous life and that's the righteousness of sanctification. Glorification is when we are in the presence of his righteousness when we are in heaven.

So - you know what it makes me think of? I remember, years ago, the pastor who baptized me - just a wonderful saint of a man, Joseph Philips, and, if I'm going to say something negative I won't tell you the real name, but I'm going to say something positive I'll tell you his name. He and his wife were just wonderful examples and loved the Lord, but he wasn't a really good driver later in life and, you know, he retired before I was born. He baptized me when he was 87. He was still planting churches and building schools late in life, but his vision wasn't great and - but even though he was - he was shorter than I was - an englishman - great - he had been a missionary in burma - wonderful man - but he had a thing for muscle cars. And so, he owned one of these American, I don't know, it was a gto or something like - and it really looked funny seeing this, you know, 87-year-old man driving this - vroom - vroooom - vrooom - vroom - vroom car.

And I used to ask if I could borrow his car. But he was always having - and he had the car for years because he loved it, but he kept having these fender benders where he would bump into other cars or he would bump into - because he couldn't see real good and he couldn't turn - he had a problem turning his neck around so he'd just back up by faith. (Laughter) and he's running into things and - I remember once he started backing into his wife and she's yelling, 'joe! Joe!' And he'd sideswipe a bridge and (laughs) every time he'd have one of these fender benders, he liked the car and so he had a good supply of this green paint - it was a green car - and he'd take it to the shop and they'd put bond-o on it. Any of you know what bond-o is? If you had a piece of metal missing you could kind of fill it with some fiberglass and bond-o and it would harden really good and they'd paint over it. And then he'd scuff it somewhere else - they'd put some more bond-o on it and they'd scuff it somewhere else - they'd put more bond-o - and it got to the place where I'm almost sure that car was more bond-o than metal.

(Laughter) that's a rough illustration but, you know, it sort of is what happens for us as Christians. When we first come to the Lord we have no righteousness. We must accept his righteousness by faith. But little by little, as we have our scuffs and our bumps, the places that were once completely just covered by his righteousness - and it's not that we never stop needing his righteousness, but we learn to overcome in those areas until, eventually, we have a righteousness that has been developed by sanctification. Bond-o is not a great illustration, but you get the point.

What started up as he's patching us, pretty soon you're so patched it's covered. And so, eventually, through following Christ and you make mistakes and you pray and he gives you his justification again, eventually you're being sanctified by that. And so, no matter where you look, it's no longer the metal, it's the bond-o that has been developed by experience. Alright, moving right along here. Now, someone's going to read, for me, Romans chapter 14:17 - yep.

"For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." I wanted you to notice the connection of the words 'righteousness' and 'Holy Spirit'. You're going to often find that those things go together because being spirit filled will produce righteousness. If God the Spirit is in you, will you live a righteous life? Is just really the essence of what that's talking about. Look at Romans 8:3 and 4: "for what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: he condemned sin in the flesh," - in what flesh? In my flesh; in your flesh - "that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according" - you know what 'walk' means? It's talking about the direction of your life - that through Christ and the power of him and the Spirit, we no longer walk - "according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." - You notice that there? That word 'righteous' and 'spirit' in that passage I read - look in Romans 8:10, "and if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." There you've got 'spirit' and 'righteousness' - they go together. What are the fruits of the Spirit? You find in Galatians chapter 5.

Look at what those fruits - good, you've got them memorized? I think Karen's got them memorized too. All those fruits of the Spirit, they're righteousness. They're the - they're the evidence - what is righteousness? Right doing, right? It's the opposite of wrongteousness. (Laughter) that'll be on Google next year. Alright, look in Galatians 5:5, "for we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

" So when you first come to the Lord, you receive that gift of righteousness by faith in his sacrifice in your behalf, but is it just faith that gives us a righteousness to cover? Or does that same faith give us a righteous life? Now did you get that? So often when we talk about righteousness by faith, we like to embrace the justification part that we get by a gift. Just - he looks at you just as if you had not sinned - just-if-acation - but when you have faith - and, by the grace of God, you also get sanctification. I not only have faith that he can cover my past with his good record, I have faith he can keep me in the present. So you are righteous by faith in both ways. That's so important because, let's face it, we all hear a lot about the righteousness of faith that we receive for our past sins - he covers it by his life.

I don't want to under play that; we'd all be done for if it wasn't for that, but there's another righteousness of faith that we receive that we can live righteous lives and not walk according to the flesh, but walking according to the Spirit through faith. Isn't that right? Amen. We always talk about the grace of God that covers the bad, but there's a grace that empowers you to live differently. Amen. We need to hear about that grace too.

And then I'll give you one more here, while we're talking about the righteousness and the Spirit. Ephesians 5:8-10, "for you were once in darkness, but now you are light" - I read that wrong - "for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth)," - what is he imploring them to do? Walk in the light. And what does that mean? Walk in goodness - in righteousness - walk in truth - "finding out what is acceptable to the Lord." If you get off course and you get a fender bender, have the bond-o of God's righteousness cover that spot and you learn from your experience and then walk differently, right? Okay, now we're going to go into the section conviction about judgment. I know we talked about conviction of sin, earlier, but now it's more conviction about judgment.

I'm going back to the verse, yeah, that red-letter verse in John chapter 16, but we're going to read one more verse - John :8 through 11, "and when he has come," - he the Spirit - "he will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to my father and you see me no more;" - now here's the third part - "of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." There's a judgment that falls on satan and those that follow him - they follow the ruler of this world. Jesus made it pretty clear that there's just two rulers. And then some of the religious leaders that wanted to kill Jesus, they said, 'we're of our father Abraham, we've never been slaves.' Jesus said, 'no you're not, you're of your father the devil.' And you've only got two fathers - and a lot of people that had the wrong father were fighting Jesus and they were convicted. And Jesus said, 'the word that I have spoken will judge you in the last day.' So there's that conviction about judgment. Now let's look at some examples of this now.

Look at John 12:48 - Jesus said, "he who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has that which Judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." I just alluded to that. Judge by the word - every idle word that men will speak. Now I want to go back to the story of stephen. Stephen is being judged for his faith. He was giving arguments they could not counter and they were so mad they just drug him into the court.

They falsely accused him of the same things that Jesus was accused of and he begins to preach one of the most wonderful sermons you'll find in the Bible. It's recorded - most of chapter 7 is stephen recounting God's leading for the Jewish nation up until the time of Christ. And it says, "when they heard these things they were cut to the heart." Now, what does it say in acts chapter 2 when Peter and the disciples were preaching? They were cut to the heart - their hearts were pricked, but what did they do? They called out and said, 'what must we do to be saved?' They repented. Now the supreme court of the Jewish nation, they're cut to the heart but do they humble themselves or is it the opposite reaction? They are also convicted, but they're convicted for judgment. Same Holy Spirit convicts them but they don't turn.

When they heard these things they are cut to the heart and they gnashed at him with their teeth. I actually heard a preacher say, 'they ran up and started chewing on him.' I said, 'no, that's not what it means.' What that means - you ever heard - seen someone get so mad they just - and I've heard, I can't prove it - maybe they read this in some Jewish extra-biblical literature, but I heard that they actually ground their teeth so that they heard the noise to drown out what he was saying. Whew, that's like scratching your fingers on a chalkboard. I don't - it's not in the Bible but it's - evidently, they were so mad they were gnashing their teeth. The Bible is just talking about gnashing your teeth from pain or anger and it's just saying they plugged their ears.

I haven't got to that yet. It says, 'they gnashed them with their teeth but he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God and he said, 'look I see the heavens open and The Son of man standing at the right hand of God.' And they cried out with a loud voice.' Because, for them, that was blasphemy. They were saying Jesus was God - 'they cried out with a loud voice' - you know why they cried out? Because they had just crucified him. That would mean they crucified their Messiah.

That would cause some conviction. They saw him - much of the sanhedren that's now trying stephen - this is three and a half years after the crucifixion of Christ - they were there and they saw Jesus and they condemned him and they were in the crowd saying 'crucify him!' And he's saying, 'I see Jesus at the right hand of God.' Keep in mind, by the time you get to stephen's trial, the disciples have been miraculously broken out of jail, Peter, in chapter , they heal a man who could never walk. They're seeing signs and wonders and miracles and they're really beginning to think, 'was this Jesus the one?' Now stephen's face is glowing. It says, 'I see Jesus at the right hand of God.' Do you see why they're crying out? 'They cried out with a loud voice and they stopped their ears.' Now, that's when you're on the border of grieving away the Holy Spirit, when God is speaking to you and you don't want to listen to the conviction. So, instead of humbling yourself, like Peter who went out and wept, or like the disciples when they said, 'what shall we do?' They stopped their ears, they drown out stephen, and they ran on him with one accord and cast him out of the city and stone him, 'and the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

' So that's a conviction of judgment. Now stephen actually prayed for them, 'Lord, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing.' Or 'lay not this sin to their charge.' You know, before I rush past this verse I just want to bring something to your attention - that, when it first hit me, it was one of those 'wow'. You know the prophecy in Daniel chapter 9? It says that he will confirm the covenant with many for one week, beginning at the anointing of the most holy. Ad Jesus is baptized and anointed with the Holy Spirit, but in the midst of the week he causes the sacrifice to cease.

So he confirms the covenant for how long? One week - three and a half years, in person, Jesus preaches, teaches - but at the end of his three and a half years he's arrested for his preaching, he's falsely tried - they have a kangaroo court - false witnesses accuse him of things he's not guilty of, they take him out of the city, clothes are then taken away, and he prays for the forgiveness of those who kill him. Three and a half years later stephen is falsely accused, he's taken out of the city, the clothes are laid at the feet of Paul, he's killed, and while he's killed he prays for the forgiveness of his executioners. The exact thing happens three and a half years later, right after the supreme court, at the end of that 490-year prophecy, they hear a stirring testimony of the history of the Bible - they plug their ears. That's when time was up for them, as a nation, to introduce the Messiah to the world. Then, you look in the next chapters, Paul becomes converted, the Gospel's going to the gentiles - chapter 9, chapter 10 - Peter goes to cornelius - Gospel's going to the gentiles.

Up until then they were preaching only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. So - this is not on the study today, I'm sorry, but I thought it was really good. I know it's not specifically in this lesson. Alright, so we have a problem, typically, judging when we shouldn't judge and not judging when we should. The church, often, makes the mistake of judging when it shouldn't and not judging when it should, and the Holy Spirit will guide us in knowing how to do those two.

Still talking about conviction and judging, Paul is being tried by the court in Jerusalem - and you look in acts 24:25, "now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, felix was afraid" - he trembled - "and answered, 'go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you." The judge was being judged because Paul was preaching and he trembled - he was convicted. But what did he do? 'Go away.' Someone said the Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible. He was under conviction during the preaching of the word. When was the sanhedren convicted? When stephen was preaching the word. And so, preaching the word will evoke two different responses - some are convicted and they say, 'Lord, what must I do to be saved?' And others, they turn away and say, 'go - go away.

I'll - yeah, I'm busy right now, I can't make it to church this week.' Because they don't want to be convicted. But that's the conviction that brings salvation. So when do you not judge. And someone, in a minute, is going to read for me 1 Corinthians 5:12, okay? When you're not to judge - John said - if you read in John chapter 8, verses 7 and 8 - you know the story of the woman caught in adultery? Some believe that it was mary magdalene - "so when they continued asking him, he raised himself up and he said to them, 'he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.' And again he stooped down and he wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience," - what are they convicted about? They were in no position to judge her because they were guilty of similar things.

Jesus says to the woman, 'where are your accusers? Does no man condemn you?' She said, 'no man, Lord.' He said, "neither do I condemn you; go and commit all the adultery you want." Is that what he said? He said, "go and sin no more." So when Jesus condemned them for accusing her, was he saying adultery was okay? No, because he said adultery was wrong. He called it a sin. He told her not to do it anymore. Does that mean that if someone in the church becomes involved in an adulterous life, that the church is not to address that? No, it's not what Jesus is saying. Because, you remember - and we're going to get to it in a minute - Paul condemns the church in 1 Corinthians for not dealing with those things.

But how often have you heard - if I were to say to you, 'what is the most quoted verse?' What verse is the most quoted verse? What verse would you think? Judge not. I heard someone got it right. Most people say John 3:16. The most quoted verse is the one that says, 'judge not lest you be judged.' People who have never been in a church quote that verse. A lot of people quote that verse, but they don't quote the other verses.

So it is true, the Bible says we shouldn't judge and condemn others. Look in Matthew chapter 7, verse , "and why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Is Jesus saying, 'don't look anyone in the eye?' Is Jesus saying, 'don't help anybody that has a piece of sawdust in their eye? What is he saying? He's saying, 'don't be working on someone else's sawdust if you have a piece of firewood in your eye.' The word 'plank' there, when I first read that I thought that must mean something else in aramaic or Greek or 'what does that mean?' It means a 2 by 4 - and you just - Jesus, this is just a case of his irony and humor. He's saying, 'you know, here you're saying, 'oh man, I can look into your - it looks to me like you've got a speck in your eye. Let me help you with that.' And they're looking at you and you've got a big 2 by 4 in your eye. It doesn't make sense.

So what Jesus said, then, is 'take the plank out of your eye and you will see clearly to help your brother and sister.' So he's saying, 'don't be condemning others, especially if you're guilty of the same things.' In Romans chapter 2, Paul bears that out. "Therefore you are excusable," - sorry - "therefore you are inexcusable, o man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things." And so, before we're going to be admonishing or reproving or counseling with a brother or sister in the church - and notice I'm saying 'in the church', make sure we're walking with the Lord. And the Bible says do it in a spirit of humility or you will be faced with the same temptation. But there are times when you need to come alongside a brother or a sister if you see that they're straying. Someone stops coming to church, you know, they miss a week and then a couple weeks they're there, and then they miss two weeks, and then they're there, and then they miss three weeks.

At some point should you go visit them? And you might even say, 'you know, we missed you.' Or whatever - 'oh, you're judging me!' They could say that, but you say, 'look, we love you.' Should you not care? Who was it that said, 'am I my brother's keeper? That was cain. And so, that attitude of not caring is not the Christian attitude. We should care about each other. We should - it's not just pastors that are supposed to watch out for your brother and sister, but make sure you're being consistent if you do. And you've got to be humble.

You can't be judging. That means don't condemn someone else. But we need to care about each other, right? Amen. And so, these - this principle is often confused and befuddled. Don't gossip about someone else, that's a sin.

And then you're judging them by your gossip and you're condemning. So now let's see - go ahead, read for us 1 Corinthians 5:12 and 13. "For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God Judges. Therefore 'put away from yourselves the evil person.'" Alright, in 1 Corinthians here, Paul is talking about an individual in the church who was actually having an affair, and it was pretty commonly known, with his step-mother and nobody was doing anything about it because they said, 'we don't want to judge.' And Paul said, 'if you don't deal with this, what does the gentile world see? What do they think of Christians if you will allow someone to be a member in good standing when, by their behavior, they are bringing a shame and disgrace upon the name of Christ? You need to deal with it.' Do it in humility. Do it in love.

But he said, 'look, we're not talking about judging out there. There's courts and we don't judge the people in the world because they're lost. So, especially, you don't judge them, but we need to be involved in saying, 'look, are we all walking consistent?' Best thing is if every man Judges himself. Paul says, in 2 Corinthians chapter 13, 'let every man examine himself, whether he (or she) is in the faith.' But, you know, if something comes to your attention that is bringing reproach on the name of the Lord, it needs to be addressed. Amen? 1 Corinthians 6, verses 2 and 3, "do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels?" - It's talking about the fallen angels - "how much more, things that pertain to this life?" And so this is why we need the Holy Spirit to give us grace and wisdom to know how to discern between when to speak and not to speak; when to talk with a brother or sister - if we are all only in it for ourselves, then you're missing the point of Christianity.

Christianity is all about we care about each other. In the Lord's prayer it never mentions 'me' or 'i'. It's 'give us' 'lead us' 'forgive us', right? It's because we're in this together. What's the great commandment? It's love your neighbor as you love yourself. I not only want victory over my sin, I want you to have victory over your sin.

Now, I don't judge you, and I shouldn't be scrutinizing you, but if I see you're struggling and I think I can help by my prayer or encouragement, I ought to care. And someone might take the risk of having a brother or sister say, 'you're judging me' - that most-often quoted verse. So you need the Holy Spirit to know when to speak and when to be quiet. You know what I'm saying? So - you know, I - I've discovered that there's a tendency, in a pastor's life, not to preach about things they are struggling with. And I saw that early in my ministry and I said, 'I need to preach the truth whether I feel like I've got a victory in this area or not.

' And I'll just tell people I'm talking to myself and they get to listen. Because, otherwise, it's hard for a pastor that weighs 900 pounds - they tend to avoid the health message. Do you know what I'm saying? They're kind of standing there and folks are kind of going, 'oh, really? You're going to judge me?' Now am I right? I'm using a very blatant example, but I think we need to be honest about where we stand and what truth is because truth doesn't change to accommodate us; we need to be changed by the truth, amen? Amen. Alright, assurance of salvation - I thought this was a really good point. Matter of fact, as we're talking about this I should mention I was wondering what our free offer would be today and it was either this one or the other one - the other one being we've got a book called assurance and salvation just full of promises, but, you know, when you talk about conviction and judgment and we think, 'oh man, I'm always guilty and the holy spirit's always convicting, do we ever - does the Holy Spirit ever bring peace and assurance? Do we ever get to enjoy that? Should Christians always be constantly in doubt? Who is going to want what Christians are offering if we're going, 'oh I think - I hope I make it.

Oh, I don't think I'm going to make it.' If we always look like we're afraid and we have no assurance and we have no peace, no joy, no hope of eternal life, no one's going to want what we have. But there's a balance. We should not be arrogant in assuming we can't fall. Let him who thinks he stands take heed - be careful lest you fall. Shouldn't be going around - I know when I talk to my baptist friends they say to me, 'doug, are you saved?' I'll say, 'yes.

' That doesn't mean I can't be lost. When they ask me that question they think, once saved always saved. I say yes because, I mean, they're wanting to know, 'have you been born again? Have you accepted Christ?' So you've got to know what are they asking. Now, some people, when they say they're saved, they're thinking predestination - you can't be lost - and you don't want to say yes to that. So can you have assurance and not believe in once saved always saved? Let's read some verses.

1 John 5:12 - someone's going to read for me Philippians 1:6 in just a minute. John 5:12, "he who has The Son has life; he who does not have The Son of God does not have life." If you've accepted Jesus and you have The Son, you've invited him into your heart and he is your Lord and Savior, do you have life? Romans 8:15-17, "for you did not receive the Spirit of bondage again" - he doesn't want us living in bondage - "to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'abba, father.' the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God," - is that present tense? Amen. And what gives us that peace? The Holy Spirit. If you see that God is changing you - you have conviction of sin - you're turning from your sin - you see areas of victory, then he is the author and finisher of your faith. He is going to continue to work in your life.

That ought to bring you some peace so you can sleep at night and say, 'Lord, I'm giving myself to you. If I fall along the way, forgive me but I'm still yours.' You're adopted, right? Does a father adopt and unadopt a child every other day? So, when you adopt a child, if you're going to be a good adoptive parent, you say, 'alright, I'm embracing you.' And then they disobey and [you] say, 'I'm disowning you.' Then they repent - 'okay, I'll adopt you again.' Is that - does it go back and forth like that? His spirit bears witness with our spirit - "and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ" and we'll be glorified together. Alright, go ahead, read for us, please, Philippians i:6. "Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Alright, what are we to be confident of? That he who has begun a good work in you will finish it until when? The day of Christ. The day of Christ may be the day you die, it may be the second coming - it's talking about the day of the Lord - until that great judgment day.

Should we have confidence? Yes. the Lord wants us to have a cautious, humble confidence. When I prepare to preach sometimes I say, 'Lord, I don't want to be over-confident, because that always ends badly, but I don't want to be so afraid that I can't preach with authority.' So I pray that the Lord will give me that balance of a confidence and humility. And I think Christians need that as we just advertise for Jesus - that we have a peace and a confidence, but we're not arrogant. And so - 'I can't be lost, I'm saved.

' You see what I'm talking about? The balance? I always compare it to, you know, if you've got a good marriage, a loving couple have confidence about their love and their commitment and their covenant. Karen and I have that confidence. It doesn't mean we've lost our freedom to violate the marriage - we still have that freedom - but we have confidence. And, as long as you nurture the relationship and you spend time together, you don't worry. You have peace.

You're not troubled and jealous whenever the phone rings - 'who's that?' (Laughter) so - and that's your relationship with the Lord. Corinthians 5:5, "now he who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also have given us the Spirit as a guarantee." Again, assurance. Hebrews 12:2, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 7:25, "therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them." Why is he always interceding? Because we always need intercession. Amen. But we can believe he'll finish what he's started.

Jesus says - John 5:24, "most assuredly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, and he will not come into judgment, but has passed from death" - will pass or has passed? You know, if you accept Christ, the gift of everlasting life is present tense. the Kingdom of God is at hand. It's not just future. You become a citizen of that kingdom now, even in your old body - you become a citizen. And those are wonderful promises.

And then, again, John 6:47, "most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life." Amen? Amen. Our final section - I'll do this quickly - the hope - the Holy Spirit and hope. And you've got Romans 5:4, "and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit..." Someone said once, 'hope springs eternal' - as long as you've got hope - it's wonderful what it does for us. I remember reading a story one time that they put these rats in a bucket - a big tub of water - and they had a little ladder.

They knew the ladder was just out of reach of the rats, but the rats that could see the ladder would swim and swim and swim. And then they put some rats in a bucket and they couldn't see the edge and they couldn't reach any kind of ladder - they only swam half as long. Because they saw no way of escape, they lost hope. The rats who could see a possible way of escape lasted much longer. That's a cruel experiment, but it just tells you that when people have hope they do much better.

And so, you've got to believe, through the Holy Spirit, that we have hope. Romans 15:13, "now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy spirit." Can you say amen? Amen. And those great things - now abides faith, hope, love - these three, the greatest of these is love. And that's a good place to end our quarter's study on the holy spirit. Thank you, friends for joining us.

I want to remind you about our free offer. It's called life in the Spirit - it's offer #155 and you can have it for free. Just call and it's 7 - I'm sorry, the number is -788-3966 - that's 866-study-more. We'll send it to you. Please read it and share it with a friend.

God bless you. We'll study His Word together again next week. On several occasions, scientists have demonstrated that people, and even creatures, can struggle with depression when exposed to continual darkness. This can be seen every year in the winter months in the arctic regions. The beautiful village of rjukan, norway is situated in a deep valley where mountains block the sun's rays for about six months every year.

This, of course, keeps the 3,400 residents in a state of shade, and sometimes, depressing darkness throughout the winter. Then the town leaders got a bright idea to help illuminate their village during the murky months. In October 2013, rjukan installed and array of three gigantic 550 square foot mirrors on a nearby mountain a thousand feet above the town. The computer controlled and solar-powered mirrors track the sun through the winter months and reflect a giant beam of sunshine down to the town square, brightening their lives. If you visit rjukan in the winter months today, you can often see the people, gathered or sitting on benches around the town square, bathing in the reflected sunshine.

Like those mirrors on the mountain, the Bible says that Christians are to reflect the light of Jesus, who is the light of the world, into this dark planet. Matthew 5:14 says, "you are the light of the world; a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do we light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand and it illuminates everybody in the house. Let your light so shine before man that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." So friends, choose today to brighten the life of someone else by reflecting Jesus. For life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com or call 1-800-538-7275.

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