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« on: February 02, 2010, 04:40:54 AM »

THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

BY

S. Franklin Logsdon

"It is expedient for you that I go away . . . I will send him unto you"

Copyright @ 1960

CHAPTER TWELVE

THE SPIRIT CONVINCES OF SIN

"He will reprove the world of sin"

DEITY AT WORK may be incomprehensible to the finite mind, but the fact is plainly revealed in the Scriptures.

"My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," Jesus explained to the irate Jews who had strenuously objected to His healing a paralytic on the Sabbath. Scarcely two years later, He made it clear that the Holy Spirit would work too, coming in due time to pursue a schedule of planned activity unique in design and universal in coverage.

With salvation accomplished through the expiatory work of Christ, God sent His Spirit to quicken those dead in trespasses and sins. To accomplish this, He must beat a path of conviction through the underbrush of mental distortions, preconceived ideas, evil traits, the denseness of native darkness, and, often, through the blinding influence of religious creeds and the doctrines of man. His convicting ministry is ever unwanted and always opposed.

The unconverted man is at enmity against God.

- He resents being termed a sinner.
- His pride is injured when told that his self-righteousnesses are, in scriptural terminology, "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).
- His soul rebels at any attempt to curb its lustful tendencies.
- He decries the idea of retribution.

Go up to him and tell him he is a sinner; that he is an enemy of God; that the Lord will judge him in due course. Now that the big announcement is made, combine tact and diplomacy with your best forensic logic in an attempt to make him believe and acknowledge it. His reaction will be immediate, emphatic and uncomplimentary. Only the Holy Spirit can bring him to the confession that something is fundamentally wrong in his life and outlook. Only the Holy Spirit could convince Paul, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee without guile, that he was chief of sinners.
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 04:41:44 AM »

THE SERIOUSNESS OF UNBELIEF

The first phase of the Spirit's threefold activity is the gigantic and humanly impossible task of convincing men of the seriousness of unbelief.

Unbelief in Christ as the One who alone can save is the only unpardonable sin in this age.

And why is this so? Because it leaves one in one's sins, under condemnation and unfit for Heaven.

"He will reprove of sin because they believe not on me" was the declaration of Jesus. Here is purpose with its stated reason. Sin is subtle, nonperturbing, gladly welcomed, and blindly practiced until the Spirit's pungent conviction unveils its hideous, harmful, grossly pernicious and condemning character. Unbelief does not give up readily nor without a struggle. Conviction alone can penetrate to its roots. It is then the heart cries, "What can wash away my sin?" The Holy Spirit assures, "Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

If we could trace sin in all its horrible and wicked movements, follow its slimy course through the innumerable bypaths of its unspeakable developments, see its broken and bleeding wrecks strewn along the highway of time, hear the pitiful cries of writhing disillusionment, grief and remorse, we might begin to understand something of the infinite scope of and the imperative need for the Spirit's convicting work.

Add to this the staggering fact of eternal consequences—the blackness of darkness forever, the lake of fire, the endless nonsatisfaction of inordinate cravings, the inseparable association with the "abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and liars" in an odious atmosphere of everlasting ungodliness. This is something of the pit into which iniquity pours, and the sinner goes in the turbulent way of his sins except he is convinced by the Holy Spirit concerning this dread reality, and becomes willing to receive the Saviour by faith.
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 04:44:35 AM »

THE CHALLENGE OF CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

The second phase of the Spirit's threefold operation is to convince men of the righteousness of Christ.

This is accomplished by affirming that Christ has returned to the Father, to sit at His right hand. Where is the throne of God? His throne is in Heaven (Psalm 11:4). Can unrighteousness enter Heaven? "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination" (Revelation 21:27). Christ had to be righteous, absolutely spotless, in order to enter in. This is the point which the Spirit proves.

Man in his natural state is devoid of true spiritual appraisal. He possesses no measure or standard by which he can evaluate that which is eternal.

- He studies intrinsic values;
- He weighs earthly privilege;
- He gauges his success by the degree of his inward satisfaction or by the extent of another's failure.

This of course is materialism in its deceptive character.

- It blinds the vision,
- It hardens the heart,
- It dulls the conscience.

It may allow for religion but has no room for God.

- Being good is one thing; being righteous is quite another.
- Being good is the outcome of careful conduct; being righteous results from faith in Christ.

The one is the effort of self; the other is the work of the Spirit.

It is a matter of primary importance that man should be convinced that Jesus has gone to the Father.

- This proves that His Calvary work was acceptable.
- This affirms the essential and indispensable doctrine of His resurrection.
- This guarantees that, since He became sin for man, man through His sacrifice may become righteous.

The believer is assured that He has a high priest "who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." Such transcendent truths are only known through the persuasive, enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit.

Without the enlightening ministry of the Holy Spirit, the best we can do is set up a moral code and attempt to shape our lives accordingly.

We say to ourselves, "This is good and that is bad. This is right and that is wrong." Our own conscience becomes the supreme court of discrimination. But there is a tidal wave of influences which constantly alters our judgment. Custom and climate play a perceptible part. We bow to popular opinion. One day we listed as wrong matters which gradually became tolerable and eventually approved. Warmth has become a legitimate excuse for immodesty. Surely it should be convincingly evident that we need the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convince us of true righteousness.
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 04:45:07 AM »

PRINCE OF THE WORLD JUDGED

The Spirit also convinces of judgment. How distasteful is the subject to the unregenerate! And well may it be! They are facing it, yet they would rather not think about it. Only the Holy Spirit can overcome this pronounced indifference.

It is ever amazing how the Lord can summarize a profound truth in a terse statement. For instance, "The prince of this world is judged." And who is the "prince of this world"? He is "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2).

How was he judged and when? He was judged by the full, efficacious, substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. The cross sounded the death knell for the archdeceiver of the human race. His doom is sealed. In due course, he will be cast into a place prepared for him and his angels. What bearing has this on man? Great bearing! Solemn bearing! If the prince is judged, then all who follow him will likewise be judged, and with the same judgment, even with the same penalty. To reject the Saviour and refuse His deliverance is to follow Satan to his doom.

Surely our experience has taught us that some supernatural force is necessary to con¬vince the hearts of men in matters of solemn import such as sin and its consequences, righteousness and its reward. And this is the ministry of the Holy Spirit for this age.

~ end of chapter 12 ~

CHAPTER 11. THE SPIRIT WALKS WITH CHRISTIANS

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