Merry Christmas! The gift of Jesus grants us all the gift of Holy Spirit in our lives. This is the goodness of Christ to all men. God is in us, with us and upon us is the blessing of an abundant life. Through Jesus we have received the ever-present Helper, that leads us into the path of life in all things.
Holy Spirit is not less than the Father or less than the Son. Sometimes with think it was amazing that God the Son was upon the earth in the form of Jesus, the Son of Man the Son of God, but He is still here in the form of Holy Spirit. He is the Helper with us, even in a greater way than Jesus was able to be with His disciples. When you woke up this morning God was in your bed. When you took a shower, God was there. When you ate breakfast, God was there. God is with you as Holy Spirit. He is very present. God is humble, patient, kind and loving in that He lives with us and He is willing to move into our worlds with us even when we ignore Him. Even when we do not pay attention to Him, He intercedes for us. He doesn’t want us to be religious, He wants us to be real and He wants us to know God our Father and Jesus God’s Son.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He comes as the love of God and the kindness of God and He leads us to embrace a relationship with God that transforms our lives from the power of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love. When we were in the world we needed Holy Spirit to convict us of sin, but even as believers, sometimes we sin. The Holy Spirit doesn’t condemn us, He convicts us. He calls us and draws us to a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The more we choose to indulge in the Holy Spirit, the more we embrace grace. Grace is the manifest presence Holy Spirit in our lives and He convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He convicts of righteousness by drawing us into a right relationship with God. He draws us into a relationship of love with our heavenly Father. He calls us to move near to God. He convicts of judgment because the ruler of the world is already judged. He reveals that the things that are against us, the things that seek to destroy us, have already been judged. He frees us from the strongholds of our past. He frees us from the power of every enemy; not just in the moment we comet to Jesus, but continually and constantly in our daily lives.
As believers in Christ, we are no longer sinners. We aren’t practicing sin anymore, we practice a relationship with God, but sometimes we sin. Sinners sometimes do good things, but they are still practicing independence from God. Sometimes they have good moments, but that is not the same has having a way of life empowered by a dependence upon God. Holy Spirit is in this world wooing all people to embrace a relationship with God in Christ. As believers, we will have moments where we look for love in the wrong place. That could even include looking for love in ministry. We could seek to get our identity out of serving God in some way and when that happens, we are looking for love in the wrong place. When that happens, Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness. He draws us into a relationship with God.
I believe a good definition of righteousness is a right relationship with God that leads to right relationships with people. Righteousness in my marriage is not about doing right things, it is about having a right relationship with my wife. When I have a right relationship with my wife, I will do right things. For this to happen, I need a right relationship with God. Sometimes I will do things that are not right and sometimes she will do things that are not right, but when this happens how we treat one another is the true test of righteousness. When we act differently than the way God loves us, we are not righteous. The testimony of true righteousness is seen in relationships, not law. Holy Spirit convicts of righteousness, a righteousness of love that inspires right relationships in life. He wants us to connect to God and to connect to one another with a right relationship that brings life in all things.
Merry Christmas! Let’s embrace the Christ of Christmas and let Holy Spirit convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment. When we seek independence from God, He will convince us to draw near to the One who loves us. When we seek to be self-righteous, He will convince us to choose love instead. When we feel afraid or bound in some way, He will convince us that every enemy has been judged and that our judgment was one where mercy has triumphed over every judgment that would be against us. This is the good news of Christ in us!
Ted J. Hanson