16:8 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."
I have been looking forward to writing today since I stopped yesterday. We left off discovering that sin is not believing in/trusting Jesus. All the other bad stuff we do is simply a manifestation of that unbelief. The Spirit of God that Jesus has referred to both as a Comforter and Helper is the one who brings conviction to us about our unbelief.
Today we'll discover two other crucial things the Helper does in our lives. The first is that He convicts us of righteousness because Jesus is no longer here. Why does Jesus put it that way? First of all righteousness is everything that is good, pure, beautiful, and true. For the Jews of that time righteousness was mostly a list of things you did and mostly did not do. Then Jesus showed up and turned the definition of righteousness upside down. A Jew considered it righteous to avoid contact with a leper. Jesus demonstrated that righteousness was reaching out to the lepers. A Jew considered Sabbath a day to avoid work at all costs. Jesus demonstrated that Sabbath was a day to work for our the benefit fellow man when they were in need. A Jew considered it righteous to classify other people as less than themselves. Jesus showed it was righteous to consider everyone better than yourself.
Now Jesus is leaving. The walking, talking, flesh and bones example of what righteousness really is would no longer be with them. In His place the Helper was coming to remind them in every circumstance what righteousness is.
Lastly the Helper was coming to convict us judgment. I love this one. It is so often misunderstood. Jesus leaves no room for misunderstanding though. He said the Helper would convict us of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged. That of course is the devil. See following Jesus puts you on the wrong side of the tracks. The river flows against you. "They will hate you because they hated Me first" is what Jesus said. It is not easy to live against the flow. It is mentally and emotionally exhausting. Living for Jesus impacts every area of our lives. Areas that invite opposition simply by living. This week my sister was bullied and judged and called horrible names simply because she showed compassion. Hate and judgment was the only "acceptable" opinion. Another friend of mine is being judged because her dietary choices don't match the choices of her friends and family. I remember as a kid who didn't eat hot dogs my friend at school told me his dad said if I don't eat pork I will die. Truth is I'm going to die either way but the W.H.O. released the news this week that actually eating pork and processed meats increases significantly your chances of premature death. Not a popular point of view to be sure...
Showing any kind of compassion for Muslims is becoming more and more taboo. Holding the position on Biblical sexuality while loving all people is also increasingly worthy of censure.
The truth is that the fabric of North America is becoming more and more intolerant and hostile to Jesus' ways.
In short living righteously and trusting Him is going to become more difficult as time passes. The Helper has a message for all those feeling the pressure, the loneliness, and the alienation - "The ruler of darkness is already judged. His time is short. The Light wins. Love wins."
Trust Him. Live for Him and like Him. Remember the darkness is soon over. Weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning.
This is the 3 part message of the Helper. I hope we're all convicted more with each passing day.smile emoticon